Despite hopes to the contrary, it looks like SES AMERICOM is treating the AMC-14 satellite mishap like the time you rear-ended that bus full of nuns in your Suzuki X90. Stranded at a less than advantageous orbit after an anomaly in its second burn of the fourth stage on March 15, the company decided that trying to reposition it at this point was too risky, and would result in a severely shortened lifespan. As a result, SES is cashing in on a $150 million insurance policy, and coming out of this smelling like a rose. DISH Network has more satellites planned for later this year and claims the failure won't affect its plans, so HDTV owners shouldn't lose out badly either. The only real loser here is AMC-14 itself, destined to decades of floating around as space junk, or a quick and fiery end in Earth's atmosphere -- plans for its retirement are still being "explored".

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DISH Network's AMC-14 satellite "a total loss"