SES ASTRA satellite experiences technical anomaly, enters retirement

Satellite failures aren't completely unheard of or anything, but it's always a sad day when a dutiful bird loses its wings. SES ASTRA's ASTRA 5A -- the former SIRIUS 2 operating at 31.5 degrees East -- has experienced a "technical anomaly" which has led to the end of the spacecraft's mission. The outfit has already switched a significant part of its traffic to another ASTRA satellite, with German cable operators specifically mentioned as businesses affected. It's tough to tell at this point what the eventual results from all of this will be, but here's hoping it doesn't set back any potential HD expansion.