Postmortems

Satellite lost, because the Moon was there.

Satellite lost, because the Moon was there. (2004) Boeing designed a launch trajectory which neglected the effect of lunar gravity. “Superbird 6 was delivered by its launch vehicle to its predefined supersyncronous transfer orbit, but in defining this orbit the gravitational influence of the moon had been forgotten. The satellite was rescued but at a cost of most of its fuel.
Additionally, the outer parts of the solar panels had reduced power, possibly due to overheating during the low perigee pass (most satellites deploy in their correct orbit with solar panels fully extended). Thus a simple computer glitch (forgetting about the moon) caused a major loss.”