SAT-MidEast 98.06.19

A news release from Cairo, Egypt, located at 31.15 East - 30.3 North,
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After months of uncertainty over the commercial payload that was to help
pay for the final qualification flight of the new launcher, the Ariane 5
Program Board had decided to stop beating around the bush. Enough time
had been lost, 503 had to get off the ground and the quickest solution
was adopted. Together with ESA's ARD (Atmospheric Reentry Demonstrator),
the payload will include a dummy satellite "representative" of
Eutelsat's W2 craft that was originally to be on the vehicle. The launch
is now officially targeted for "mid-October".

And as the dummy satellite climbed aboard, so Amsat's Phase III-D
satellite fell off, despite the numerous assurances given to the
international amateur radio organisation over the past months.

According to reliable sources, delegates at the Ariane 5 program board
were able to come to this decision after Arianespace had told them that
it was prepared to cover the lost revenue that would have come from a
commercial passenger.

Questionned on the reasons that had led to these broken promises to
Amsat, Jean-Marie LUTON fully explained the situation in terms of
urgency. "We had to constitute a pairing, the ARD and another payload
within the allowable mass limits. After the fire that damaged W1 which
had been scheduled on 503, the fact that the sister craft W2 would not
be ready and our inability to find an alternative commercial passenger,
we decided to have a dummy satellite that was as dynamically
representative as possible of a W series satellite - and that without
having to start all the studies from scratch which would have pushed
back the launch. If Amsat had been accepted the launch could not have
taken place before the end of the year."

According to several sources, the development costs of a dummy satellite
could be reduced if Aerospatiale uses the platform of the W1 satellite
that was damaged at the fire in Cannes. The satellite has been declared
a total loss for insurance purposes. Aerospatiale (or Eutelsat ?) would
thus just have to buy the satellite back from the insurance companies
and fit it out to fly. To what extent it could eventually function in
orbit is unclear.

A spokesman for Aerospatiale stated June 19th that nothing had been
decided. "It is a question for all concerned: the insurers to which the
satellite now belongs, ourselves, Arianespace and Eutelsat. For instance
how much W1 is worth if its bought back. The satellite is at present
"drying-out" in a special chamber and we do not know at all whether part
of its telecom payload would eventually work".

"Extensive checks will have to be carried out - for instance on all the
electrical systems, and whether the tanks are not leaking - before we
ever fill it up with hydrazine to fly. What is certain is that it would
cost considerably more to build a new dummy satellite. As to when all
this will be settled, well we imagine, pretty quickly !"

Thought have been expressed that Arianespace might be considering
eventual revenue from leasing itself transponders on the W1 satellite -
should the satellite be capable of working in orbit. That would turn
Arianespace into a satellite operator !
(SME, source: go-Ariane)
It was a rather small accident when Eutelsat W1 was damaged by measures
to control a fire at Aerospatiale's Cannes facilities. It has some not
so small consequences, though. Initial reports were contradictory, but
now it seems all efforts to clean and dry the satellite were in vain. As
a consequence, Eutelsat W2 will not be launched aboard the third and the
consolidating qualification flight of the new Ariane 5 rocket, which is
btw. the first out of the production series units ordered by

The European Space Agency said in a statement that "The W1
communications satellite developed for Eutelsat no longer being
available, the W2 satellite, which was to have been carried as a
commercial passenger on Ariane 503, will be launched by an Ariane-4
vehicle." This is probably going to happen on Flight 113 on October 23.
(SME, source: Peter C. Klanowski's SAT-ND)

WorldSpace Chairman and CEO Noah Samara and Egyptian Radio and
Television Union (ERTU) Chairman Eng. Abd Alrahman Hafez announced the
signing of an agreement to use the WorldSpace satellite digital audio
system to broadcast ERTU programming throughout the African continent.
ERTU is the largest Arab broadcaster and one of the top ten broadcasters
in the world.

The five-year agreement provides ERTU with Digital Audio Broadcasting
(DAB) services on WorldSpace's AfriStar satellite, which is due to be
launched in the fourth quarter of this year. The agreement is for ERTU
programming to be distributed via three 32-kilobit channels on all three
beams of the AfriStar satellite. In addition, the agreement provides
ERTU with distribution plans for the AsiaStar and AmeriStar satellites
upon their respective launches. No details were released about revenues
or valuation of the deal.

Mr. Hafez stated during the signing ceremony that ERTU has followed the
WorldSpace system from its inception, "and we are delighted that the
WorldSpace system is now becoming reality. The system itself represents
a new era in audio broadcasting transmission," Hafez continued, "and
ERTU is looking forward to future coverage of two-thirds of the globe.
We are proud to be associated with WorldSpace."

"This agreement will allow people in our coverage area to receive an
eclectic arrangement of the best of Egypt and Arabic content, and
represents the fundamental fulfillment of taking cultural content
regionally," said WorldSpace Corporation Chairman Samara. "The agreement
enables us to create platforms for cultural exchange in the palm of the
listeners hand," he continued. "In addition, most broadcasting has
traditionally originated in the Northern Hemisphere for consumption by
the Southern Hemisphere. This agreement we have signed fundamentally
changes this pattern, now allowing for the distribution of content by
the Southern Hemisphere for the Southern Hemisphere."

WorldSpace has further signed up lately four additional African and
Middle Eastern stations: Radio One from Lebanon, Cosmos Digital from
South Africa, Kenya's East FM, and Horizon FM from Burkino Faso. The
company already has contracts or options with the national radio
stations of Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya, among others. WorldSpace'
chairman Noah Samara states the BBC is among the Western broadcasters
talking to WorldSpace about leasing channels.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, the WorldSpace business was founded in
1990 to provide direct satellite delivery of digital audio
communications services to the emerging and underserved markets of the
world, including Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and the

By the end of the decade, WorldSpace will have three satellites in
orbit, with the first, AfriStar, to be launched in October 1998,
followed by AsiaStar and AmeriStar. Each satellite will deliver 80+
channels of crystal clear audio programming directly to portable
receivers. This unique global service will transmit quality information,
education and entertainment programming to a service area that includes
4.6 billion people.
(SME, source: WorldSpace Corporation)

The HGS-1 communications satellite, formerly known as Asiasat-3, has
arrived in a geosynchronous orbit over the Pacific Ocean after a
spectacular mission that sent it around the moon twice to reposition it
into a useful orbit.

Hughes Global Services Inc. (HGS) said in a press release that the
satellite controllers fired the on-board motor for 12 minutes, which
slowed the spacecraft enough to enter a circular orbit 36,000 km above
the equator.

The satellite's orbit was described as geostationary with an inclination
of a few degrees, which means that it will drift a few degrees north and
south of the equator every day.

"The lunar recovery mission team did an outstanding job. Everything has
gone just as predicted," said Ronald V. Swanson, HGS president. "It
really validates the viability of this technique for future missions."

As a consequence of its inclined orbit, HGS-1 is not suited to deliver
direct broadcast services. The satellite will be "parked" in a dormant
state over the Pacific until Hughes finds customers for it.
(SME, source: Peter C. Klanowski's SAT-ND)

LAUNCH INFORMATION, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
Preliminary launch schedule for Arianespace launches:

98/08/25	V109:	ST 1 (could be a delayed to 98/09/01)
98/09/15	V110:	PAS 7
98/10/03	V111:	AfriStar & Sirius 3
98/10/23	V113:	Eutelsat W2
98/10/end	V112:	Ariane 503: ARD + W1 (not operational)
98/11/13	V114:	Insat 2E & GE 5
98/12/02	V115:	Satmex 5 (Morelos)
98/12/22	V116:	PAS 6B
99/01/xx	V117:	Ariane 504: AsiaStar & Telkom-1
99/02/xx	V118:	Arabsat 3A & SkyNet-4E	
99/03/xx	V119:	Intelsat K-TV (New Skies)
99/04/xx	V120:	Astra 2B
99/04/xx	V121:	Ariane 505: Eutelsat W3 & Insat 3B
99/05/xx	V122:	PAS-1R
99/06/xx	V123:	?
99/07/xx	V124:	?
99/08/xx	V125:	Ariane 506: XMM

Preliminary launch schedule for ILS/Proton launches:

98/08/25:	Astra 2A (Luxembourg)
98/09/16:	Nimiq 1 (Canada)
98/09/xx:   Yamal 101/102 (Russia)
98/10/10:	Telstar 6 (USA)
98/10/29:	PAS 8 (USA)
98/11/12:	Tempo 1 
98/12/25:	SESAT (Europa/Russia)
99/01/xx:	Gorizont 33 (Russia)
99/02/xx:	LMI 1 (Russia)
99/05/xx:	GE 1A (USA)
99/10/xx: 	PAS 9 (USA)
99/xx/xx:   Express A1 (Russia)
99/xx/xx:   Express A2 (Russia)
99/xx/xx:   Express A3 (Russia)
00/02/xx:	LMI 2 (Russia)
00/07/xx:	Astra 2B  (Luxembourg)
00/xx/xx:	Express K1 (Russia)
00/xx/xx:   Yamal 201 (Russia)
01/xx/xx:   Express K2 (Russia)
01/xx/xx:   Yamal 202 (Russia)
02/xx/xx:   Express K3 (Russia)
02/xx/xx:   Yamal 203 (Russia)
03/xx/xx:   Yamal 301 (Russia)

Hmmm, it must be the summer, or the World Cup soccer in France.
Nothing happens out there, or maybe the observer, including myself,
don't get a hold on it. Here at least a few observations:

TURKSAT 1C, 42 East, http://www.satcodx.com/turk1c.shtml
* HBB returned to 11,100 V, PAL/clear, Euro or West beam.

TURKSAT 1B, 31 East, http://www.satcodx.com/turk1b.shtml
* Turkish TV 8 has started regular transmissions on 11,033 H,
MPEG-2/clear, SR 4688, FEC 5/6, PIDs 308/256.

ARABSAT 2A, 26 East, http://www.satcodx.com/arab2a.shtml
* Saudi Channel 2 was temporary tested on 12,720 H, SECAM, 6,60 MHz.

* Saudi Channel 1 was temporary tested on 12,662 V, SECAM, 6,60 MHz.

EUTELSAT II-f3, 16 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f3.shtml
* Changed radio line-up behind ESC1 on 11,178 V:
	7,02 MHz:	General Program
	7,20 MHz:	Soth El Arab (Voice of the Arabs)

EUTELSAT II-f1, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f1.shtml
* A big dissapointment is the appearance of the first channel of the
announced Europa-wide 4-language FTA package on 13 East.

The WPBM (WAT - Beats Per Minute) Techno Music Channel announced to
start on June 21st, on 11,055 GHz H, PAL/clear, as visible on TV5
TeleText, page 626.

While this channel is operated in the shared transponder modus, and on
the weakest Eutelsat satellite on this position, we wil not be able to
receive it. We can only hope that with the replacement of the satellite
in October, and the changeover of the channel to MPEG-2 we get a chance
to enjoy the bouquet.
(SME, Christian Lyngemark)

HOT BIRD 2, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb2.shtml
* UAE Radio Dubai has left the EDTV transponder 51, 11,747 H, 7,02 MHz.

HOT BIRD 3, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb3.shtml
* EuroNews on 12,111 V has Spanish audio on APID 222, selectable with
the Audio Track Selector

SME Comment: Why not put all available audio channels behind this
transmission? I know it's easy done, without any additional investments,
and would make a lot of viewers happy. Ok, Ok, I ask for to much: What
is with ENGLISH additional ?

* Mreza Sat in the Croatian/Slovenian Digital Platform on 12,303 V is
now encrypted in Viaccess.

The AH-EDP package on 12.149 V, widebeam, MPEG-2/clear, SR 27500, FEC
2/3, received new colorbar testcards with text in the lower part of the
screen: "Antenna Hungaria" on VPIDs 120, 130 and 160.

HOT BIRD 4, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb4.shtml
* Two radio channels have started on 12,654 H, MPEG-2/clear,
unfortunately loaded into the TV channel list and not -as preferred-
into the Radio section.
	690/4140:	Al-Koran Al-Karim
	691/4145:	Variety Channel

* D+ Digi promo has started on 10,892 H, PAL/clear, 6,60 MHz, wide beam.

* Hot Bird Channel has left 12,673 V, and was replaced by a FUCINO E/S
test card.

* Mysik Karayb from the Caribbean Island of Guadeloupe, has started
testing on 10,719 V, MPEG-2/clear, 27500, 3/4, PIDs 5665/5666.
The official start date of this obviously commercial, touristic
promotional channel is set for August 9th.

EUTELSAT II-f2, 10 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f2.shtml
* After alegedly having received pressure from Turkey, the Slovenske
Telekomunikacie state enterprise has cancelled its contract to relay the
Kurdish channel MED- TV on Eutelsat II-F2. The relays will end during

MED-TV has been remarkably resilient in the past in overcoming Turkish
attempts to keep it off the air. Expect a return on another frequency,
another satellite, maybe even without any major interruption of service.
(SME, source: Mediascan)

INTELSAT 701, 1 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i707.shtml
In the Egyptian MPEG-2 package on 4.135 L, are in the breaks of Nile TV
occasional feeds and "ERNE" transmissions of the EBU, observed on IDs:

NILESAT 101, 7 West, http://www.satcodx.com/nile101.shtml
* Jamahirya Satellite Channel has left 11,862 V, PAL/clear. This
transponder is furtheron reserved by the Iraqi state broadcaster for an
analogue service, starting this summer.

* On transponder 3, 11,765 H, is on all eight channels (APIDs
1201-1208), including the two channels with test card, one Egyptian
Radio Station (APIDs 1301-1308) receivable. They can be selected 
through the Audio Track Selector, but have no entries in the TV or Radio
Channel list.

For Instance Radio Cairo is on APID 1302, behind ERTU Channel 2.
Any help in order to get the official names for the other Arabic
stations, would be greatly appreciated.

* Radio Oman is on 11,823 V, MPEG-2/clear, APID 1306.

EXPRESS 2, 14 West, http://www.satcodx.com/e2.shtml
* SAHAR Universal Network on 3,975 GHz, R, ceased on Thursday, June

* All transmissions of NTV on 4,075 R and on Gorizont 26, 11 West 11,525
R, will cease as early as the NTV International package on Hot Bird 2,
11,938 H,  goes encrypted, as of 15 September. NTV confirms also the
encryption of NTV Intenational inb the same bouquet.
(SME, NTV/Eutelsat-D)

SAT-MIDEAST INTERN, http://www.sat-net.com/sat-mideast/
Receivers of the ASK-ME Question and answer mailings don't have to worry
too much, they are missing nothing. There are due to the summer and
World Cup in France very little interesting questions and answers

The next issue can be expected in the beginning of next week.

Best regards,

Henk C. Room / Cairo - Egypt
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