Sat-ND, 7.1.97

Sat-ND 97-01-07 - Satellite and Media News

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Arianespace plans to put at least 18 satellites into orbit this year, three more than 1996. Besides, there will also be a second attempt to launch the newly designed Ariane-5 rocket. According to Roger Solari, director of Arianespace-Kourou, the launcher will carry a commercial payload on its third flight in November 1997 provided the test flight on July 8 is successful. The first Ariane-5 rocket exploded on its maiden flight last summer.

Canada is still in search of a digital TV service. The country's government had invited domestic companies to submit bids for the 91E orbital position assigned to Canada for direct broadcast satellites (Sat-ND, 8.11.96.) 
Telesat Canada, the country's national satellite communications company, applied for a "fast track" license promised to companies that can provide instant satellite capacity but got rebuffed. Canadian Industry Minister John Manley said that proposals by Telesat Canada as well as a newcomer by the name of Borealis Space Corp. didn't meet the government's rigorous criteria for fast-track treatment. 
Some issues just couldn't be resolved in the 39 days between the government's call and the December 16 deadline for "fast-track" license applications, said Telesat and announced it will table yet another plan to bring direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television to Canadians. on February 28, the deadline for submitting long-term plans. 
Borealis Space, in case you don't know (neither did I,) was recently formed by Spar Aerospace Ltd. in partnership with CTA Inc., Rockville, Md. 
Spar Aerospace made it to the headlines recently (Sat-ND, 14./16.12.96) for being sued by AMSC Subsidiary Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. The plaintiffs ask for US$135 million in damages for the partial failure of the mobile communications satellite AMSC 1, claiming it was caused by defects in the communications payload supplied by Spar. 

The United Arab Emirates' satellite project Thurayya (Sat-ND, 20.12.96) came a step closer to becoming a reality today. A company by the name of Thurrayya Satellite Telecommunication Co. was set up with an initial capital of U$25 million. 
Project manager Hatim Lutfi expects an increase in capital to nearly US$500 million by offering shares to the public in the next few months.
Up to now, the UAE telecommunications company ETISALAT holds 26 percent of Thurayya's current capital, ARABSAT 10 percent, the Abu Dhabi Investment Co. 20 percent, and the Dubai Investment Co. 5 percent. 
Foreign investors include MTC of Kuwait, the Bahrain Telecommunication Company and Qatar Public Telecommunication Co., which hold a stake of 10 percent each, and the German consulting company Dettecon with 5 percent. 
By the way: it is yet unknown what company will built the satellites that offer GSM compatible mobile telephony services from 2000. The company's board has received offers from France's Alcatel and Aerospatiale and the American companies Lockheed Martin and Hughes. The contract that will be worth up to US$1 billion will be awarded in a few months' time.

French TV companies continue their search for programming desperately needed to fill all those digital packages. Canal+ has signed a long-term agreement with PolyGram Film Entertainment, allowing it to air PolyGram movies over its pay TV station, as well as through its digital venture CanalSatellite and the movie channel Cine-Cinemas.
PolyGram Film Entertainment is the film division of the U.K. music producing company PolyGram.
http://www.polygram.com/ (unreadable! Put that designer into jail!)

Oh no! A low-calorie soft drink producer threatens the Internet community with a Web site of their own "to promote its involvement with the 39th Annual Grammy Awards." Belch!
While you're at it, visit this URL: http://www.weight-watchers.com/

I thought you might be interested to know that my Big List of Geostationary Satellites has undergone a major revamp.
For example, you can now access any 10-degree segment of the geostationary orbit directly to see what satellites (not just broadcast satellites) are up there. I have also added a list of near-geosynchronous objects, including space junk, which might give you some idea of what's going on up there. This new list may be especially useful for watching newly launched satellites or those that are undergoing redeployment.
The service makes use of frames but there is also a pretty clumsy no-frames version available. Your browser has got to be able to cope with tables, though.
Satellite positions are calculated using Keplerian elements published by NASA and NORAD. Apart from the fact that I have completely rely on their data, please also note that I do not all guarantee for the accuracy of my calculations as well. This is an experimental service, just for fun, and it will stay this way indefinitely. 
Expect updates once a week, usually over the weekend.
For a more professional service, point your browser at 

No, your satellite receiver probably is quite well even if Dr Dish does not turn up on his usual frequency on DFS 2 (28.5E) next Friday. drdish@tv will be aired on a different transponder for a change. Just tune in to transponder B2 (11.600 GHz v) on January 10 and enjoy. As usual, the show begins at 1900 UTC (that is 2000 CET.)

"One show executive said the original script called for two lesbian kisses. However, the message from ABC was that one was OK but two implied the characters liked it."
(Reuters/Variety on the next episode of American Broadcasting Company's drama "Relativity," to be aired next Saturday.)

"I must have had a real breakdown to subscribe to such a load of crap."
(Kieran M., cf. Sat-ND 23.12.96 [mailing list version only.] Of course, that poor little thing wasn't quite up to the challenge of unsubscribing Sat-ND for himself. I had to do it for him. Enthusiastically thanking me, he concluded his email with "Cheers tosser." Consult your slang dictionary for that one.)

Copyright 1997 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.

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