Sat-ND, 20.1.97

Sat-ND 97-01-20 - Your online source for Decayed and Delayed Satellites

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The cause of the TELSTAR 401 disaster may have been found by scientists.
Working together in the International Solar Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) Program,
they managed to track a so-called "magnetic cloud event" that originated from
the sun's surface on January 6. 
Its effects were carefully monitored by various satellite and ground based
detectors until it arrived on the earth on January 10. "Preliminary evidence
[...] suggests increased levels in the radiation environment, and possibly a
connection to the malfunction of an AT&T satellite," the ISTP says on a Web
page dedicated to the 'event.' Most charts available there show significant
levels of activity in the earth's magnetosphere around the same time TELSTAR
401 went silent (January 11, 11:15 UTC.)
The most likely explanation for the death of TELSTAR 401 seems to be that
magnetic cloud has caused a massive short in the satellite's circuitry. This is
in compliance with NASA observations that the bird was still in place at 97E
but slowly spinning. 
Given the reported spin rate of 5 revolutions per hours, it should have been
possible to re-establish contact by now if a temporary malfunction (or safety
shutdown) had occurred. But electrically speaking, the TELSTAR 401 bird sure is
as dead as a rubber duck. 

Arianespace has postponed Ariane flight 93 by two days after a leak was
discovered in a piece of ground system equipment. The launch has been
rescheduled to January 30 between 23:04 and 00:32 UTC.
Flight 93, carried out with an Ariane 44L, will put GE2 (GE American
Communications Inc., USA) and NAHUELSAT 1A (Nahuelsat, Argentina) into orbit.

Following the self-destruction of a Delta II rocket last Friday twelve seconds
after lift-off, all other Delta II launches have been put on hold while the
cause for the time the launcher's malfunction is investigated. As a
consequence, the three initial IRIDIUM satellites weren't launched yesterday as
originally planned.
The U.S. Air Force named a nine-member investigative board to look into
complete destruction of the $55 million McDonnell Douglas Corp. rocket and the
$40 million Air Force GPS satellite it was carrying (Sat-ND, 17.1.97.). "It is
unknown as to how long it will take to determine a cause, but the nominal time
line is usually weeks to months," the Air Force said in a statement.

And here's yet another launch delay, but it is a somewhat unusual one. Asia
Pacific Mobile Telecommunications (APMT) has decided to postpone the launch of
its satellite until the end of this year pending further examination on the new
technology used on it, Chinese newspapers reported according to news agency
Xinhua. It quoted Rachanee Yingchairuk, president of Asia Pacific Mobile
Telecommunications (Thailand) as saying the shareholders wanted to be sure the
new technology would be appropriate.
The satellite, built by Hughes Electronics under a US$640-million contract, was
reportedly scheduled for launch this month to meet rising regional demand for
mobile phones. The project includes investors from Thailand, Singapore,
Indonesia, China, the Philippines and Vietnam. 
Last July, Mitsubishi Corp and a unit of Japanese telecoms giant NTT said they
would jointly invest 1.2 billion (US$10.8 million) in the Singapore-based
APMT, established in 1995 by Chinese state-owned companies and Singapore
government-affiliated firms, originally planned to launch its first
communications satellite in the first quarter of 1998, according to reports
issued last February.
The delay may also be connected to China's involvement in other telephone
satellite ventures such as Odyssey (Sat-ND, 17.1.97) and Globalstar (Sat-ND,

Thailand has signed a contract with Canada to buy a small remote sensing
satellite worth US$116 million.
The contract was signed last Friday in the presence of Thai Prime Minister
Chavalit Yongchaiyudh and his Canadian counterpart Jean Chretien, who was on a
five-day visit to Thailand. As frequently reported in Sat-ND, Thailand tries to
cut back spending -- an effort that even had the government giving up plans for
a spy satellite of their own. While trying to negotiate with the USA on that
issue (Sat-ND, 17.1.97,) it seems that there's at least some money left for a
bit of remote-sensing.
However, the deal only became possible after the Canadian side agreed to
receive the payment for the satellite with a delay of ten months. Thailand will
pay the amount in October 1998, the first month of the country's fiscal year.

While Canada has once more managed to keep its international radio service up
and running for at least another year, other countries do not seem to be too
convinced of that short-wave broadcasting thing. A long-awaited report on the
future of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) recommends dumping the
overseas short-wave service Radio Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald
The Mansfield report, as it is called, will also recommend that the majority of
ABC drama and documentaries production be outsourced to commercial companies,
probably leading to big job losses at Australia's national broadcaster.
The report into the future of the ABC will be presented to the Federal
government next Friday. 

Entertainment company Endemol claims 44 million Guilders of damage from Sport7,
27 million of which are payments for the programmes Endemol has produced for
the ill-fated sports channel. The other 17 million are for programmes that
weren't produced yet, but would have been in the future. The two Endemol bosses
John de Mol and Joop van den Ende have made a remarkable step by demanding
compensation from Sport7. Both hold a stake in Sport7, bought in order to save
Endemol from the negative side-effects they expected Sport7 to inflict on their
own business. In other words: they are claiming money from themselves, but I'm
sure this will be more beneficiary for them than just leaving the case rest in

Perhaps Bart's somewhat more serious than everybody thought (Sat-ND, 16.1.97)
-- at least, he set up a Web site. Some idiot has by the way (after looking at
Bart's home page) emailed CNN, telling them that the CNN logo looks just like
the BNN logo. That in turn caused a lot of people in a newsgroup hinging on
Dutch media to get a bit angry. Just as if CNN didn't know that... Of course,
it's the whole idea behind BNN that it somewhat looks like CNN. Funnily enough,
that guy hasn't noticed the name collision instead. :)
http://www.bnn.nl/ [More or less all in Dutch, I presume. -- Ed.]

Radio Noordzee Nationaal (RNN) plans to set up its own television station ny
May 1 under the name TV Noordzee (how very original). Multimedia company 
Strengholt in Naarden will own the new station, just as they currently own (the
very popular) RNN. Nothing can be said of the programming at present, except
that the format will be the same as that of RNN, thus meaning a lot of Dutch
music. The station will be on air for a couple of hours initially, with plany
to expanding later on. Strengholt says it doesn't want to invest to much money
in their new venture because they wouldn't want to damage their 'flourishing
company'. TV Noordzee is willing to share a channel with another broadcaster
for the moment, although it does want to have a channel for its own later on.

FEEDBACK: Sat-ND, 17.1.97
> Nobody was hurt when the debris plummeted back to Earth from an altitude of
> almost 1,600 feet (1.4 kilometres.) 
"You're going to have to get yourself a more reliable system for converting
between Imperial measurements and metric; 1600 feet is only about 485m. To
convert feet to metres, multiply by 0,3048." - Brian {Hamilton Kelly}
[The 'system' you refer to is just poor little me, unfortunately. Would you
believe me if I told you that I was so shocked by that rocket explosion that I
confused feet with yards? Neither would I! Thanks for the due correction
anyway.-- Ed.]

FEEDBACK: Sat-ND, 17.1.97
Quite a few readers have told me that other teletext services use animation as
well, such as those of Pro Sieben and premiere. Thanks to Markus Hammer, Thomas
Straehle, and Robin Clark. 

Remember Nick Abbot on Virgin 1215? No? Shame on you; skip to the next item
immediately, please.
Should you think that Mr Abbot presented one of, if not the best of all radio
shows ever while working for Virgin 1215; should you furthermore think that he
definitely has deserved more than working on Virgin Megastore Radio, doing some
cover work for Talk Radio, and sporadically writing articles for Men's Health
magazine, this Web Site is the place to go:
Unless, of course,  you listen to Nick's very own advice to Internet users
which goes like this: "Shouldn't you all be making blind dates and printing off
some porno like they say you doin' the rabid tabloids? AND GET A LIFE." Well,
get a new show, Nick!

What have I done to deserve this?
I received the following email, obviously as a reaction to my posting this
so-called newsletter [ha, ha] to various newsgroups:
"Saw your posting thought you might be interested...
"If you would like to chat on the Internet with people from all over the world
please visit the site you have been hearing about...
"Also be sure to visit the Online guide to over 10,000 Adult related sites...
[No, no, no, I wouldn't like to chat. No, no, no, I don't care for your boring
adult sites. Yes, yes, yes, I inserted those XXX's. My eeaders wouldn't care
for that kind of rip-off, would they? But tell me, is Sat-ND really that
indecent to provoke a spam attack like this?! -- Ed.]

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

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