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Sat-ND, 22.1.97




Sat-ND 97-01-22 - Satellite and Media News

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CHINA ORDERS SATELLITE FROM SS/L
Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) will build CHINASAT 8 for China Telecommunications
Broadcast Satellite Corporation (Chinasat.) The high-powered communications
satellite that will provide video, data and digital voice service throughout
China. 
CHINASAT 8, the most powerful satellite yet purchased by China, will have a
total on-board satellite power of 11,000 watts. The spacecraft will have the
ability to operate 16 Ku-band channels at 125 watts per channel, and 36 C-band
channels at 37 watts per channel. 
CHINASAT 8 will be based upon the high-powered version of Space Systems/Loral's
FS-1300 standard three-axis spacecraft and will have a mission life of 15
years. This project brings the total number of satellites in this family of
spacecraft that have been built or ordered to 38, including 18 currently in
production, SS/L said in a statement.
The contract is expected to be finalised over the next several weeks. Based in
Beijing, China, CHINASAT is a division of the Ministry of Posts and
Telecommunications (MPT) of the People's Republic of China. So far, there's
only one CHINASAT know in a geostationary orbit, and that's the former U.S.
satellite SPACENET 1 at 115.5E. Launched almost 13 years ago, it now serves as
CHINASAT 5 in a modestly inclined orbit.
Under the contract, the new satellite will be delivered into orbit in late
1998. Service is expected to begin in 1999.


JAPAN ORDERS SATELLITE FROM HUGHES
Japan Satellite Systems Inc. (JSAT) of Tokyo will expand its constellation of
communications satellites by ordering a sixth spacecraft from Hughes Space and
Communications International Inc. (HSCI.)
The satellite, an HS 601 body-stabilized model called JCSAT 6, is scheduled for
delivery in May 1998. JSAT is contracting separately for the launch vehicle. 
JCSAT 6 will carry two octagonal communications antennas and two wings with
four solar panels each that together provide more than 5,000 watts of power.
The payload consists of 32 active Ku-band transponders with 27 MHz bandwidth,
each with 70 watts provided by a travelling-wave tube amplifier (TWTA). 
Hughes also built Japan's first commercial communications satellites, JCSAT 1
(150E) and JCSAT 2 (154E.) These are HS 393 model spin-stabilized spacecraft
and were launched in 1989. JCSAT 3 (128E,) an HS 601 model, was launched Aug.
28, 1995. JCSAT 4, also an HS 601 model, will be launched in February 1997.
JCSAT 5 could be launched in November 1997. 
JCSAT 6 is the latest in the popular HS 601 satellite line, HSCI said. With
more than 60 ordered by customers around the world, it is the most-purchased
commercial communications satellite model. Hughes is the leading manufacturer
of commercial communications satellites, having built 40 percent of those in
operation today. 


NEW PLANS FOR AUSTRALIAN SATELLITE LAUNCH SITE
Is it the same project or a new one? Last June, Sat-ND reported about plans for
a satellite launch site near Darwin in Northern Australia, one of the few
regions on earth especially suited to be used to that purpose.
Australian firm Space Transportation Systems Ltd., half owned by Thai Satellite
Communications, planned to use the Russian Proton rocket for satellite
launches. The first launch was slated for 2000, but last October the project
ran into some difficulties. An environmental and impact study showed that the
optimal launching trajectory would lead the rockets over Aborigines' hunting
grounds and sacred sites. Aboriginal leaders reportedly rejected the plan.
Now, reportedly, a group of Australian, American and Korean business people
plan to build a billion-dollar space base on Cape York. Sorry, I have no idea
where exactly that is except for the fact that the site is planned at Temple
Bay, 140 kilometres east of Weipa. Somewhere in Australia, in any case. The
project's clients would include the Korean government, Hyundai Aerospace, Korea
Mobile Communications and Iridium, a company linked to communications giant
Motorola.
According to the Brisbane Courier-Mail, Sydney-based International Resource
Corporation (IRC) said it had contracted two Russian organisations to design
commercial launch facilities for Soyuz rockets. Correct me if I am wrong,
please, but so far I haven't heard of Soyuz rockets being used for commercial
satellite launches.
Anyway, I am pretty sure that some details of a so-called background paper by
IRC are pure rubbish: "The market for communications spacecraft in the
Asia-Pacific region until 2005 will be nearly double the combined US-European
commercial satellite market."
Whether that may be true or not, there is not the slightest advantage in
launching satellites from a site close to its final target area. In fact, they
may be launched from anywhere, as long as the site is remotely close to the
equator. (The closer it is, the more payload can be carried.) 
Besides, all the satellites that will supply Asia with almost anything means of
communication now or in future will to a great extent be manufactured in the
USA. Transporting them to different regions of the world may just add up to the
cost. 


SCHOOL TV UNDER ATTACK
It may sound a bit strange, but high school students in the USA are treated
with a daily dose of television -- including commercials (Sat-ND,12.10.96.) The
service, dubbed Channel One, may be a good idea: teenagers usually don't read
newspapers and try to avoid the regular television news. So, they get their own
news (plus commercials, of course) in the classroom instead. 12,000 schools
nation-wide have subscribed to the cable service.
A study by the watchdog group Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) now
raises some doubts whether the twelve-minute broadcasts actually conform with
professional news standards. 
The study's author, Sociologist William Hoynes, doubts whether Channel One
"provides educational or civic benefits to either students or educators." After
sports, weather and disasters, only one-fifth of the program's newscast was
devoted to "recent political, economic, social and cultural stories." Besides,
they lack context, substance and diversity." Of the black news sources used, 42
percent were athletes and 13 percent prisoners.


UK GOVERNMENT PROTECTS NATURAL BEAUTY
Her Majesty's government has announced to raise the maximum size for satellite
dishes in southern and eastern England from 70 to 90 cm. Environment Minister
of State Robert Jones stated that "The main change is to bring the permitted
size of satellite television dishes in the south and east of the country into
line with the rest of the country." A 90 cm dish will, in effect, provide its
owner with the opportunity to receive almost all channels on EUTELSAT
satellites (and quite a few satellites more.)
The new regulation will not apply to antennas on the front of houses and on
chimneys in conservation areas and areas of "outstanding natural beauty."
However, 90 cm is all you can get, Last year, a consultation paper proposed an
increase in the allowed dish size on buildings higher than 15 m from 90 to 130
cm. The Environment Department, however, said that it would not allow
additional antennas of this type. It still remains unclear how a large
satellite dish could affect any area where there's already a 15-m building
present. 


DF1 STOPPED -- BUT NOT REALLY
German pay-TV channel has succeeded in stopping Leo Kirch's digital TV service
DF1. Just a bit, that is. A district court in Hamburg ordered Kirch to stop
advertising and offering DF1 outside the federal state of Bavaria. The judges
ordered an injunction following premiere's complaint that Kirch's DF1 license
was issued in Bavaria and did not entitle him to offer him digital pay-TV in
all of Germany. Kirch group officials immediately said they would appeal the
judgement.
However, there are little consequences, if any. Kirch's set-top box may still
be sold; all existing DF1 subscriptions, still not much more than 20,000,
remain valid. DF1 will also continue to broadcast via the ASTRA satellite
system. The Bavarian media authority BLM today issued an administrative act
that allows DF1 unlimited distribution via satellite. 



RUPERTWATCH -- by Dr Sarmaz
BSKY ADDS MTV UK, M2
MTV Europe has announced the introduction of a dedicated British channel,
probably called MTV in the U.K., by next autumn. Besides, MTV will also make
its more-music channel M2, launched in the USA last August, available to
European viewers. Really? Nah.
M2, and most certainly MTV UK, will be distributed on Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB.
At least M2 might appear in a few of those digital services all over Europe,
just to make potential subscribers think those bouquets offer something new
which, generally speaking, couldn't be farther from the truth anyway.



NEVADA SENATOR DECLARES SPAM-FREE ZONE
Gambling seems to be allowed in the U.S. federal state of Nevada. Spam may soon
be forbidden. Spam, in this context, means unsolicited email and maybe even
commercial messages in Usenet newsgroups.
Nevada state senator William Raggio introduced a bill that would make it a
crime to send unwanted email in an effort to sell goods and services via the
Internet. Email, according to the proposed bill, is as "an electronic message
... transmitted between two or more computers or electronic terminals,
[including] an electronic message that is transmitted through a local, regional
or global network of computers." 
Good. Let's hope Mr Raggio will succeed. However, there are laws that may make
unsolicited email illegal anyway. A German computer magazine published the
following text which was contributed by a reader. When sent to U.S.-based
spammers, it reportedly works wonders:
"By US Code Title 47, Sec.227(a)(2)(B), a computer/modem/printer meets the
definition of a telephone fax machine.
"By Sec.227(b)(1)(C), it is unlawful to send any unsolicited advertisement to
such equipment.
"By Sec.227(b)(3)(C), a violation of the aforementioned section is punishable
by action to recover actual monetary loss, or $500, whichever is greater, for
each violation."


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

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