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Sat-ND, 21.3.97




Sat-ND 97-03-21 - Satellite and Media News

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WHAT A WAY TO GO
Zhang Tong, president of China Great Wall Industrial Corp., drowned
last weekend when visiting the European Space Centre in French
Guiana, reported China Daily. During a sightseeing trip to the
Salvation Islands, Zhang was swept away by a huge wave while having
his picture taken. He was rescued from the sea but reanimation
efforts failed. 
Great Wall manufactures the Long March rockets China uses to (try to)
launch satellites. In recent months, rumours had emerged about a
co-operation of the European launch provider Arianespace and Great
Wall.


SS/L REPEAT: CHINASAT 8
Once again when it comes to Space Systems/Loral (SS/L,) the following
isn't exactly news (cf. yesterday's Sat-ND.) Almost exactly a month
ago, it was announced that China Telecommunications Broadcast
Satellite Corp. will purchase a telecommunications satellite worth
US$100 million from SS/L. Well, today it actually did by signing the
contract. The following is mainly a repeat from Sat-ND, 22.1.97:
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. It replaces
a telecommunications satellite lost through a launch failure in 1996.
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.
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.


DEUTSCHE TELEKOM ABANDONS DFS SYSTEM
The board of Germany's still state-controlled telecommunications
giant Deutsche Telekom AG (DTAG) today decided to abandon its own DFS
satellite system. The two satellites which are still operational will
not be replaced. DTAG is a member of two international satellite
organisations (Eutelsat and Intersputnik) as well as a shareholder in
Luxembourg's commercial satellite operator Société Européenne des
Satellites (SES.)
According to an SES press release, ASTRA 2B (planned at 28.2E) will
partly serve as a replacement for DFS2 at 28.5E. This agreement is
of a somewhat delicate nature as Eutelsat recently claimed it had
older rights for an orbital slot nearby. Not only that; Eutelsat's
HOT BIRD 2 actually was positioned there for a short period of time
in last December and delivered what Eutelsat described as "regular
transmissions."
DTAG will use a 250 MHz portion (12.50 - 12.75 GHz) of ASTRA 2B's
bandwidth within what SES called "the framework of a co-ordinated use
of the orbital arc between 28.2 East and 28.5 East." I've no idea
whether this actually means anything, especially as SES says it will
use 11.70 - 12.50 GHz for rolling out "digital DTH-services in
important European markets, notably the UK and Ireland." (BSkyB
customers will be more than happy to climb on their roofs to re-align
their dishes in order to receive Mr Murdoch's digital TV, won't
they?) Correct me if I'm wrong, but the range of 10.7  11.7 GHz
still seems to be unaccounted for.
(Muchas gracias to Holger Zeissler who forwarded the SES press
release to me.)



FEEDBACK: Sat-ND, 20.3.97
KEEP YOUR ORBIT TIDY
What is needed is the Star wars project to set up again with lasers
etc. programmed to hit any object smaller than e.g. 20cm and burn it
up. Once operational this should make for some spectacular sky
fireworks for a few weeks whilst it hits the thousands of small bit
up there. :-)
(Graham Sorensen)
[Probably not just for a few weeks. So Ronnie Reagan was right in a
way? Two remarks: 1  Astronomers complain that over populated areas
the night sky is already so brightly lit that children nowadays don't
even know what the Milky Way is. They just can't see it anymore. 2 
Even though I wasn't actively looking for it, I spotted Hale-Bopp
tonight. It's an incredible view, and some may even take this as a
kind of religious experience. As far as I'm concerned, I know that I
won't forget this view 'til the day I die. Anyway: Get outside, have
a look at it, and feel _very_ small and insignificant.  Ed.]



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