Sat-ND, 17.10.1997 Just a load of kapusta
The brokerage firm Bear Stearns raised its rating on APT Satellite Holdings Inc shares from "neutral" to "attractive." There's a reason for that, of course: APT had its third satellite successfully put into orbit by a Chinese Chang Zheng (Long March) 3B launcher today.
The rocket, built by China Great Wall Industry Corporation, launched Apstar-2R into its designated orbit at 3:13 a.m. Hong Kong Time from China's Xichang launch site.
Apstar-2R, built by Space Systems/Loral Inc upon its FS-1300 platform, is equipped with 28 C-band and 16 Ku-band transponders. Their TWTAs' [travelling wave tube amplifiers'] power is 60W and 110W, respectively. Upon completion of in-orbit testing, Apstar-2R is expected to begin commercial operation in mid-November. Half of its transponder capacity is already leased or committed.
With its high-EIRP [effective isotropic radiated power] Ku-band transponders, Apstar-2R can directly transmit television programs to densely populated areas covered by its Ku-band transponder beams. APT said in a statement that this would be "paving the way for the company's development of direct broadcast satellite services." The bird weighs in at 3,700 kg and has an expected operational life of 15 years.
Apstar-2R, together with APT's two operating satellites Apstar-1 and Apstar-1A, will provide transponder services for broadcasting and telecommunications sectors in more than 100 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia, in theory reaching three quarters of the world's population from its slot at 76.5° E.
It was the third launch of a Chang Zheng 3B, the most powerful rocket developed by China so far. Its maiden launch on February 15, 1996, failed because of what news agency Xinhua called "the changes of inertial reference in the the control system." In other words, the rocket didn't know where it was anymore. (Well, that has happened to other rockets as well.) The second launch on August 20 successfully put the Philippines' Agila 2 (also known as Mabuhay) into orbit.
It's interesting to note that even though Chinese officials don't give any exact launch dates anymore [I guess they know exactly why not,] there have indeed been long delays for both the Agila 2 (at least ten days) as well as the Apstar 2R launch (almost two months.)
According to Xinhua, Chang Zheng 3B will be used to carry three more telecommunications satellites in the near future. Exact dates, as usual, were not given.
The October 28 launch of the second Ariane 5 rocket comes closer, and right now it looks as though there will be no further delays.
The space agencies CNES and ESA said in a joint statement that additional checks of the launcher should have been completed by today. "The target launch date should be confirmed on Friday 17 October, following the assessment preceding filling operations for the storable-propellant stage and attitude control system." [However, I don't have any news on that right now.]
Anyway: "The qualification work on the flight program, in particular to bring it into line with the new flight control electronics, is proceeding normally; this means that the program's delivery date should be compatible with the target launch date of 28 October."
There's a third bidder for MCI Communications in the U.S. The country's third-largest local telephone company, GTE Corp, wants to acquire MCI for just US$28 billion (28,000,000,000.)
Now what's that? Everybody knows that WorldCom Inc. has offered US$30 billion. There's a slight difference: while WorldCom offers stock, GTE is talking of cold, hard cash. (Even Bill gates would probably have some problems to shell out such a sum in cash.)
The transaction, one of the largest mergers ever proposed, would create an enterprise with more than US$40 billion of combined revenues. It's especially interesting that GTE said in its statement that such a merger "would also bring an important relationship with British Telecommunications plc and BT's vision of global telecommunications, which GTE shares."
Originally, BT wanted to acquire MCI but the deal got rather sour over the past few weeks, an explanation for both WorldCom's and GTE's unsolicited offers.
Meanwhile, there even more speculation on telco mergers in the U.S. SkyNews.Com today suggested that "the most logical buyout has yet to come: A Hughes Electronics takeover of even more troubled AT&T."
Did you think that this so-called newsletter was a flawless, accurate, infallible journalistic operation? In that case I suggest you'd think again and unsubscribe as soon as possible.
First, there's some more detailed news regarding Motorola's launching needs between 2000 and 2010 (Sat-ND, 15.10.97.) It seems that the company plans to launch just :-) 300 to 400 satellites within that time frame, not 500. However, that number still indicates that there are new systems planned. Motorola's known projects Celestri and M-Star make up for some 100 birds, and the 66-satellite system Iridium will by no means 200 replacement satellites.
Commenting upon another story in the last Sat-ND issue, Martyn Williams wrote in to tell me that Microsoft, Intel and Compaq have by no means become members of the Japanese Posts and Telecommunications Ministry's study group to set up a standard for Japanese digital satellite broadcasting.
Working as a professional journalist in Japan, he should know: "In fact, they were only asked to present opinions and information to the panel. They are not members of the panel." Thanks Martyn, and all you Billy bashers out there please note it was just a false alarm. Put your baseball bats back to the rack.
Should you want to read some professional stuff instead of this crappy and udderly irrelevant [Moo!] garbage called Sat-ND, just subscribe to the official news feed by TELE-satellite International which happens to have Martyn as its author. Point your browser at http://www.TELE-satellite.com/ and find out how to.
British Sky Broadcasting Plc chief executive Sam Chisholm, stepping down at the end of the year for health reasons, will continue to work for the company as a consultant for about 10 days each month.
David Chance, Chisholm's deputy, will also work an average of 10 days per month as a consultant next year. Having suffered health problems, Chance is leaving his post at the end of the year, too.
As I indicated earlier, this really raises some concern whether pay-TV might damage anybody's health. But does it matter? Mr Chisholm, for instance, earned £6.8 million in the last financial year obviously, all paid for by BSkyB subscribers. £1.29 million came from a separate senior management bonus he will remain eligible for under the terms of his two-year consultancy agreement with BSkyB.
The new BSkyB boss will be Mark Booth who is moving over from Rupert Murdoch's Japanese JSkyB venture. He will also be in charge of the planned launch of digital satellite broadcasting in the UK early next year.
On October 14, I briefly mentioned that a satellite called Foton was launched by the Russian Missile Strategic Forces. What does it do, might you ask?
I'm not sure, but there are some very strange experiments aboard, I tell ya. Maybe because they're European? The European Space Agency ESA said in a statement that Foton is carrying some 80 kg of ESA payload: two ESA research facilities plus 12 scientific experiments. The French space agency (CNES) and the German space agency (DARA) also have payload on the spacecraft.
Some of the experiments, ESA said, were "looking into the effects of weightlessness on bacteria, the biological clocks of beetles and the ageing of fruitflies."
Funny photos of all the experiments aboard Foton, which by the way is a reusable vehicle, which is now on its eleventh mission, can be viewed at the ESA Web Site which URL is
http://www.esa.int/ [new?! I did not know that one]
The Foton capsule is scheduled to re-enter the atmosphere on October 24 and land near Orenburg, Russia. The capsule, the experiments, the bacteria, the beetles and fruitflies will be recovered within 24 hours of the landing. The ESA experiments will be immediately flown back to ESTEC in The Netherlands and turned over to their scientific investigators for analysis.
Donald Koeleman wrote in asking me whether I could mention his new Web site, dubbed "Donald's Big Dish Corner."
I could. Well, should I? Donald claims its the "one stop shop for worldwide satellite industry news," so why on Earth haven't I set up something like that? And are you interested in something like that anyway? You most definitely are! So, have a look at it yourself because I didn't:
You might also like to know what you should do "to win over any woman you want in less than an hour."
I couldn't care less but some spammer today told me of some amazing "subliminal" tapes that you just have to "play ... in the presence of any female who has a normal sexual appetite" and then "look out! She won't know what came over her! Its completely undetectable!" Except for that tape recorder you have to put in front of her, ha ha... They didn't say whether the those tapes works with guys, too. Have a look at it yourself because I didn't:
09.97 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De.
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