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Next Chang Zheng launch early December
Japan's H-IIA powered by Thiokol
LAW & ORDER
Autrey, Loral pay for SatMex
Radar attack on Antarctica
Radio Netherlands' Wereldomroep TV moves
WORDS OF WISDOM
Give TV no chance
WACKY PRESS RELEASES
See satellite images of Gulf War destruction
Officials of state-owned China Aerospace Corp still won't give any exact launch dates for Chang Zheng (Long March) rockets, but their announcements seem to get a bit more precise following their latest successes.
Today, they said the launch of two Iridium satellites aboard a Long March 2-III rocket would take place in early December. The newly developed rocket successfully launched two Iridium dummy satellites last September.
Chinese news agency Xinhua also said Motorola, the company leading the Iridium consortium, would use Chinese, Russian and U.S. rockets to launch 22 satellites each. The system consists of 66 satellites (not including in-orbit spares.)
The U.S. government has granted Thiokol Corp. an export license to sell solid-fuel rocket boosters to Japan.
The strap-on boosters will be used for Japan's H-IIA satellite launch vehicle, currently under development by Mitsubishi for the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA.) The boosters will utilise Thiokol's Castor IVA-XL solid rocket motor, currently used on Lockheed Martin's Atlas launch vehicle.
Production will start in September 1998, with the first boosters delivered in 2000. Financial details of the contract were not released. Thiokol already has a State Department license to export technology for the SRB-A rocket motor case, another part of the H-IIA program produced by Nissan.
Delegations from Europe and the U.S. at the World Radio Communication (WRC) conference in Genenva have settled on a compromise that will allow satellite systems such as Teledesic, Celestri and SkyBridge to co-exist.
The compromise calls for provisional power limits on non-geostationary satellites that want to share spectrum in Ku-, Ka- and the broadcast satellite service (BSS) bands with existing and future geostationary satellites. The so-called power flux density (PFD) levels, originally rejected by the U.S. delegation, will be reviewed at the next conference in 1999.
On the other hand, Teledesic will not only keep a 400-MHz share of the electromagnetic spectrum with primary status; it would even be extended to 500 MHz (up- and downlink respectively.)
Reportedly, European and U.S. delegates now have to convince the rest of the world. Several delegations expressed reservations, such as Luxembourg. Satellite operator Societé Européene des Satellites (SES,) which holds the Grand Duchy's satellite license, has plans to launch a geostationary Ka-band satellite next year and was concerned about retroactive limits. The International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation (Intelsat) said the limits would not fully protect their planned 5-m Ka-band reception dishes from non-geostationary satellites buzzing along. Other countries such as Asutralia and Japan reportedly support the compromise.
There's another interesting story from the WRC. If you ever read the allocations of satellites slots with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU,) you'll see lots of satellite systems that don't exist yet. And many of them will never hit space.
Everybody knows that many countries, even the U.S., have reserved more slots than than they'll ever need. Apart from that, there are slot-mongers such as Tonga which holds quite a few orbital positions but will most likely never ever operate a satellite at all.
A proposal to require a fee or a deposit from applicants will probably not be adopted interestingly, the U.S. have objected the proposal which was backed by Australia, Europe and Japan. The time allowed to put some real satellite into an allocated slot was reduced from nine to seven years; however, this won't change much. As Tonga has demonstrated, it's possible to rent a decrepit satellite at any time and have it positioned at the slot in question.
Mexico's Telefonica Autrey SA and Loral Space and Communications Ltd have paid the first third of the sum that bought them Mexico's satellite system SatMex.
The Mexican government received a check for about US$206.4, the Communication and Transport Ministry said late Monday. The remaining portion of the US$688-million bid is due by December, 17.
Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released the first mosaic generated from a compilation of images from the Antarctic Mapping Mission (AMM) carried out by Radarsat, Canada's first Earth observation satellite.
The AMM began on September 9, 1997, with a 180 degree rotation of Radarsat to allow the satellite to begin taking radar images of the entire Antarctica, an uncharted region the size of Canada and Alaska combined that had never been fully mapped by high resolution radar remote sensing technology.
Radarsat has returned to routine operations after having successfully completed the AMM. The Radarsat Mission Control Office has indicated that the satellite has been programmed to return to its original right-looking orientation and is operating at full capacity.
Launched in November 1995, Radarsat is owned and operated by CSA in Saint-Hubert, Quebec. Canada's remote sensing expertise is housed in the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, of Natural Resources Canada, with Radarsat imagery marketed and distributed by Radarsat International, a Canadian company located in Richmond, British Columbia. The satellite was designed and built in Canada by a team of 30 companies from across the country, led by prime contractor Spar Aerospace.
The picture mosaic released today is available at ftp://iceberg.mps.ohio-state.edu/pub/mosaic.tif
Further images from the Antarctic Mapping Mission are available on the CSA Web Site at http://Radarsat.space.gc.ca/
The start of pay-TV test transmissions in the UK has meant that transponder 58 on the Astra satellite is no longer available for analogue distribution of Radio Netherlands' Wereldomroep television.
Radio Netherlands' Jonathan Marks however told Sat-ND that starting tomorrow there will be an alternative for viewers in Europe. Between 1800 and 2300 UTC, Radio Netherlands' "Wereldomroep TV" will be available on Eutelsat Hot Bird 1, 13 degrees East at 11.283 GHz, vertical polarisation. Analogue broadcasts have been extended from three to five hours per day in response to viewers' requests.
The transponder on Eutelsat has a super-widebeam coverage. Radio Netherlands expects that reception in South-Eastern Europe (including Greece) will now considerably improve. Feedback from South-Eastern Europe would be especially welcome directed to email@example.com. Please give details of the size of the satellite dish you are using.
In the next few days, Radio Netherlands radio channels will also be available on that transponder as separate mono subcarriers. Exact frequencies will be announced shortly. The analogue radio subcarrier of Radio Netherlands on Astra transponder 58 at 7.56 MHz will remain in use until the end of 1997.
Radio Netherlands "Wereldomroep TV" as well as radio channels remain on Astra in digital mode on transponder 102, vertical.
Radio Netherlands: http://www.rnw.rl/
"I've got five children. And we have no shortage of live entertainment in our house."
Harold Furchtgott-Roth, a new commissioner at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, explaining why he has no TV set in his household.
"That's great. That's tremendous... The best regulation is to do what millions of Americans are doing: turning off the TV altogether."
Henry Labalme, executive director of TV Free America, a non-profit group that encourages less TV watching.
You REALLY should have a look at their Web site: http://www.essential.org/tvfa/
A NASA press release today let it be known that the Gulf War has brought catastrophic damage to Iraq. Of course, that's exactly what the U.S. tried to hide from the rest of the world six years ago.
Can you remember TV showed you a single human dying during the so-called Operation Desert War? Of course not (and neither do the NASA pictures.) Journalists who had access to U.S. military video footage said that "Operation" would have been over immediately once that material would have been shown to the public.
Back to the NASA statement. "As President Clinton and Saddam Hussein once again struggle to avoid a possible Middle East showdown, NASA's Observatorium has online several Landsat satellite images showing the environmental [just environmental?] destruction that occurred during the Persian Gulf War...
"[W]ith the U.S. and Iraq once again perilously close to armed conflict, the ... satellite photos serve to remind us of the catastrophic damage war brings."
I don't quite get it: are Bill and Tony waging a war against President Hussein all on their own? In what way is NASA involved? Questions!
Copyright 1997 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.
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