Sat-ND, 27.11.1997 Cold Turkey
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Dutch company to lead U.S. Army through the desert
Tonight (UTC,) Japan's National Space Development Agency (NASDA) will launch its sixth H2 rocket from Tanegashima Space Centre in Kagoshima Prefecture too late for this issue of Sat-ND.
The H2 launcher carries the ETS-7 rendezvous-docking test system and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission spacecraft developed by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA.)
TRMM Web site: http://trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/
The satellite business can be pretty strange. Two satellites built by Hughes Space and Communications Co. are scheduled for launch next Tuesday, December 2 nearly a half-hour apart but from sites on opposite sides of the Earth.
The spacecraft are JCSat-5 for Japan Satellite Systems Inc of Tokyo, and Astra 1G for Sociéte Européenne des Satellites (SES) of Luxembourg. Both are communications satellites, and both are versions of Hughes' body-stabilised HS 601 model.
The JCSat launch is planned between 2236 and 2301 UTC aboard an Ariane 44P rocket in Kourou, French Guiana (there is a second launch window from 0042-0129 GMT, December 3.)
Astra 1G is scheduled for launch between 2310 and 2320 UTC on a Proton rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.
JCSat-5 is the fifth of six satellites to be built by Hughes for JSAT. It will allow JSAT to meet increased customer demand for multimedia, carrying voice, data and television signals between Japan and the Asia-Pacific region and Hawaii. The satellite has 32 active Ku-band transponders, and it will have more than 5 kilowatts of power at beginning of life.
Astra 1G is the fifth of seven satellites ordered by SES from Hughes. It is an HS 601HP (High Power) version, carrying a total of 32 transponders which will all be active during the satellite's first five years, 28 thereafter.
The satellite features state-of-the-art gallium-arsenide solar cells, which enable Astra 1G to provide 7 kilowatts of spacecraft power. These cells, built for Hughes by Spectrolab Inc., are nearly one-and-a-half times more efficient than using traditional silicon solar cells.
Hughes Space and Communciations: http://www.hughespace.com/
This URL will tell you nothing about the Astra satellites: http://www.astra.com/ (Please don't write in to tell me the correct URL, I know it. If you know it too, simply forget it ;-)
Actually, there will be quite a lot of satellite launches in December.
On December 5, a special version of China's Chang Zheng (Long March) 2 will put two Iridium satellites into orbit. Just two days later, a Chang Zheng 3B will be launched from Xichuan with Chinastar-1 on board.
Russian launch activities in December include the EarlyBird commercial remote sensing spacecraft to be launched by a Start-1 from Svobodny, Russia; and Asiasat-3 comsat from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, aboard a Proton rocket. Asiasat-3 was built for Asia Telecommunications Satellite Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong. (Date and time of the launches so far are not exactly known.)
On December 8 (2337-0022 GMT), Galaxy VIII-i is scheduled to launch on an Atlas IIAS rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla. It was built for PanAmSat Corp., and will be used by Galaxy Latin America for DirecTV services in Latin America. And on December 23, an Ariane 44L will place Intelsat 804 into orbit on Arianespace flight 104 as always launched from Kourou, French Guiana.
Smaller satellites to be launched in December: eight satellites aboard Orbital Sciences' Pegasus XL [still sounds like a condom brand to me]; four more satellites aboard Orbital Sciences' Taurus; and finally five Iridiums aboard a Boeing Delta 2.
Related Links (just a few that aren't too obvious)
Chinastar Info: http://msl.jpl.nasa.gov/QuickLooks/chinastarQL.html
International Launch Services: http://www.lmco.com/ILS/
It seems as though India has found a market that will drive forward its ambitious space programme: remote sensing.
According to D. P. Rao, director of India's National Remote Sensing Agency, India could have the a large number of remote sensing satellites with wider range and better resolution by the turn of the century. As reported earlier, imaging provided by India's IRS satellite is internationally marketed by EOSAT (Sat-ND, 30.9.97.)
Next year, India will launch another of those eyes in the sky aboard its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C2.) The first launchof the PSLV vehicle last September was only partially successful, leaving IRS-1D in a lower orbit as wanted.
The next launch, for which no exact date was given, will carry IRS-P4 and a South-Korean remote sensing satellite. While IRS-P4 may be similar to the existing IRS satellites (with a maximum resolution of 5.8 meters,) a planned follow-up by the name of IRS-P5 will offer 2.5 metres in resolution.
Canadian Industry Minister John Manley approved in principle Telesat Canada's application to replace its Anik E satellites (107.3°W and 111.1°W) with two Anik F satellites.
The new satellites would ensure the continuity of services to Telesat customers in all regions of Canada, including the north, the minister's office said. Final approval for the replacements would be given once the company met the requirements of the approval in principle.
Ottawa-based Telesat is owned by Alouette Communications Ltd, which is 57 percent owned by BCE Inc. The balance is held by various telecommunications companies and Spar Aerospace Ltd.
The government said it plans to seek public comment early next year on how it might best implement a competitive selection process for allocating two other orbital positions. The slots will be made available when Canada's market for fixed satellite services will be opened after March 1, 2000.
The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has allocated 50 licenses for pay television broadcasting services to Selectra Pty. Ltd., a wholly owned unit of the Austar Group.
Selectra intends to deliver the services via satellite throughout Australia, covering a range of programs including golf and other sports, news, general entertainment and "infotainment," the ABA said in a statement.
A spokeswoman for Austar had quite a different story to tell. She pointed out that there are "no definite plans to offer any particular services up at this time." Austar's programming intentions, as outlined by the ABA, are "just indicative," she said.
The licenses for which the company paid no less than A$1,600 provide "a further degree of independence in relation to our business because it means that we now have the independent licenses to start broadcasting by satellite," she added. "We will use these licenses... when and how and in relation to what isn't definite." [Maybe I should buy some licenses in order to gain some independence too. A$32 per channel sounds quite affordable to me.]
Austar is currently a franchisee of Australis Media Ltd., an Australian pay television concern that is on the brink of insolvency. [Please consult your personal Sat-ND collection for details. Over the past two years, I have mentioned the company at least 20 times.]
Rules concerning the allocation of pay-TV licenses became less restrictive last July, with the ABA allowed to allocate licenses to satellite-based services. In September, the ABA granted Continental Century Pay TV Pty Ltd. a broadcasting licence for a lifestyle programming channel delivered by digital satellite broadcasting (DBS.)
The United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command for the first time is testing a commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) car navigation system in U.S. Army Tactical vehicles.
As a part of its Army Space Exploration Program, the Space and Missile Defense Battle Lab will use the multiple sensors and map technology of Philips Car Systems' "Carin" unit to provide continuous, accurate navigation through extended periods of GPS outages.
While the Army's Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites provide troop location information with pinpoint accuracy [not to civilians of course,] electronic interference and jamming tactics can cause extended periods of signal interruption. [Too bad!] The implications are serious, especially for troops located in the middle of a desert. [What on Earth are they doing there?]
Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is among the world's largest suppliers of electronic systems and products to the automotive industry. Its global automotive capabilities include vehicle navigation, car audio systems and components, electronic and mechanical systems and components, semiconductors, lamps, road lighting and traffic control, and it thinks it is also a world leader in lighting, colour television sets, electric shavers and recorded music. I'm pretty sure that the U.S. army could make use of all of that in the middle of a desert even though it's not where it belongs.
No way! But if you're interested, I'll compile a list of sites that deal with all those blatant lies disseminated during the so-called "Operation Desert Storm." Would be especially interesting regarding the current situation.
Copyright 1997 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.
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