Oh well, there's so much bandwidth to be wasted, so much disk storage to be occupied. That's why Sat-ND now has a dedicated Web Site of its own. There's not much yet, but there's much more to come. This also implies some changes to the way this so-called newsletter is distributed. To get an impression of what's ahead, have a look at http://sat-nd.com/announcement.html. If you don't have access to the Web, send a blank email to email@example.com. Any comments or, even better, any ideas? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!
The other satellites are Australia's IRIS-1, Chile's FaSAT-Bravo, Germany's SAFIR-2, Israel's TechSAT-2 (Sat-ND, 16.06.1998) and Thailand's TMSAT. The launch had been delayed because of failures in the rocket and then in the automatic system, the Russian Space Agency said.
The Zenit is not what one might call too reliable: seven of its 28 flights since 1985 were failures--a success rate of just 75 percent. That's why some companies, for instance SeaLaunch and Globalstar, were probably closely watching this launch. Globalstar will use three Zenit 2 rockets for launching the major part of its satellite constellation, and SeaLaunch is going to use a modified three-stage version of the rocket for flights from its ocean-going platform.
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The European Space Agency (ESA) said in a statement that this telecommunications payload would provide a low-cost, world-wide electronic mail (e-mail) commercial service dubbed IRIS, for Intercontinental Retrieval of Information via Satellite.
Resurs-O, on an inclined polar orbit at 850 km altitude, will "view" any point on the Earth's surface at least twice a day and will collect and distribute e-mail (like a postman with conventional mail). Remote subscribers will need a relatively inexpensive dedicated small satellite modem (half the size of a portable PC). Automatic data collection will also be possible.
The hub station, located in Spitsbergen, Norway, will load and retrieve messages from the satellite once per orbit and interface with public data networks to connect users via a service centre in Brussels, Belgium.
Under an ESA ceiling-price turnkey-contract, the prime contractor SAIT Systems of Brussels, Belgium, undertook not only to develop, but also to launch and commercially operate LLMS/IRIS for an initial period of three years.
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GeoLITE is an advanced technology demonstration satellite with a laser communications experiment and an operational UHF communications mission. The GeoLITE programme also employs streamlined acquisition and design-to-cost methodologies to complete the satellite development, integration and launch in early 2001.
The GeoLITE satellite will weigh approximately 2 tonnes and be launched on a Boeing Delta II launch vehicle. The satellite is based on a modular bus design with multi-mission capabilities that has been used for satellites such as the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer-Earth Probe, the Earth Observing System Common Spacecraft, and the Republic of China's (Taiwan's) ROCSAT-1 spacecraft.
TRW said that GeoLITE extended its ongoing efforts in satellite communications systems. The company is building six Low Data Rate payloads for the Department of Defense's Milstar communications satellites and is developing a prototype of the key digital processing system for the next generation satellite communications system under the Advanced Extremely High Frequency Engineering Model program.
In related news, Boeing said it has been awarded a contract to launch GeoLITE aboard a Delta II rocket. The Air Force contracted the launch under a progressive procurement process, which is laying the groundwork for a more commercialised launch procurement system for the U.S. government.
It will be the first NRO payload to be launched aboard a Delta rocket. NRO satellites are usually too heavy to be put into orbit by a Delta-II which according to Boeing is "a medium capacity expendable launch vehicle derived from the Delta family of rockets built and launched since 1960."
It's also probably the first launch of an NRO satellite that was announced years ahead. Until recently they were neither announced nor confirmed, and some years ago even the existence of the NRO was a secret. Of course, GeoLITE is just an experimental satellite but I guess even those haven't been announced in the past.
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The problems started July 7 when a data outage occurred on the GOES-9 satellite from approximately 2000-2200 UTC. Following that, it was noted that the active momentum wheel aboard GOES-9 became dangerously hot. This seems to be the result of a high current drawn by the wheel. Momentum wheels are used to achieve Earth lock, i.e. to tell the satellite where the Earth is. Under normal circumstances, one is enough to secure Earth lock, but there is at least one redundant wheel aboard.
Meanwhile, the second momentum wheel was activated in an attempt to prolong GOES-9's ability to provide Earth imagery. However, latest news is that currents and temperatures and both momentum wheels, but especially momentum wheel 1 remain dangerously high, suggesting a dim future for GOES-9.
GOES-10, which so far has been parked at 105 degrees West, should have returned to normal mode at time of writing. It will remain at its current position pending consultation with the U.S. National Weather Service on its final position.
However, even GOES-10 has already experienced some problems. Launched on April 25, 1997, it was detected in May 1997 that the satellite's solar arrays got stuck for unknown reasons, in theory making it impossible to point towards the sun. However, the solar arrays still can be moved backwards, so the simple solution was to turn the spacecraft upside-down (Sat-ND, 18.02.1998.)
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Internet congestion is of course not caused by low-bandwidth connections into homes. There are quite a few companies all over the world who promise the user high-speed access via cable, satellite, ASDL... you name it. It's just make-believe: It will work fine and fast as long as you access those providers' services, maybe including proxies which store Internet content. But that's not the real Internet, especially as real-time applications such as telephony, radio and even TV are rapidly gaining ground. Surely proxies make no sense in those cases. In order to make the Internet faster, all connections including backbones will have to be upgraded.
However, removing some regulatory barriers that discourage U.S. regional Bell telephone companies from building high-speed networks inside their local phone regions would be a blow to other providers, including the so-called "Internet in the sky," Teledesic.
In a speech, Kennard earlier advocated freeing the Bells and other local phone companies from having to sell their high-speed services to rivals at a discount. In return, local companies would have to lease crucial pieces of their networks so other companies could provide competing high-speed data services.
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Poor Silvio told an agricultural conference in Rome hat his experience in the law courts "could stop a lot of people from sleeping ... Certainly in my case it has."
There's no real reason for that: last December, he left court as a free man as the judges gave him an immediate remission of his 16-months prison term. This has not been the case at the latest trial, but Berlusconi can't be imprisoned until all legal appeals have been decided upon. According to observers, that might take a decade or so.
Berlusconi is still being investigated over a series of suspect financial moves involving political parties, his AC Milan football [soccer] club, land purchases, corruption of judges, and tax fraud in Spain. Quite a few reasons for more sleepless nights, but probably not send him to jail.
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The Auction Channel, the first interactive niche channel covering live auctions, will be launched next September and initially broadcast via the cable and satellite channel Living.
The first transmission will be that of a charity rock and pop memorabilia sale in London. It is designed to test public response to The Auction Channel before its full launch early next year.
The hour-long broadcast of the auction, in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust in association with Bonhams, will be accessible to 6.5 million British households and marks of the public launch of The Auction Channel and its unique "interactive bidding system" (IBS).
In principle, you will be able to use your telephone keypad to place your bid. But actually, you have to register before you're allowed to: IBS "confirms with each auction house's credit-checking and security protocols," as Jason Gleave, chairman and chief executive of the new channel, pointed out.
Registered bidders will be sent a PIN number. Once the sale is on air, they will be able to call a special number enabling them to bid.
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There's two peers in the House of Lords, and one says to the other "...so, what you gonna do about this homosexual bill?", to which the other one replies "I'm going to pay it!"
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Or have a look at http://sat-nd.com/info/mailer.html