Sat-UK #152 15.11.97: TELE-X - ORB - THE LEONIDS

Sat-UK Report #152:
- Tele-X makes a run for it
- ORB Fernsehen prepares for launch
- The Leonids are coming!
saturday 15th november 1997
Email: dominic@bigrp.demon.co.uk
Sat-UK Web: http://www.sat-net.com/sat-uk/
UK Satellite Control: http://www.sat-net.com/uk-satellite/
And now the news:

---------- Tele-X makes a run for it

Tele-X has left its long-occupied frequency of 12,637 L on Tele-X, and
is now only available in analogue on Thor 2 at 0,8 degree west. Tele-X
is due to be replaced any time now by Sirius 2, so we can expect all
regular programming on the satellite to cease soon anyway. Kanal 5 is
also already available on Thor 2, but claims it will move onto Sirius 2
when possible. Sirius 2 cannot begin testing in ernest at 5,2 degrees
east until Tele-X is moved or shut down, as many of the frequencies

---------- ORB Fernsehen prepares for launch

The Astra announcement on 11,656 V has been taken away, and a coloured
test-card is now being broadcast by ORB Fernsehen, with intermittent
sound tests. Again, it states that ORB Fernsehen will begin on December

---------- The Leonids are coming!
(source: TELE-Satellite International)

If you thought the solar outages of not long ago were bad news, you're
in for a real surprise. On November 17th, the biggest meteorite shower
in 30 years will hit the Earth's atmosphere, endangering the operating
lives of many satellites. Even small dust particles weighing about one
1000th of a gram can completely wreck a satellite, should they collide
at the average speed of around 250,000 km per hour. They would simply
tear right through a solar panel! So what are the organizations doing to
protect themselves? Intelsat have announced that they will takes four
1: Reschedule all station-keeping functions
2: Disable control thrusters and safe the propulsion system
3: Option: Rotate the solar arrays to a position such that the penals
are parallel to the direction of the storm.
4: On-call engineers stay near the Satellite Control Facility.
SES have announced that they may perform similar stand-by features for
their Astra satellite fleet. They also announced that they were looking
into extra-padding for future satellites in case such an emergency were
to ever occur again. A small fleet like Astra is highly prone to getting
hit by a meteorite; more so than a lone satellite such as Télécom 2A.
Whilst the peak time for the storm is on the 17th, small meteorites my
make their way into the atmosphere on the 16th and 18th too. No
satellite is safe from this scourge - it would be a terrible shame if
any new satellites like HotBird 3 or Sirius 2 were to be knocked out of
the sky - what a waste of money!

All contents (C) 1997 Dominic Sedghi, except where indicated. All rights
reserved. The above may not be reproduced without written consent.
Information is subject to change and/or may be incorrect.

      CONTACT ME AT dominic@bigrp.demon.co.uk

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