May 2017



3 ISRO SATS IN H-1 2018

A f t e r failing to meet the earlier d e a d l i n e , ISRO has promised to launch GSAT 11, 17 and 19 in the first half of the next financial year.

The Department of Space (DoS) made this commitment to the parliamentary committee on science, technology, environment and forests.

The 3 communication satellites will provide much needed Ku-band transponders for Indian DTH, which is already facing a shortfall of 68 Ku Band transponders.

DoS had planned to launch 14 communication satellites during the 12th Plan period, but launched only 7 comm sats: GSAT-10, GSAT- 14, GSAT-16, GSAT-7, GSAT-6, GSAT-15 and GSAT-18.

ISRO is now seeking approvals for GSAT-20, GSAT- 22/23/24.

Work on GSAT 6A and INSAT 3DS continues and will be realised only after 2017-18.

DoS was also working on INSAT-3 series, INSAT-4 series and INSAT/GSAT follow-on missions.


A consortium led by Alpha Design Technologies from Bengaluru is currently building 2 full-fledged satellites for ISRO, to be used as a backup for NAVIC or the Swadeshi GPS system. There are 7 orbited NAVIC sats, and the new sats are replacement standby.

M Annadurai, Director of ISRO Satellite Centre in Bengaluru, said, "Basically there is a gap between what we are capable of doing now versus the 16 to 17 satellites we are supposed to make. That gap we want to fill up with support from the industry…"

ISRO has 150 missions and 30 years of experience under its belt.


On 12 April, Shijian-13, China's first high-throughput communications satellite, was launched.

Its 20 GBps data transfer capacity exceeds that of all other Chinese broadband satellites put together.

The satellite also will test its high speed laser communication with the ground.


Global-IP Cayman has signed an agreement with SpaceX to launch its first communication satellite GiSAT 1, a High- Throughput Satellite (HTS) with 150 Gbps of capacity, currently under construction by Boeing.

Scheduled for Q4 2018, the satellite will be placed in geostationary orbit off the west coast of Africa.


A f t e r several delays, SES-10 was launched on 30 March 2017 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

SES-10 is based on the Eurostar E3000 satellite bus. With a mass of 5.8 tons, it produces 13 kW of power and has a design life of 15 years. It is positioned at 67° West.

Its payload is composed of 55 Ku band transponders arranged in 3 wide beams. The first beam will cover Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, the second beam will cover Hispanic South America, and the third beam will be dedicated to Brazil.


Arianespace is being restructured to become a Simplified Joint-Stock (SAS) company. "It places the entire industrial organization of Ariane 5, from production to marketing, under the sole responsibility of Stephane Israel," said Airbus Safran Launchers Chief Executive Officer Alain Charmeau.

Airbus Safran Launchers has held a 74% stake in Arianespace since December 2016.


ABS announced that 12 of its 27 MHz equivalent transponders on the ABS-2A satellite (75 deg East) have been co-branded as the Mongolsat-1 satellite, dedicated to the Mongolia market.

This represents Mongolia's first satellite presence. The 12 transponders branded MongolSat- 1 will be used exclusively to launch nationwide, DTH, telecommunications and broadband services. The new services will be available throughout the vast geography of Mongolia.

The ABS-2A is a new electric propulsion satellite colocated with the ABS-2 at 75 degrees East. This will be the first commercial service on the ABS-2A.


SpaceX finally launched the 5,500 Kg EchoStar-23 satellite on March 16 & positioned it at 45 degrees West.

A jinxed satellite, it was scheduled for launch in 2016, but been repeatedly postponed.

EchoStar-23 was constructed by Space Systems L o r a l (SSL), as EchoStar- 13, or CMBStar, to be used under a partnership between EchoStar and the Chinese government to provide s-band mobile video broadcasting during the 2008 Summer Olympics.

The program was abandoned in April 2008, when it could not launch on time - although the reason stated for the cancellation was that performance specifications had not been met.

The large S-Band antenna on the Echostar-13 was replaced by 4 Ku-band antennae with 32 transponders & renamed EchoStar-23.


As labour protests continue to roil in Kourou, French Guiana, Arianespace has placed its Ariane 5 VA236 launch, originally scheduled for March 21, on indefinite hold. This was to launch SGDC and KoreaSat-7.

Workers from the French territory are protesting high crime rates, high cost of living and general economic hardship. They barricaded roads to the Guiana Space Centre with stacks of tires which have prevented the rocket from reaching the launchpad.


A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket carrying the ninth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-9) satellite for the United States Air Force lifted off from Space Launch Complex-37 on March 18, the day that marked the 70th anniversary for the US Air Force.

This was ULA's third launch in 2017 and the 118th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.

WGS-9 satellite supports communications links in the Xband and Ka-band. The WGS-9 can filter and downlink up to 8.088 GHz of bandwidth. WGS satellites are an important element of a new highcapacity satellite communications system providing enhanced communications capability to US troops in the field.


On April 20, China launched its Tianzhou 1 cargo craft launched with a Long March 7 rocket

The cargo ship will dock with the orbiting Tiangong-2 space lab, provide fuel and other supplies, and conduct space experiments before falling back to Earth.

China aims to build a permanent space station that is expected to orbit for at least 10 years, and the cargo ship is essential to maintain the space station.

If the Tianzhou-1 mission is successful, China will become the third country besides Russia and the United States to master the technique of refuelling in space.

"The Tianzhou-1 mission includes the breakthrough of inorbit refuelling and other key technologies needed to build a space station, laying a foundation for future space station operations," said Bai Mingsheng, chief designer of the cargo ship. The cargo ship is 10.6 meters long and has a maximum diameter of 3.35 meters. Its maximum take-off weight is 13.5 tonnes, enabling it to carry over 6 tonnes of supplies. n