Register here for a free copy of SATELLITE & CABLE TV Magazine, SMS & email Update

December 2017




To make India a global hub for satellite manufacturing, ISRO has invited the private sector to bid and build 30 satellites, half its 60 satellite requirement over the next 5 years.

The space agency has lined up 60 satellite launches over the next five years, including a repeat mission to the moon with a rover.

A consortium led by Bengaluru-based aerospace firm Alpha Design Technologies, is building a navigation satellite, Navic. A second Navic satellite is expected to be ready by March. By February 2018, ISRO will identify 4 to 5 companies to build satellites which will be launched before end 2018. Each satellite will cost ₹ 150-400 crore. About 14 companies, including Dhruv Aerospace, Ananth Technologies and Team Indus, are in the fray.

ISRO has already started forming a private consortium - which includes Godrej, Larsen & Toubro, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and its commercial arm, Antrix Corp - that will assemble the country's first PSLV rocket by 2020.


International Launch Services (ILS) successfully carried the AsiaSat 9 satellite into orbit on Sept. 28. It was ILS' third commercial launch this year.

Located at 122 degrees East, AsiaSat 9 is the company's most powerful satellite.

Based on the Space Systems Loral (SSL) 1300 platform, AsiaSat 9 is intended to replace AsiaSat 4 and provide multiple C- , Ku- and Ka-Band payloads for DTH broadcasts, video distribution, Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) broadband networks and mobility services.

AsiaSat 9 will also offer brand new coverage for high growth markets in Asia, including a dedicated Ku-band Myanmar beam, high-power Ku-band beams for Indonesia and Mongolia, in addition to two Ku-band beams serving Australasia and East Asia, and a wide C-band footprint that offers improved power over Asia, Australasia and the Pacific region.


An Ariane 5 heavy-lift launch vehicle successfully launched 2 satellites during its September 29 mission. They were Intelsat 37e for Intelsat & BSAT 4a for Japan's Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (BSAT).

Intelsat 37e was deployed first, 29 minutes after liftoff, followed 18 minutes later by BSAT 4a.

Intelsat 37e - built on a Boeing 702MP platform - is the latest satellite to launch as part of Intelsat's high-throughput Epic series. Weighing an estimated 6,440 kg at liftoff, Intelsat 37e will provide capacity for wireless backhaul, enterprise Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) and mobility networks, carrying out its mission from a 342 degrees east orbital slot.

BSAT-4a will provide DTH over Japan & expand the availability of 4K/8K Ultra-High Definition (Ultra-HD) television. It will operate from 110 degrees East.


On October 12, SpaceX successfully launched the EchoStar 105/SES 11 satellite from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Falcon rocket's first stage was relanded on one of SpaceX's drone ships off the coast of Cape Canaveral.

Built by Airbus, EchoStar 105/SES 11 is a dual-mission satellite, providing SES with 24 Cband transponders of 36 MHz and EchoStar with 24 Ku-band transponders of 36 MHz.

The satellite replaces C-band capacity for AMC 18 and Ku-band capacity for AMC 15 at the 105 degrees west orbital slot.

SES intends to use SES 11 to deliver High Definition (HD) and Ultra-HD channels. It offers comprehensive coverage over North America, including Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean. According to the company, the satellite's C-band capacity is optimized for digital television delivery, and will join SES 1 and SES 3 at the center of SES' North American orbital arc, which reaches more than 100 million TV homes.

EchoStar 105 will provide EchoStar Ku-band transponder capacity with coverage of the 50 U.S. states and expanded reach to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean for satellite communications services for the company's enterprise, media and broadcast, and U.S. government service provider customers.


On October 31, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the KoreaSat-5A communications satellite took from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The satellite was deployed to a geostationary transfer orbit about 36 minutes after liftoff.

KoreaSat 5A, operated by KT SAT, South Korea's sole satellite service provider is a replacement for Koreasat-5, which was launched in 2006. It will provide DTH broadcasting and other communications services in South Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia.

Unlike other satellites in the Koreasat fleet, Koreasat-5A will also provide maritime coverage of the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, South China Sea, and the East China Sea.

About 8 minutes after liftoff, the Falcon 9 rocket's first-stage was recovered by landing it on the "Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship, in the Atlantic Ocean. To date, SpaceX has returned and landed a Falcon 9's first stage 19 times on land and at sea & are part of SpaceX's efforts to develop fully reusable rockets, to bring down spaceflight costs.


International L a u n c h S e r v i c e s ( I L S ) successfully o r b i t e d Hispasat's 1 1 t h s a t e l l i t e , Amazonas 5, on Sept. 11 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The satellite is located at 61 degrees West.

Amazonas 5 is based on Space Systems Loral's (SSL) 1300 platform and has a power of 9.9 kilowatts with an estimated useful life of 15 years.

Its 24 Ku-band transponders, with coverage of Central and South America, will provide Direct-to-Home television (DTH) services for Hispasat. According to the company, the satellite will enable the television service providers that operate with Hispasat to transmit 500 new channels. This satellite will also be key for promoting 4K TV in the region, Hispasat stated.

Additionally, Amazonas 5 has 34 Ka-band spot beams to provide connectivity services to more than a half a million people in Central and South America. Hispasat intends to offer competitive satellite internet services to the operators in the region, as well as transportation or backhaul services to support their 3G, LTE and potentially 5G cellular networks.


G h a n a has its first satellite in space - a C u b e s a t e l l i t e n a m e d GhanaSat- 1. Built w i t h s u p p o r t from the Japanese B i r d s program, it w a s released into space from the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer on the International Space Station on 7 July 2017 and will be used to monitor environmental activities along Ghana's coastline.

GhanaSat-1, weighing about 1 Kg, was assembled and tested by 3 students at All Nations University.

Japan supports nonspacefaring countries to build their first satellite through a program called The Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Satellite project (Birds). Five countries participated in the first Birds program: Ghana, Mongolia, Nigeria, and Bangladesh. n