Scatmag.com

June 2018


SATELLITE UPDATES


 

APSTAR-6C LAUNCHED

China launched the "APSTAR- 6C" satellite on May 3, from the southwestern Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The satellite was orbited by a Long March-3B rocket. This was the 273rd mission of the Long March rocket series.

Both - satellite & rocket were developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

Apstar 6C will be used by Hong Kong-based APT Satellite Co. Ltd. The satellite will provide TV transmission, communication, Internet and multimedia services to customers across the Asia-Pacific region.

Earlier, China had confirmed that it would be launching two new satellites for Pakistan in June. It will be the first international commercial launch for a Long March-2C rocket after it carried Motorola's Iridium satellites into orbit in 1999, Xinhua news agency had reported.

A rocket will also carry the China-France Oceanography Satellite into space in September, CALVT said. The satellite will monitor ocean wind and waves.


FACEBOOK SATELLITE NETWORK?

It may sound a little far-fetched, but it seems Facebook may be secretly building a satellite Internet service.

This comes close on the heels of SpaceX's own StarLink project (SCaT May 2018). A press report claims to have seen an FCC application to launch a

satellite named Athena, that would test the use of high-frequency millimeter wave radio signals. The company that made the application is called PointView Tech LLC, reportedly a subsidiary of Facebook.


GSAT-11 RECALLED FOR TESTS

The 5,700-kg satellite was slated for launch on May 26.

Just a fortnight after flying GSAT-11 out to Kourou for launch, ISRO has recalled its the heaviest (5,700 Kg) communication satellite, to conduct additional technical checks.

The 5,700-kg HTS (High Throughput Satellite) or Internet broadband satellite was originally planned for launch on May 26 by Arianespace.

The European space transporter said has postponed the Ariane 5 launch "due to additional technical checks with ISRO's GSAT-11 satellite, to be conducted from the ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) at Bangalore." Arianespace had planned to launch the GSAT-11 along with Azerspace-2/Intelsat-38. A new launch date has not been announced.

GSAT-11's 40 transponders will provide multiple spot beam coverage in Ka and Ku bands over the Indian region and nearby islands. Its 12 Gbps service is expected to be far superior to older Indian communication satellites.



ISRO'S CHANDRAYAAN-2

ISRO will launch the Chandrayaan-2 moon mission in October 2018.

Chandrayaan-2 (Sanskrit for Moon-vehicle) is India's second lunar exploration mission & will be launched by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mk II). It includes a lunar orbiter, lander and rover, all developed by India.

Chandrayaan-2 will soft land a lander & rover - the first-ever near the lunar south pole.

The wheeled rover will move on the lunar surface and will perform on site chemical analysis. The data will be relayed to Earth through the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, which will piggyback on the same launch

Said to cost ₹ 800 crore, it is expected to be cheaper than the Hollywood sci-fi movie Interstellar (production cost ₹ 1,062 crores).


CHANDRAYAAN-2 CHEAPER THAN A MOVIE!

ISRO's Chandrayan moon & Mars missions have been accomplished on shoe-string budgets.

ISRO's Mars Mission Mangalyaan cost the space agency less money than it took to make the Hollywood space movie "Gravity."

The Chandrayaan-2 moon mission in April, will cost (₹ 800 Crores) less than Hollywood movie 'Interstellar,' (₹ 1,065 Crore or $ 165 million) according to MoS PMO Dr Jitendra Singh.

Chandraayan-2 will carry an orbiter, a lander and a rover to the moon.


EUTELSAT TIE-UP WITH THALES ALENIA

Eutelsat is ordering its new broadband satellite from Thales Alenia, rather than from its joint-venture with California-based ViaSat.

Eutelsat, in a statement said: "The investment in Konnect VHTS (Very High Throughput Satellite) replaces the project of a joint investment with ViaSat in a ViaSat 3 satellite for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and is covered by Eutelsat's capex objective of an average of €420 million per annum."

Rick Baldridge, ViaSat's president & COO, explained "ViaSat confirmed it will not be moving forward with Eutelsat on a deal for use of the ViaSat-3 satellite, due to Eutelsat's decision to pursue a local market alternative. As we commented previously, negotiations on the Vi a S a t - 3 deal were h i g h l y complex. While we had hoped to reach an agreement on new capacity over Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), we were never able to get over some of the fundamental principles."

ViaSat also confirmed that the development has no direct impact on existing contracts .


ISRO LAUNCHES INRSS-1I NAV SAT

In mid-April, ISRO's navigation satellite INRSS-1I was launched by a PSLV-C41 rocket from the Sathish Dhawan Space Centre & successfully placed in its designated orbit, 19 minutes after lift-off.

IRNSS-1I will replace IRNSS- 1A, the first of the 7 navigation satellites, that was rendered ineffective after its 3 rubidium atomic clocks failed. The 7 satellites are part of the NavIC navigation satellite constellation.

The launch is ISRO's second attempt at sending a replacement satellite.

The previous mission of a PSLV carrying IRNSS-1H in August last year failed after the heat shield covering the satellite failed to separate.


BRITAIN OUT OF EU NAVSAT?

Britain's foreign minister Boris Johnson has expressed concerns to his French counterpart over the European Commission's decision to exclude the country from a new satellite navigation system.

Britain is considering setting up a satellite navigation system to rival the European Union's Galileo project amid a row over attempts to restrict Britain's access to sensitive security information after Brexit.

The European Commission has started to exclude Britain and its companies from sensitive future work on Galileo. n