SAT-MidEast 98.05.01

A news release from Cairo, Egypt, located at 31.15 East - 30.3 North,
sponsored by TELE-SATELLITE INTERNATIONAL, Europes Satellite Magazine
- Events and News interesting to the Middle Eastern SAT-viewer
- Satellite and Transponder Observations in C- and Ku-Band,
- Everything commented from the Middle Eastern perspective
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What do you do when you have a complete functional, brand-new, satellite
with 44 high-power Ku and C-band transponder, in an unusable orbit and
you find out that the insurance has already paid for the claimed loss ?

Right ! If you are an engineer and scientist you start playing around a
bit, and imagining weird things. But, seriously, I must admit: hat-off
for so much ingeniousity!

The Asiasat 3 satellite, placed in incorrect orbit by a Proton launcher
last Christmas day, is undergoing a first-of-its-kind experimental
mission that will swing the communications satellite around the moon in
an attempt to reposition it to provide services to Earth.

The Blok-DM3 upper stage (actually a part of the satellite) placed
Asiasat 3 in a geostationary transfer orbit of 365 x 35.989 km x 51.6
degrees instead of a geostationary circular orbit at 35.780 x 35.800 km
x 0 degrees.

The Hughes HS-601 satellite is now using its Marquardt R-4D-11-300
liquid propulsion system at perigee to raise its apogee to lunar
distance, and use lunar gravity to maneuver it toward a final orbit.
The apogee was already raised to 88.000 km on April 16, to 108.000 km on
April 18, and to 148.000 km on April 23. The final firing, on May 7,
will send the satellite on its 9-day round trip to the moon.

The untried manoeuvre involves sending the spacecraft into a
three-dimensional, figure-8 orbit around the moon, using lunar gravity
to fling the satellite back into a usable Earth orbit. The salvage
mission was devised by orbital analysts at Hughes Space and
Communications Co., which built the HS 601HP-model satellite.

This is also the first known commercial use of the moon and the first
lunar mission attempted by a non-governmental entity. If successful, the
satellite is expected back in a circular orbit over the equator by the
end of May.

There is a major drawback, however: Hughes engineers expect the lunar
fly-by will use most of the approximately 1.700 kg of the on-board
propellant. Although it is only estimated how much fuel will be
consumed, the satellite's operational life of expected 15 years, will be

The satellite's orbital slot and new name are to be determined. At
present, it is informally referred to as HGS-1.
(SME, various sources)

Successful experiments have recently been conducted in France and the
U.K. which involved the distribution of movies directly to the cinemas
via data networks, instead of rolls of film which has up till now been
the preferred option. This has prompted the European Commission to come
up with a special project called "Cyber Cinema" which will be developed
by the Aerospatiale laboratories.

The project will see the complete digitalization of movies and they will
then be transmitted via satellite to cinemas all over Europe.

The major advantages of this new technology are an increased efficiency
in distribution and a significant reduction of costs due to the
elimination of transport costs. Many leading European companies such as
Philips, Hewlett-Packard, Pathe and Deutsche Telekom are involved in the

The experimental phase of the project will debut in June and will
involve Italy, Ireland, France, Germany and Belgium.
(SME, source: CS)

Like an intergalactic artillery barrage, tiny cosmic particles are
hurtling toward Earth, each packing the punch of a 0.22-caliber bullet.
No bigger than grains of sand, the particles - called meteoroids - will
burn up in the atmosphere this fall, sparing the planet's surface and
delighting stargazers with the most severe meteor shower in three

Other observers, however, will do more ouching than oohing and aahing as
the meteoroids zing perilously through 500 communication, navigation and
military satellites. Commercial and military satellite operators,
insurers and scientists began brainstorming Monday about ways to prepare
for November's Leonid meteor storm.

The consequences are still virtually unknown. There has not been a
meteor storm since the onset of the modern space age. The particles
could poke holes in solar panels, pit lenses, blast reflective coating
off mirrors, short out electronics with a burst of electromagnetic
energy, even reprogram computers, said Edward Tagliaferri, a consultant
to the Aerospace Corp., a nonprofit organization that sponsored the
two-day conference.

For example, a meteor struck the European Space Agency's Olympus
satellite in 1993 and destroyed its ability to point at the Earth. It
was rendered useless.

Operators could turn off spacecraft or turn them away from the particle
stream. That's what the Hubble Space Telescope will do; it received
minor surface damage in the 1993 shower.

First reported by Chinese astronomers in 902, the annual Leonid
meteoroid storms - found in front of the constellation Leo - intensify
every 33 years. They occur when Earth passes through the dust trail of
the comet Tempel-Tuttle.

In 1966, when fewer than 100 satellites circled the Earth, the comet
produced peak showers of 144.000 meteors each hour and no major damage.
This year, with more than five times the number of circling spacecraft,
some experts think the rate could be 5.000 to 100.000 meteors an hour.
(SME, source: AP)

LAUNCH INFORMATION, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
The launch date for Intelsat 805 with Atlas has changed from 12/13 June
to 2/3 June.

The next Arianespace launch is scheduled for the night from on 30 June
to 1 July, most probably with the Eutelsat W1 replacement satellite for
10 East.

THAICOM 3, 78.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/thai78.shtml
The Army TV 5 Channel on 3.600 GHz, H, has ceased in the middle of the
week on all VPID's 0201{513}-0207{519}, and was replaced by colorbars.
On 0200{512}/0280{640} is still the Thai TV5 Global Network.

On transponder 6HG, appeared transmissions from Myanmar: MRTV on 3.688
GHz, H, NTSC/clear, TV audio on 6.60 GHz and an empty subcarrier on 7.00
MHz. Broadcasts can be seen at the time daily from around 13:00-16:00

APSTAR 2R, 76.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/apstar2r.shtml
Two new digital packages in the Ku-band, MPEG-2/Digistar,

12.538 GHz, V: Viva Cinema, The Discovery Channel, TNT, Cartoon Network,
Channel V Int., Channel V Asia and Star Sports

12.660 GHz, V: Star Plus Japan, Star World, Star Movies Asia,Star Movies
North and Phoenix Chinese

The actual PIDs can be retrieved from the SATCO-DX chart.

PANAMSAT 4, 68.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/pas4.shtml
Earlier this week an unknown digital signal could be observed from
transponder 16L, 4.155 GHz, V. Any comments are welcome to my - or the
SATCO-DX - mailbox.

SHOWTIME upgraded its ONTV promotional channel on transponder 21, 11.584
GHz, H, PIDs 0204{516}/028E{654}, to something which is more worth the

Added to the computer-driven one-liners naming places where to book your
subscription to the premium network, is now a fast-paced preview of all
present SHOWTIME channels, movies, serials and the educational contents,
presented in full motion video and dolby stereo sound.

The earlier announced addition to the pay-TV package of the "Hallmark
Channel" on May 1st was unfortunately not switched through yet, even as
all preparations seem to have been made.

INTELSAT 602, 62 East, http://www.satcodx.com/i602.shtml
All programming from Italia Uno auf could be followed last Wednesday on
11.094 GHz, H, at least until 15:30 CAT.

INTELSAT 703, 57 East, http://www.satcodx.com/i703.shtml
CNBC Asia has started on 4.018 GHz, L, MPEG-2/clear, SR 6000, FEC 3/4,
PIDs 021{289}/0122{290}, North East zone beam.

TURKSAT 1C, 42 East, http://www.satcodx.com/turk1c.shtml
Karadeniz TV has started on 11.140 GHz, H, MPEG-2/clear, SR 3255, FEC
5/6, East beam (Turkey).

New parameters for the Samanyolu TV feeds on 11.147 GHz, H, are: SR 6144
and FEC 3/4.

ARABSAT 2A, 26 East, http://www.satcodx.com/arab2a.shtml
ART Al Ma'aref on transponder 5, 12.604 GHz, H, MPEG-2, SR 27500, FEC
3/4, PIDs 517/700 got finally encrypted on May 1st in IRDETO.

ART Al Ma'aref in PAL/clear ceased on transponder 9, 12.685 GHz, H, as
well as ART Music on the audio sub carrier 7.02 MHz. 

It was temporary replaced with the  PAL/clear Al-Fatah transmissions
from Chad, covering the state visit of Lybian President Col. Moammar
Ghaddafi. These transmissions are identical to the ones on Eutelsat
II-f3, 16 East, transponder 33, 11.592 GHz, H. TV Audio is carried on
6.60 MHz and 7.20 MHz.

Later on Friday, ART Open appeared in place of the Al Ma'aref Channel in
PAL/clear, with audio on 6.60 MHz.

ASTRA 1G, 19.2 East, http://www.satcodx.com/astra1g.shtml
The new Canal+/Multichoice tests for the Netherlands on transponder 105
and transponder 109 can be received in Cairo with a SQ of 65-75.
Initially, until April 28th, all colorbar test cards were in clear.

Transponder 105, 12.516 GHz, H, MPEG-2/IRDETO, SR 22000, FEC 5/6,
has following TV line-up:

0200{512}/028A{650}	C+ 1
0201{513}/0294{660}	C+ 2 
0202{514}/029E{670}	NED1
0203{515}/02A8{680}	NED2
0204{516}/02B2{690}	NED3

and following Radiostations with APIDs:
029F{0671}	RAD1
02A9{0681}	RAD2
02B3{0691}	RAD3
02BD{0701}	RAD4
02C7{0711}	RAD5

Transponder 109, 12.574 GHz, H, MPEG-2/IRDETO, SR 22000, FEC 5/6,
has following TV line-up:

0200{512}/028A{650}	SBS6
0201{513}/0294{660}	VERONICA
0202{514}/029E{670}	TMF
0203{515}/02A8{680}	KINDERNET
0204{516}/02B2{690}	BVN (clear, FTA)
0205{517}/02BC{700}	Multimedia Channel

and following Radiostations with APIDs:
0295{661}	VEFM (Veronica FM)
02B3{691}	RNW1 (Radio Nederland Wereldomroep 1)
02BD{701}	RNW2 (Radio Nederland Wereldomroep 2)

SME Comment: It makes me a little angry to see these cards, knowing that
just above on transponder 111 through transponder 119 almost everything
is transmitted in clear, but remains not receivable with normal
receiving equipment in Cairo.

EUTELSAT II-f3, 16 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f3.shtml
Duna TV, PAl/clear ceased on transponder 33, 11.596 GHz, H, as expected.

The transponder was taken over almost immediately for feeds presented by
Al Fatah transmissions from Chad of the state visit of Lybian President
Col. Muammer Ghaddafi, TV audio both on 6.60 and 7.20 MHz.

EUTELSAT II-f1, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f1.shtml
There are certain Eutelsat informations circulating from which I doubt
they have the quality of the satellite providers messages, or they could
be "leaked" on purpose, to tickle reactions.
I will do my best to get those responses out of you:

Following changes could be made to the transponder line-up of 
Eutelsat II-f1 prior to the summer holidays:

tpx	freq/pol	present ch	future ch

20L	10.972 H	Viva Zwei	TRT Int.
20U	11.006 H	Viva		 -

22C	11.146 H	Onyx TV		Viva Zwei
22U	11.181 H	TRT Int.	Viva

34L	11.638 H	-		Onyx TV 

Which leaves a few questions open:
* What is with IDC Radionet on transponder 22L ? Leaving ?
* Why move first Onyx to tp 34L, then take it off, on, off again ?
* Even in regards to the new Hot Bird 5 I see no need for the changes,
exept to give TRT International a full tp, which then only would make
sense if there are some other changes from super to widebeam (not
mentioned here).

Maybe it is also important to know that Onyx TV plans to merge with QVC
to establish a 24-hour round the clock mix of music and tele-shopping.
QVC is said to bring USD 6 Million into the partnership. 

Onyx (03:00-19:00 CAT) & Zik (19:00-03:00 CAT) started again and ceased
a day later on 11,638 H, PAL/clear, 6.65 MHz. On Thursday evening the
transponder 34L, was completely taken off air, and didn't return.

Fashion TV on transponder 21L, 11.055 GHz, H is announcing in an
on-screen rolling text that it will cease in PAL/clear shortly. Viewers
are recommended to switch to Hot Bird 3, transponder 77, 12.245 GHz, H,
to the MPEG-2/clear transmissions.

SME Comment: There you sit at home, have your glass of well tempered
champagner, and prepared for a nice fashionable evening with the good
looking guys and dolls of pret-a-porter, entertained by smart looks and
crazy music.

Then, some dull young video operator decides to tell you in your face
that you have to retune your receiver, actually telling you to buy a NEW
digital one, including a wide band LNB and to expect some additional
installation costs.

What happens than to viewing pleasure and a carefully planned evening ?
On with the show - young is who in action is - life is movement !
Yeah - right - got it !

* Adult Channel Eros TV has started on 11.658 V, D2-MAC/Eurocrypt S2,
02:00-06:00 CAT, identical to transmissions on Eutelsat II f3.

HOT BIRD 1, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb1.shtml
The Spanish audio subcarrier on EuroSport on 11.390 GHz, H, has ceased.

New PIDs on for the WorldNet transmisions on 11.422 GHz, V,
MPEG-2/clear, PIDs 1108{4260}/10E0{4220}:	WorldNet
APID:1146{4322}:	Voice of America
APID:114E{4330}:	Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
APID:1150{4332}:	Voice of America

Eurotica Rendez-Vous on the BVN transponder 4, 11.283 GHz, V, is
temporary not transmitted due to a general strike in Denmark.

HOT BIRD 2, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb2.shtml
On transponder 58, 11.881 GHz, V, superbeam, tested Italian provider
Stream some 10 channels with colorbar test cards and a sinuswave, in
MPEG-2/clear, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, initial PIDs 0065{101}/0066{102}

Transponder 69, 12.092 GHz, H, has a copy of the MPEG-2/clear package
from Hot Bird 3 transponder 72, 12.149 GHz, V (which btw. ceased
Saturday morning).
See below at the Hot Bird 3 lines for additional information.
There are various difficulties reported on reception of this package,
the signal seems to include some derivement from the DVB standards.

In case you are able to receive this package, please let me know, noting
the brand of your digital receiver and the software version you are
running. It could be a soft/hardware related problem, which should be
recognized and tackled.

Polonia 1 on 11.977 GHz, H seems to have again severe technical
problems. They are probably not able to get their signal to the
Stockholm uplink station, since there is only a test card displayed,
since days, saying "Aagesta Earth Station".

ART Al Ma'aref in the Arabesque package on transponder 65, 12.015 GHz,
H, MPEG-2, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, PIDs 00A8{168}/0070{112} got encrypted in
VIACCESS. The encyption was originally announced for April 15th.

HOT BIRD 3, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb3.shtml
* TPSA-OptoComp is testing on transponder 81, 12.322 GHz, H,
MPEG-2/clear, SR 16000, FEC 3/4, PIDs 0134{308}/0100{256}, wide beam.
During the daytime the most beautiful views of planet Earth, taken on
the various Nasa Space Shuttle missions.

SME Comment: It is not completely clear what the reason behind this
display is. Transponder 81 and 83 are actually reserved for a Polish CME
Canal+ package, which is scheduled to start in the autumn of this year.
Personnaly I feel there is no connection between the present tests and
the later use by Canal+ Polska.

* Shalom TV started April 29th, with an initial test broadcast of half
an hour in the France Telecom Globecast bouquet on 12.380 GHz, V,
MPEG-2/clear with PIDs 0BCF{3023}/0BD9{3033}.

During the display of the Shalom Channel inert was a minute of an Oman
TV newscast mistakingly transmitted, around 19:14 CAT.

A day later, the Shalom Channel started 20:00 CAT on the same FT
Globecast channel 3, no change was made to the ID in the channel list.
The audio is two channel (not stereo) left and right. On screen
everything is translated into French and English, the spoken
commentatory is done in three languages (Hebrew, French & English).

After the official opening words and the display of a video showing
congratulants, the major transmission from Jerusalem, commencing the
50-year Israel anniversary festivities was transmitted live. It seemed
to me a little improvised, but who's to blame in the channels first ?

The Shalom channel will pause until the beginning of June to finally
start regular broadcasts, using the same channel data. Regular
transmissions will be daily from 23:30 to 00:30 CAT, and will be
extended over time to a total of 13-hours of daily programming. In the
end-phase the channel will be encrypted, with an one-hour open window in
the early evening.

More info on the channel can be obtained from: +33 (1) 47 20 31 41.
The broadcaster in charge is: NTI, the uplinker is Night & Day
Television, Paris, assisted by J.C.S. Israel.

SME Comment: this brings up a new question: where will these feeds be
linked from (is this partly done via the upcoming EHA MPEG-2 package on
11.015 Ghz, V, Intelsat 707, 1 West ?)

* Here some info from the Archives:
A Paris based group has announced it plans to launch a new satellite
channel, the Shalom Channel, during the first quarter of 1998. The
channel will be the first general entertainment Jewish Television
channel in Europe, said the group. It will be available on both analog
and digital satellite systems and partially encoded.

Programs will consist of broadcasts from Israeli Television and other
broadcasts with English, French and Hebrew broadcasts. Subjects covered
will include news and features, culture programs and entertainment.

The channel says it is targeting its programs at the 350,000 Jewish
households in Europe and is budgeting for 50,000 subscribers by late
1998. Shalom Channel's three main offices will be located in Paris,
London and Jerusalem. It will be operated by Network Television
International (NTI) in Paris.

* Another addition to the FT Globecast bouquet on transponder 84, 12.380
GHz, V, MPEG-2/clear, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, on PIDs 0BD0{3024}/0BDA{3034}
is Abu Dhabi TV, presently represented by a colorbar test card with
sinus wave. It is loaded with two radio stations in the correct channel

0DCD{3533}	Radio Abu Dhabi
0DCE{3534} 	Ellibera FM

* An Antenna Hungaria test card appeared initially in PAL/clear on
(former TPS) transponder 72,12.149 GHz, V, PAL/clear, now on the WIDE
beam, with audio of MTV-2 on 7.02:7.20 MHz, and empty sub carriers on
6.50, 7.74 and 7.92 MHz.

The transmission changed a little later fortunately to MPEG-2/clear,
27500, 3/4, all with Antenna Hungeria testcards and following PIDs:

006E{110}/006F{111}	AH-EDP-1
0078{120}/0079{121}	AH-EDP-2 (has DUNA TV audio)
0082{130}/0083{131}	AH-EDP-3
008C{140}/008D{141}	AH-EDP-4
0096{150}/0097{151}	AH-EDP-5
00A0{160}/00A1{161}	AH-EDP-6

* The "Convergence Mux" test package on British Telecom transponder 74,
MPEG-2/clear, SR 27508, FEC 2/3, has changed quite a bit over the last
48 hours, giving me and others, a real headache, here the last seen line

0122{0290}/1FFF{8191}	P1	Q24 (audio PID not set)
0189{0393}/0190{0400}	P2	Tower promo, Country Music Radio
0123{0291}/0124{0292}	P3	Fashion TV
0125{0293}/0126{0294}	P4	RAI Uno

00C8{0200}/00C9{0201}	P7	TVE International
00DC{0220}/00DD{0221}	P9	Onyx TV (most probably with SCT)
00E6{0230}/00E7{0231}	P10	Polonia TV

1FFF{8191}/1FFF{8191}	P5	video & audio not set
1FFF{8191}/1FFF{8191}	P6	video & audio not set
1FFF{8191}/1FFF{8191}	P8	video & audio not set

*** Latest: All transmissions ceased  Saturday morning on transponder 74

SME Comment: I am only able to see this transmissions using a set of
entries in the channel list loaded at the beginning of all the changes:
they were stored P1<->P10.
A normal or advanced channel search brings a number of channels in the
channels list, but they are neither visible nor audible, even when the
signal indicator marks a full block. Various measures to trick the data
stream were without result.

In case you were able to receive this or the package on Hot Bird 2
transponder 69, please let me know, noting the brand of your digital
receiver and the software version you are running. It could be a
soft/hardware related problem, which should be recognized and tackled.

SME Comment: Onyx TV is serving at night time SCT Adult TV on a British
Telecom transponder ? Waaauw ! That HOT, I see some very dark clouds
coming up ! Onyx: take care about your broadcasting license !

* The D+ transmisions test via the steerable beam to Reunion on
transponder 88, 12.466 GHz, V, have ceased. A quit strong carrier signal
has been seen briefly on the continent.

HRT TV 3 on 12.303 GHz, V, as part of the Croatian/Slovenian package
with PID's 0069{105}/006A{106} is now encrypted in Viaccess.

SME Comment: It seems to me that the HRT/SLO package is here to stay on
Hot Bird 3, and earlier made announcements of a move to Hot Bird 4 have
to be waved.
I assume that the Slovenian and Slowakian channels have been mixed up
due to the name simularity for non-Slavic people. The appearance of the
Slowakian package on Hot Bird 4 transponder 95, 12.616 GHz, H, was
recently in local press announced as being delayed.

HOT BIRD 4, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb4.shtml
France 3 has started twice in the TPS package on transponder 120, 10.911
GHz, V, MPEG-2/clear, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, PIDs 0078{120}/0DC{220} and
026C{620}/0276{630}, on the super beam. This is the last of the reserved
Hot Bird 4 transponder for TPS.

Other names appearing in the channel list are FR3, NIKITA, BOB and

Transponder 101, 12.731 GHz, H, widebeam, started Thursday relaying
internet data, for use with a PC-Card, as earlier announced by Eutelsat.

The Arabsat Bouquet has started on widebeam transponder 97, 12.654 GHz,
H, MPEG-2/clear, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, and the following line-up:

0200{512}/028A{650}	Sharjah TV
0201{513}/0294{660}	Bahrain TV
0202{514}/029E{670}	Saudi Channel 1
0203{515}/02A8{680}	Kuwait TV
0204{516}/02B2{690}	Jordan Satellite Channel
0205{517}/02BC{700}	Jamahirya Satellite Channel (Libya)

EUTELSAT II-f2, 10 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f2.shtml
Yugoslavian RTS Sat has started additional on 11.596 GHz, H, PAL/clear,
6.60 MHz.

TMT on transponder 46, 12.576 GHz, V, is appearantly with a very weak
signal on the wide beam. I have not been able to tune-in to the signal
in Cairo.

EUTELSAT II-f4-M, 7 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f4.shtml
Ex-Cyprus Sat transponder 22L, 11.144 GHz, H, was used for long standing
feeds for Al Fatah Broadcasting from the N'Djamena, the capital of Chad.
Reported was the state visit of Lybias President Col. Muammar Ghaddafi
to the mainly Arabic speaking African Islamic Country, south of Lybia.

The same feed on could be seen from Libyan TV on the various satellites,
with a slight delay.

INTELSAT 707, 1 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i707.shtml
On transponder 111XL, 10.967 GHz, V, was Wednesday again in PAL/clear
Israel Channel 2 with its regular programme switched through, TV audio
on 6.60 and 7.20. 
One reason most probably to give a more widespread viewing of the
festivities in Jerusalem, marking the 50th anniversary of the state.

The transmission ceased on Thursday before noon and was replaced with
the regular "BEZEQ" color bar test card.

On transponder 111XU, 11.015 GHz, V, is the (four channel) EHA MPEG-2
package temporary been replaced with a SCPC "ISR BEZEQ-1" feed,
colorbars with sinus wave. Reception data: SR 8678, FEC 3/4, PIDs
1062{4194}/1063{4195}, list name: "Tadiron Scopus"

Just before the appearance of the bove feed, two channels with the same
name could be seen on the same frequency with SR 22000, FEC 5/6 and no
PIDS set, most probably an switching error.

The usual digital transmissions of the EHA package on 11.015 GHz, V,
have been taken up again on Friday, however three of the four channels
are now constantly encrypted (System unknown).

NILESAT 101, 7 West, http://www.satcodx.com/nile101.shtml
At 01:53 CAT on 29 April, Nilesat 101 & BSAT 1B were successfully, but
uneventfull, launched from Kourou, with Ariane V108.

There was no coverage of the launch on Hot Bird 3, but both ESC 1 and
Nile TV on Eutelsat II f3 and Arabsat 2A transmitted the launch live.

Nilesat 101 launched on mission V108 is the very first purely regional
and digital transmission satellite for the African continent, providing
direct to home television and radio services to Egypt and its
neighbouring states. For this third flight of the year, and the first in
1998 with a dual payload, Arianespace deployed an Ariane 44P, with four
solid-propellant boosters. It was the 11th time this quick liftoff
version was being used.

Under the fairing, Nilesat 101 in the upper position; below, the second
of two craft for Japan's BSAT organisation. BSat-1a had been launched a
year ago on flight V95. Total mass at liftoff was 354tonnes, the
performance required being 3535Kg, of which 3096Kg represented the two
satellites to be released.

If the preceeding days in French Guiana had seen some rain, the weather
outlook that evening was good and the mission was letter perfect. An
uninterrupted countdown enabled Ariane to leave the ELA-2 complex at
01:53 CAT in the night of 29th April. There followed a nominal
trajectory curve (superimposed on a picture background of the pyramids)
until the release of Nilesat 21 minutes after liftoff and BSat-1b four
minutes later.

Nilesat 101 with its 12 high power Ku-band transponders will be capable
of transmitting 84 digital TV and 400 radio channels to a potential
audience of 60million homes. 75% of the capacity was booked at launch
time. Life expectancy is between 12 & 15 years.

Present for the launch, in the Jupiter2 VIP area was Egypt's Information
Minister Dr.Safwat El Sherif. Looking somewhat austere during the
flight, indication no doubt of a slight anxiety, his face radiated
happiness when the Launch Range Manager announced that Nilesat101 had
been separated, then communicating his great enthusiasm for this
program, which he had said could evolve into a Pan African service.

In the post mission speeches in Kourou, Dr. El Sherif stressed the
"historical nature" of this event that was propelling Egypt into the
"space club" and the 21st Century. "We are the home of one of the
world's oldest civilisations, home of the Prophet; we inspired Greece
and Rome and now are turning to the future. Nilesat for us is a huge
step into the next millenium."

Seven thousand kilometers away, the V108 video transmission was being
followed by several hundred people at Paris's Museum of Natural History,
where an exhibition is being held on the work of the world's famous
egyptologists. Arianespace, MMS and Alcatel Espace (which built
Nilesat's payload) are partners in the exhibition. Another example of
the great friendship between Egypt and France.
(SME, source go-Ariane)

Following is the schedule of events for the near future:

30 April	First apogee motor burn
02 May	Second apogee motor burn
03 May	Third burn
04 May	eventually fourth adjustment burn
05 May	Unfolding of the transmittion antenna
06 May	Unfolding of the solor arrays
07-10 May	Internal power and telemetrie checks
10-12 May	Powering of the pay load, consumption tests
15-29 May	Transponder tests, and measuring of beam width.
30 May	Technical handover from MMS to Nilesat Co.
31 May	Inauguration by 
01 June	Start of regular channel programming

Egyptian President Mohamed Hosny Mubarak will give Nilesat 101 operating
signal on the Media Day, 31 May.
(SME, source Al Gomhoureya, Cairo)

NILESAT 101, 7 West, launched with Arianespace V108 28 April 1998
tp#, freq#, A/D(Analog/Digital), F/C(Free/Coded)

Horizontal	A/D	F/C	Channel		Start			
 3 11.766	D	F
 5 11.804	D	F
 7 11.842	D	F
 9 11.881	D	F
11 11.919	D	F
13 11.957	D	F
15 11.996	D	F
17 12.034	D	F

Vertical	A/D	F/C	Channel		Start			
 2 11.747	D	F
 4 11.785 	D	F
 6 11.823	D	F
 8 11.862	D	F
10 11.900	D	F
12 11.938	D	F
14 11.977	D	F
16 12.015	D	F
18 12.054	D	F

(SME, source: Nilesat)

The Egyptian daily newspaper "Al Ahkbar" reported that the second
Nilesat is to be launched in less then 11 month. The number of
transponder o the Nilesat 102 is the same. The EIRP is slightly down,
mainly due to a, to the south and north, enlarged footprint.
(SME, source: Al Ahkbar, Cairo)

SAT-MIDEAST INTERN, http://www.sat-net.com/sat-mideast/
The SAT-MidEast news archive for the individual satellites, has been
updated throughout the week with all events reported recently.

The SAT-MidEast weekly news bulletins are still every week available on
the SAT-MidEast website at sat-net.com. However fully HTML formatted;
much more pleasing to the human eye. Just take a look and communicate
your opinion too your partners and friends !

Lately I have found myself and SAT-MidEast, recited in other
news-letters from Europe and the Middle East, with information I never
have submitted, not even have reported in the SAT-MidEast mailing

It could be a harmless mix-up of sources, but I like to take some
distance from these messages. I sign my name only under the SAT-MidEast
mailings, and would recommend as only other source for transponder
information the SATCO-DX charts.

ASK-ME INTERN, http://www.sat-net.com/listserver/ask-me/
Subscriber of the Q&A service ASK-ME don't have to worry, mailings will
be coming in. The service was anyway supposed to start at May 1st.

Anyone not knowing what I'm taljking about here a repeat of last weeks

A new free-of-charge mailing list for the Middle Eastern & Levante
countries has been established today:

		ASK-ME	(short for: ASK MidEast)
This exiting new list has only one purpose: It is to focus on the
unsolved questions of thousands of satellite fans, mostly beginner, who
still do not know how to get THAT foreign channel or how to hook up
their new NOKIA Mediamaster or the Showtime Galaxis receiver.
It is specifically not ment for Media professionals or Network Manager:
(but on the other hand, who really knows: It's the peoples voice !).

There are hardly limits set to the questions, a few I will mention now:

	*) No illegal contents or issues which offend Middle Eastern moral.
	*) No advertisement for any Product, TV Station, or Enterprise.
Questions & Answers will be grouped together and answered in such a way
that no connection can be made to any particular person or organization.
Still, anybody targetted with an answer will clear understand the mailed
response to his/her request.	

The reason why all this hustle is quite simple:
First: it takes to much time to respond to all incoming questions on a
one-by-one basis, example: presently I spend more then 12 hours daily
(un-paid) in front of my PC (actually not even a PC, it's an old Mac).
Second: There are plenty of anwers, which everybody could have a use
for, maybe questions you'ld never ask, because you feel they are dumn.

Just remember the old saying that there are NO stupid questions, only
boring responses. Feel free to ask anything, as long as it is related to
broadcast satellites receivable in the Middle East. I can't give
guarantees, but I will try to respond as honest and intelligent as
possible, using my technical knowledge, some logic and common sense.

You can be one of the FIRST subscribers by sending a mail to: 

<majordomo@drdish.com> and put as text: subscribe ask-me <your@address>

You will have to confirm your subscription in the usual way by sending
back a submitted entry code, but that's done only once a in a lifetime
for a timeless free-of-charge service...

The name ASK-ME is a tiny word game in itself (really ? <gg>):

ASK-ME ... clear, ask me a question, I'll send you the answer (Q&A)
ASK-ME ... ask Mid-East (ASK-ME is the Q&A medium of SAT-MidEast)

Mailings will be send out irregular, more than twice a week, depending
on the number of Q&A, and the urgency of the contents. The ASK-ME
mailing will not be used for news issues, but news could be included as
part of an answer. 

After a brief transitional period, ALL questions will be directed to the
ASK-ME mailing list, individual questions will not be answered anymore.
All persons or organizations expecting an answer on a request to
SAT-MidEast will, for the time being, automatically be subscribed to the
free-of-charge service.

You can get hold of back issues (none at the time) of ASK-ME at:

or look at some other very interesting hard- and software issues at:

Take a minute and subscribe NOW, before going back to your boring daily

Best regards,

Henk C. Room / Webmaster Sat-MidEast / Cairo - Egypt
- Middle East satellite information for analogue and digital TV:

	SAT-MidEast: http://www.sat-net.com/sat-mideast/
- SAT-MidEast mailinglist, weekly free-of-charge to your mailbox 
- for easy subscription go to:

	SAT-MidEast: http://www.sat-net.com/listserver/sat-mideast/	
- SAT-MidEast free-of-charge TV reception Q&A service - ASK-ME -
- for easy subscription go to:

	SAT-MidEast: http://www.sat-net.com/listserver/ask-me/
- For comprehensive broadcast satellite transponder information 

	SAT-MidEast recommends: SATCO-DX: http://www.satcodx.com/

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