SAT-MidEast 98.07.03

A news release from Cairo, Egypt, located at 31.15 East - 30.3 North,
sponsored by TELE-SATELLITE INTERNATIONAL, Europes Satellite Magazine
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* A highly successful $1 billion sun-studying probe went silent
Wednesday while undergoing a routine maneuver, NASA and European Space
Agency project officials announced last Friday.

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, nicknamed SOHO, was launched in
December 1995 from Cape Canaveral Air Station, Florida, to examine the
sun from a strategic position a million miles from Earth.

On Wednesday, ground controllers commanded the spacecraft to complete a
series of thruster firings called a momentum management maneuver.

But during the maneuver, contact with SOHO was lost and the satellite
went into emergency sun re-acquisition mode. This mode is activated when
an anomaly occurs and the spacecraft loses its orientation toward the
sun. When this happens, the spacecraft automatically tries to point
itself toward the sun again by firing its attitude control thrusters
under the guidance of an onboard sun sensor.

Efforts to re-establish contact with SOHO did not succeed and telemetry
was lost. Subsequent attempts using the full NASA Deep Space Network
capabilities have so far also not been successful.

A team of experts from ESA and Matra Marconi Space, prime contractor for
the SOHO spacecraft, gathered at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center,
Greenbelt, Maryland, to assist the NASA Flight Operations Team in
assessing the situation and analyzing the spacecraft status should
contact be reestablished.

Engineers are concentrating on gaining a full understanding of the
events which led to the loss of signal, information which might help
them devise procedures which may recover contact with SOHO. Commands are
being sent to SOHO about once per minute through the DSN's 34-meter
antennas instructing the spacecraft to activate its transmitters.

Based on the last telemetry data received from SOHO, engineers said it
appears most likely that the spacecraft is slowly spinning in such a way
that its solar arrays, which generate power, either do not face the Sun
at all or do not receive adequate sunlight to generate power. However,
based on the last data received, it appears that SOHO's solar panels may
be exposed to an increasing amount of sunlight each day as it orbits the
Sun. If this assumption is correct, within a few weeks enough sunlight
might be hitting the solar panels to generate power to charge its

Engineers believe they will have until late July to regain control of
SOHO before all hope is lost. That is because in about a month, it will
become too difficult to find the satellite's orbit and point Earth-based
antennas accurately to communicate, said NASA spokesman Bill

"Obviously the longer it goes with no contact, the less likely there is
of establishing contact," Steigerwald said Friday afternoon.

Officials are not sure what caused the potentially-fatal problem aboard
SOHO or what role the maneuver may have played.

The management maneuver is done periodically to reduce the momentum
built up in the spacecraft's attitude controlling reaction wheels. The
wheels are "de-spun" by firing thrusters in the opposite direction.

SOHO recently completed its two-year primary mission and had started a
two-year extension so scientists could use the sophisticated probe to
watch the upcoming period of extreme activity on the sun called the
solar maximum.

The spacecraft also was to work in tandem for two days that fall with
NASA's free-flying SPARTAN satellite to be deployed and retrieved from
the space shuttle Discovery. The joint observations were designed to
allow scientists the chance to calibrate data returned from SOHO.

And although not yet budgeted, SOHO was expected to operate through 2002
until its fuel supply was exhausted.

SOHO is a joint mission of the European Space Agency and NASA. It was
launched aboard an Atlas 2AS rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Station, FL,
on Dec. 2, 1995. In April 1998, SOHO successfully completed its nominal
two-year mission to study the Sun's atmosphere, surface and interior.

For more details on SOHO: http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/
(SME, sources, NASA, ESA)

* The legendary Italian film actress Sofia Loren is to get a satellite
channel named after her. The "Sofia" channel will be dedicated to
Italian fashion and will start broadcasting from January 1999 via
satellite to all of Europe. It will be on air 12 hours a day and a
budget of around 6.5 million USD has already been set up by the owners
of the channel, the Agenzia per la couture.

The program schedule of the channel will include coverage of major
fashion events in Rome, Milan and Florence, but will also devote time to
new technologies, alternative lifestyles, music, interviews with the
rich and famous.
(SME, source: Branislav Pekic SAT-Italy)

* Good news for all Italians who own a first generation digital receiver
produced by Pace, the DVR 500 and are subscribed to Telepiu. The Italian
digital TV operator has announced that it will give all those
interested, in exchange and free of charge, a Goldbox digital receiver
which is Seca/Mediaguard compatible. When it appeared on the market, the
Irdeto compatible DVR 500 was principally intended for the reception of
Telepiu's DSTV package (now called D+).

SME Comment: Call your fiends in Italy, ship your boxes and pack mine
with it too !

LAUNCH INFORMATION, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
98/08/25	Proton	Astra 2A (28.2 East)

98/09/01	V109:	ST-1 (88 East)
98/09/15	V110:	PAS 7 (68.5 East)
98/10/03	V111:	AfriStar (21 East) & Sirius 3 (28.2 East)
98/10/23	V113:	Eutelsat W2  (16 East) & Skynet 4E
98/10/end	V112:	Ariane 503: ARD + W1 (not operational)
98/11/13	V114:	Insat 2E & GE 5
98/12/02	V115:	Satmex 5 (Morelos)
98/12/22	V116:	PAS 6B

THAICOM 3, 78.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/thai78.shtml
* Vietnamese channel VTV 4 has Saturday returned on 3,649 H, PAL/clear,
starting at 19:00 CET. Initially without any foreign programming,
lasting less than two hours. Later in the week the program extended for
another two hours again.

APSTAR 2R, 76.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/apstar2r.shtml
* The TVB 8 MPEG-2 promos have left 3,672 H. The TVB 8 package with four
channels is now on 3,845 H, MPEG-2/PowerVu encrypted, SR 13240, FEC 3/4.

* Hallmark has launched its Hallmark Pacific Rim Network on 1 July at
18:00 CET on 3,720 H, MPEG-2/PowerVu, SR 19508, FEC 3/4

The Kermit Channels in this package are encrypted, on PIDs 1360/1320 &
1460/1420. The software download channels carry all VPID 1160 and no
APID set.

Hallmark Network Info: http://www.hallmarknetwork.com/
* From the AXN-Package on 3,920 GHz, H, MPEG-2/Powervu encrypted, SR
28340 und FEC 7/8, is with the channel name "Watch this space.." with
PIDs 1460/1420, the "AXN-Action Cut" pre-view channel receivable.

PANAMSAT 4, 68.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/pas4.shtml
* NHK occasional feeds are observed on 12,725 H, PAL, Indian beam.

* The Hallmark Network on 11,584 H, as part of the SHOWTIME Network, is
now encrypted.

* National Geographic Channel has started on 3,743 H, MPEG-2/clear, PIDs

* Multichoice Africa made in the night to July 1st a slight adjustment
to their encryption code, in order to phase out all the illegal smart
cards from the UK and elsewhere. Unfortunately a few original cards were
wiped out also.

INTELSAT 703, 57 East, http://www.satcodx.com/i703.shtml
* National Geographic Channel has replaced NBC Asia on 11,075 V as part
of the Orbit Network.

INSAT 2DT, 55 East, http://www.satcodx.com/insat2dt.shtml
* DD 1 is irregularely testing on 3,996 L, PAL, 5,40 MHz.

EUTELSAT II-f3, 16 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f3.shtml
* Hungarian Alfa TV tested last Saturday on 11,596 H, PAL/clear on
widebeam, with audio on 6.60 MHz and 7.02 & 7.38 MHz two more TV
audiosignals, with different languaged voice-over dubbing.

* TV 10 has started on 11,043 H, MPEG-2/clear, SR 4000, FEC 3/4, PIDs

* Turkish Eylik TV feeds on 11,046 V, MPEG-2/clear, SR 3100, FEC 7/8.

* Italian TMC has ceased digital transmissions on 11,024 H , and was
replaced by a test card.

EUTELSAT II-f1, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f1.shtml
* At 24:00 CET on 30 June, NBC Europe left transponder 25, 10,987 V.

At 06:00 CET on 01 July, CNBC Europe started on 10,987 V, PAL/clear,
06-12 CET.

At 12:00 CET on 01 July, National Geographic Channel started on 10,987
V, PAL/clear, 12-06 CET.

HOT BIRD 2, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb2.shtml
* NTV International's package on 11,938 H will be encrypted in Viaccess
from 15 September.

* ART Al-Ma'aref and World Cup Channel as part of the Arabesque bouquet
on 12,015 H are encrypted again.

HOT BIRD 3, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb3.shtml
* Radio WAWa has started in the Polish Digital Platform on transponder
81, 12,322 H, widebeam, MPEG-2/clear, SID 7330, APID 651.
It has earlier this week been tested under the name TestSound with SID

HOT BIRD 4, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb4.shtml
* The radio channels in the Arabsat package on 12,654 H, MPEG-2/clear,
are copied from the Saudi Channel 1 transmissions on Arabsat 2, 26 East.
They are slightly delayed on Hot Bird 4, due to the re-transmission.

690/4140:	Al-Koran Al-Karim	Arabsat 2A 3,925 R: 7,20 Mhz
691/4145:	Variety Channel	Arabsat 2A 3,925 R: 7,80 MHz
* Worldnet/C-Span and Mysik Karayb MPEG-2 tests have left the Eutelsat
Skyplex test transponder 110, 10,719 V.

* Italian broadcaster Stream has started to use transponder 100, 12,713
V, MPEG-2/encrypted, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, line-up: Magic PPV and Movie
PPV. Carrier tests could be seen on July 3rd on transponder 96, 12,635

SME Comment: Remarkable is that both transponder are used in the
widebeam modus, which makes reception of the encrypted channels,
including the EPG, possible in the Middle East, Levant and Gulf Area.
Other Stream transponders on Hot Bird 2 are using the superbeam mode.

SIRIUS 2, 5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/sirius.shtml
* Front Row Channel 52 test card has replaced the Bravo test card
on 12,303 H, Euro beam, MPEG-2/clear, SID 57, PIDs 1760/1720.

Inititally there has been a "PEARSON SDI" testcard with a "Bravo"
on-screen logo in the upper right corner, which was later replaced by a
colourfull test dia, with in the lower left corner the logo "TV Travel

* In the Swedish NSAB package on 12,380 H, MPEG-2/clear, Euro beam, a
channel named "Teracom" appeared, with IDs 45/46/9. The screen stays
black, no audio is transmitted.
Watch out for the appearance of a new channel soon !

* Transponder test have been performed during this week on 12.111 H,
Euro beam.

NILESAT 101, 7 West, http://www.satcodx.com/nile101.shtml
* Hallmark on 11,584 H, as part of the SHOWTIME Network, is now
encrypted, the APID has changed to 3035.

* During the last week more IDs got changed on the Pay-TV transponder.
Here the latest data with changed PPIDs and SIDs:

tp 15, 11,996 H, MPEG-2, NID 2048, TID 3, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, SHOWTIME

3004/3005/3051/321      TMC     The Movie Channel (encr)
3014/3015/3051/322      N/P     Nickelodeon/Paramount Channel (encr)
3024/3025/3051/323      TVL     TV-Land (encr)
3034/3025/3051/324      MTV     MTV Europe (encr)
3044/3045/3051/325      VH-1    VH-1 UK (encr)
3054/3055/3051/326      BTV     Bloomberg Information TV UK (encr)

tp 17, 12.034 H, MPEG-2, NID 2048, TID 4, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, SHOWTIME

3004/3005/3003/421      STY     Style Channel (encr)
3016/3017/3003/422      DISC    Discovery (encr)
3025/3026/3003/423      SET     Sony Entertainment TV (encr)
3034/3035/3003/424      HALL    Hallmark Network Promo (enc)
3043/3044/3003/425      ONTV    Showtime Preview Channel (clear)

tp 19, 12,072 H, MPEG-2, NID 2048, TID 8, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, 1stNET/ART

3073/3075/3091/808      OPEN    ART Open Channel (clear)

EXPRESS 2, 14 West, http://www.satcodx.com/e2.shtml
* NTV International will leave 4,075 R on 1 August, and is furthermore
receivable in the MIddle East via Hot Bird 2, 11.938 H, until encryption
sets in on 15 September.

* Iranian Sahar Universal Network returned to 3,975 R, SECAM.

INTELSAT 806, 40.5 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i806.shtml
* Jean-Philippe Dimitriadis sent following reception report from Greece:

The analog channel ATC, 4,167 L, is received, but needs threshold
extension with a 240 cm dish in Kastoria.

With a 300 cm dish on Salamina, which is an island near Athens, Vassilis
Varveris receives 24-hrs a day the following free digital channels:

3,774 L, SR  8821 FEC 3/4	Cadena Sur, Rede Globo
3,803 L, SR 27500 FEC 3/4	RFO 1, RFO 2, MTA
3,976 L, SR  6519 FEC 7/8	Argentinissima Satellital, TVI Sat

With a 300 cm dish near Thessaloniki, to the north of Greece, Angelos
Adamoudis receives the same free channels, plus:

3,640 R, SR 19650 FEC 2/3	Infinito, RAI Int, Solo Tango .
4,016 R, SR  5712 FEC 3/4 	Canal 4 test 

Both receive also many encrypted channels on 3,747 R, 4,012 L, 3,923 L

None of the above is receivable in the Levant, Middle East or Gulf.

SAT-MIDEAST INTERN, http://www.sat-net.com/sat-mideast/
* I have a request from an Israeli subscriber, which is living in a
kibbutz close to Eilat and the Jordanian border, for some informal
e-mail contact to other satellite enthousiasts in Israel.

As the SAT-MidEast privacy policy does not allow me to give away any
e-mail addresses, I would like to receive a one-liner from you, if you
agree to let this subscriber have your e-mail address. I will gather the
addresses and forward them to him; so he can pick-up the contact from

He is very much interested in sharing set-up information, comparing
reception results, and sharing informations on the purchase of receiving

Best regards,

Henk C. Room / Cairo - Egypt
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