From: "Peter C. Klanowski" <pck@LyNet.De>
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 00:52:05 +0200
From firstname.lastname@example.org Tue Sep 10 19: 05:02 1996
Sat-ND 96-09-10 - Satellite and Media News
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460 geostationary satellites to come
The Commercial Space Office of the US Department of Transport expects 460
medium-sized and large telecommunications satellites to be launched during
the next 14 years, most of which will be positioned in a geostationary
orbit. Aviation Week reported that the estimation is based on data supplied
by 13 satellite companies and launch providers such as Hughes, Inmarsat,
The next two years should see the highest launch rates with 36 and 40
satellites per year respectively. The demand is expected to fall down to 30
satellites in 2000 and 25 satellites in 2004. Interestingly, the number
will rise again to 30 or more from 2005.
One reason for the decrease in satellite launches may be the trend towards
larger satellites with more power and more transponders. The average
telecommunications satellite for the geostationary orbit is expected to
weigh 4,000 kg (8,900 lbs.) within a few years' time instead of today's
3,200 kg (7,100 lbs.)
Commercial satellite operators are expected to gain ground. Their portion
of satellite orders has grown from 55 percent in 1990/91 to 67 percent in
1994/95. Judging from today's prices for satellites and their launches, the
satellite boom is expected to create a revenue of at least US$50 billion.
Commercial Space Office: http://www.dot.gov/dotinfo/faa/cst/
Aviation Week Group: http://www.awgnet.com/
(As far as I know, you won't find any additional details concerning this
story on both sites. But there's lot of other interesting stuff.)
The launch of the Lockheed-built INMARSAT satellite last Friday from the
Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan may well have been one of he strangest
the industry has ever witnessed. At least, it was a bizarre experience for
the Lockheed crew that travelled to Baikonur.
First of all, the launch took place under a special security agreement
between Russia and the USA. Russian security staff observed Lockheed
engineers closely and even followed them to the toilet. The Americans
weren't allowed to take photos and even got sick after being served a
camel-meat dinner. (I'd prefer to smoke Camels that to eat 'em -- Ed.)
As if all this just wasn't enough, the power went out less than a half hour
before countdown and didn't return before ten minutes had passed. "We were
about to give up," admitted Lockheed engineer Sam Basu. The Russians later
offered a few reasons for the power outage, including political tensions,
power-station work and their own unpaid lease to the Kazakh government.
US engineers meanwhile expressed their admiration for Russian technicians
who can still launch satellites under those conditions.
Copyright 1996 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.
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