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Orbital Sciences Corporation said that the new Orbcomm satellites are performing precisely as planned during early in-orbit check-out. As a result of data gathered from a series of initial spacecraft testing procedures, a team of Orbital and Orbcomm satellite engineers has determined that the main systems of all eight satellites are operating as expected.
At the present time, it has been determined that all eight satellites are generating the full electrical power levels for which they are designed, indicating that their solar arrays have properly deployed and are accurately tracking the sun. In addition, all eight satellites have been in reliable communications with Orbcomm's ground network in the United States
Over the next several days, a team of Orbital and Orbcomm engineers will continue to conduct a series of tests to confirm that the satellites are operating as planned and to make any necessary adjustments. Following this initial evaluation phase, the engineering team will conduct more comprehensive testing over the next three months in preparation for placing the satellites into commercial service.
When the new satellites are operational, Orbcomm will increase the communications availability in the U.S. from an average of nine hours per day to 17 hours per day. Orbcomm provides two-way monitoring, tracking and messaging services.
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Chunghwa Telecom of Taiwan said that ST-1's footprint will cover China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Sri Lanka. The satellite, built by Matra Marconi Space, will provide satellite services for local TV, broadcasting, telecommunication and internet companies. Chunghwa and Singtel of Singapure would operate seven C-band and eight Ku-band channels each.
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Nonetheless, Iran needs the help of five other countries. According to Iranian media, representatives from China, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, South Korea and Thailand negotiating the "technical and financial" terms for the project to launch a satellite in 2001.
Iran says it's prepared to spend US$3 million to US$4 million, offering to build some ground stations. The only thing they had to offer for the satellite itself were--the batteries. Nonetheless, Iran through this venture expects to acquire the technology to built satellites.
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Dorfman said the 17 U.S. commercial satellites launched in China were guarded around the clock by security specialists before being sent into space. 14 launches had been monitored by U.S. Defense Department personnel. In three cases, DoD monitors were invited but did not turn up.
"The presence of DoD monitors is one more layer of protection that Hughes believes is well advised and one for which we, as a company, are willing to bear the financial burden if budget limitations are a problem," Dorfman said.
Dorfman also said that provisions should be made for the U.S. State and Defense departments to oversee any launch failure reviews. In 1996, a Commerce Department decision allowed Hughes to give China a report on a rocket launch that failed without first having the report reviewed by the State or Defense departments. Critics argue that the information contained in this and similar reports could have helped China improve military rockets as well.
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SkyBridge says it conducted a demonstration of the impact of the WRC-97 (World Radiocommunications Conference) provisional power limits on direct broadcast satellite (DBS) systems at a recent International Telecommunications Union (ITU) meeting. Receiving live Astra and Hispasat programming signals via satellite with standard consumer equipment, SkyBridge demonstrated the absence of any perceptible impact on DBS viewers from NGSO operations under the WRC-97 power limits.
SkyBridge will use the Ku-band for its its global broadband access system that is to become operational by 2001.
At the ITU meeting, consensus was reached on use of new of a new methodology for evaluating the power limits applied to NGSO systems. The delegates also agreed on principles for software to be used by the International Telecommunication Union to confirm appliance of a NGSO system with the power limits. Progress was made in defining the appropriate protection for GSO and terrestrial systems and on the means of assessing the true effect of multiple NGSO systems.
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According to Sky Station, the FCC also noted that while it would not prohibit satellite companies from bidding for the frequencies, it recognised the existence of the decision of the International Telecommunication Union in November 1997 favouring use of the 47 GHz band world-wide for stratospheric platforms. Accordingly, the FCC said any satellite bidders would have to show that they would not cause any interference to stratospheric platforms.
The FCC also ruled that use of the spectrum would be flexible, which would allow the bands to be used for fixed, mobile and point to multi-point services. This will enable Sky Station to provide a wide range of services. The FCC declined to impose any foreign ownership limitation on stratospheric companies so long as the foreign owners were from WTO signatories or from countries which met trade reciprocity conditions.
Sat-ND has frequently reported about Sky Station's plans to operate a fleet of 150-metre long airships which, from an altitude of about 20 kilometres, will provide data and telephone services to areas of over 900 kilometres in diameter.
Sky Station: http://www.skystation.com/
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Pearson PLC's 4% indirect stake in British Sky Broadcasting Group PLC, worth £300 million, is likely to be sold within six months, Finance Director John Makinson said: "It's neither a long-term hold nor a short-term sell." Bur first, complicated tax issues will have to be resolved.
Mediaset parent Fininvest's managing director Ubaldo Livolsi confirmed that the company, owned by Italian media mogul Silvio Berlusconi, was in talks with his German fellow mogul Leo Kirch about forming a "European major." Livolsi added that he did not expect immediate developments. Kirch, who has lost billions with his ailing digital TV platform DF1, according to news reports wants to sell 20 percent of his empire to News Corp's Rupert Murdoch, Berlusconi and Saudi Prince Al-Waleed for about US$2 billion.
In related news, Kirch Group has appealed to the European Court of Justice against a veto by the European Commission on a digital television link-up it planned with the Bertelsmann publishing and media group. Kirch said the commission had not been fair or objective. "While the investigations were still going on, the commission said its decision would be negative," Kirch said.
And even this is related, too: the president of the German competition watchdog, the Federal Cartel Office, said in a newspaper interview that he might ban Kirch and Bertelsmann from raising their stakes in German pay-TV channel Premiere. "The plans by Bertelsmann and Kirch [for a 50-50 venture] that we are looking at are essentially the same as those banned by Brussels."
It's all a bit confusing, even for real journalists. Just after Italian financial paper Il Sole 24 Ore reported that Berlusconi would sell its 33.5-percent interest in German sports channel DSF to Kirch, Fininvest said it actually did so last autumn. But this actually isn't really related to anything, it's here just to confuse you.
Walt Disney Co. and Bertelsmann are close to an agreement which could lead to the sale of Disney's stake in German television channels Super RTL and RTL2. This would pave the way for a CLT-UFA controlled television group containing the RTL, RTL2 and Super RTL channels--something that Bertelsmann always wanted. So far, Disney has refused to sell its stakes in the RTL channels. The price is expected to be around US$85 million. As part of the expected deal Disney would get more money for its feature films and cartoon series, and a legal dispute between Disney and CLT over an old agreement would be settled.
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Peter C Klanowski
I R Baboon
Quentin J Esrom
Bob, Curt, Frank, Geoff, Henk, Holger, Sid [in alphabetical order]
Everybody who sent in news... For some strange reason, most of them preferred to stay anonymous, even though this was just a silly little newsletter about satellites etc. and not a sex shop [or the White House for that matter.]
TELE-satellite International <http://www.TSI-magazine.com/> for making this experiment possible
TBS Internet <http://TBS-internet.com/> who hosted this service
My niece Luisa
Copyright 1998 Sat-ND/Peter C. Klanowski, firstname.lastname@example.org. All rights reserved. Peter C Klanowski shall not be liable for errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.