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  1. #1
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    Default Sat news 04.05.2007

    The maiden flight for Vega, a small launcher being developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) remains set for 2008 despite a less than successful test firing of the launcher’s solid fuel Zefiro 9 motor that will power its third stage.

    Zefiro 9 is being developed by Avio SpA and is based on advanced technologies in solid rocket propulsion. It has an overall height of 3.17 meters and a diameter of 1.92 meters, contains 10 tonnes of propellant and provides a maximum thrust of 305 kilo Newton in vacuum.

    Vega is a single body launcher composed of three solid propellant stages and a liquid propellant upper module. It is some 30 meters high and weighs a total of 137 tonnes at lift-off. Vega will be able to launch satellites of up to 1,500 kg into a 700 km-altitude polar orbit, and it will also be useable in a wide range of scientific and Earth observation missions.

    Vega is being developed with the support of seven ESA member states Italy, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, the Netherlands and Sweden. ESA has contracted the development activities of the launcher to ELV SpA, a joint venture between Avio SpA and the Italian Space Agency (ASI).

    Vega was to have been launched in 2006 as the perfect complement to the heavy lift Ariane 5 and the medium-class Soyuz that will commence operating from Europe's Spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana.

    Last week’s second firing test of Zefiro 9 took place at the seaside Salto Di Quirra Inter-force Test Range in Sardinia, Italy. Initial results indicated the motor and nozzle behaved as anticipated up until 35 seconds after ignition, when a sudden drop in the motor's internal pressure was detected. The pressure stabilized at a value lower than nominal, leading to a longer combustion time than the expected 105 seconds. The nozzle was damaged during the test firing.

    ESA and teams from its industry partners are conducting a thorough analysis and assessment of the data collected during the test. The causes of the anomaly have not yet been identified and an investigation board is being set up for this purpose. An investigation board will recommend preventative and other appropriate actions to preclude the recurrence of similar anomalies for the finalization of the motor qualification. ESA did not announce a delay in Vega’s maiden flight.

    This was the second test fire of Zefiro 9. The first took place successfully in December 2005. The first tests of the other Vega solid rocket motors, Zefiro 23 (second stage) and P80 (first stage), took place at Salto di Quirra and at Kourou, French Guiana in 2006. Three more firing tests were conducted successfully for the Zefiro 16 motor, the forerunner of the Zefiro family of solid rocket motors, from 1999-2000.

    The technology used for Zefiro 9, as well as for Vega’s Zefiro 23 second-stage motor, is similar to Zefiro 16, but with a number of improvements to the structure and the composite materials used for the motor. Improvements also include the use of HTPB 1912 solid propellant and new technology for the igniters inside the motor.
    Salut Prieteni!


  2. #2
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    The U.S. government has embarked on an industry-government collaboration to demonstrate the viability of conducting U.S. military communications through an Internet router in space.

    The Department of Defense’s (DoD) “Internet Routing in Space (IRIS) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration Project” represents the next generation of space-based communications. IRIS will serve as a computer processor in the sky, merging communications being received on various frequency bands and transmitting them to multiple users based on data instructions embedded in the uplink. Intelsat General Corporation will manage IRIS, one of seven projects funded and announced in fiscal 2007 as a Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) by the DoD.

    "The IRIS architecture allows direct IP routing over satellite, eliminating the need for routing via a ground-based teleport, thereby dramatically increasing the efficiency and flexibility of the satellite communications link," said Don Brown, vice president of Hosted Payload Programs for Intelsat General. "IRIS is to the future of satellite-based communications what Arpanet was to the creation of the Internet in the 1960s."

    Space Systems/Loral will manufacture the satellite scheduled to carry the IRIS payload. The satellite, IS-14, is set for launch in the first quarter of 2009. It will be placed in geostationary orbit at 45 degrees West longitude with coverage of Europe, Africa and the Americas. The payload will convert to commercial use once testing has been completed.

    The IRIS payload will support network services for voice, video and data communications, enabling military units or allied forces to communicate with one another using Internet protocol and existing ground equipment.

    The IRIS payload will interconnect one C-band and two Ku-band coverage areas. The IRIS architecture and design allow for flexible IP packet (layer 3) routing or multicast distribution that can be reconfigured on demand. With the on-board processor routing the up and down communications links, the IRIS payload is expected to enhance satellite performance and reduce signal degradation from atmospheric conditions.

    The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) will have overall responsibility for coordinating use of the IRIS technology among the government user community and for developing means of leveraging the IRIS capability once the satellite is in space.

    Intelsat General, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intelsat Ltd, is the first commercial satellite company to be awarded a JCTD program. The IRIS JCTD is a three-year program that allows DoD to collaborate with Intelsat General and its industry team to demonstrate and assess the utility of the IRIS capability.

    Awarding a JCTD for the IRIS program had the strong support of the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), which sees the program as a path to more efficient communications between warfighters around the globe. USSTRATCOM is a joint military command whose responsibilities include space operations, missile defense, intelligence, reconnaissance and global command and control.

    Global networking firm Cisco will provide commercial IP networking software for the on-board router. SEAKR Engineering, Inc. will manufacture the space-hardened router and integrate it into the IRIS payload. SEAKR is a provider of state-of-the-art electronic avionics for space and airborne applications. SEAKR space avionics include Cisco IP routers as well as software-defined radios, high-performance payload processors, modular command and data handling systems, and solid state recorders.

    Concerto Advisors, a financial advisory firm, is organizing equity financing for a new company to provide the funds to design, build and operate the equipment used for the demonstration. Following the JCTD testing period, Concerto's affiliate will own the equipment, and Intelsat will operate the equipment on Concerto's behalf to provide services for government and commercial users.

    "IRIS extends the Internet into space, integrating satellite systems and the ground infrastructure for warfighters, first responders and others who need seamless and instant communications," said Bill Shernit, president and CEO of Intelsat General. "IRIS will enable U.S. and allied military forces with diverse satellite equipment to seamlessly communicate over the Internet from the most remote regions of the world."

    Intelsat General provides communications solutions to commercial, government, and military customers through fixed and mobile satellite systems and associated terrestrial communications services. Intelsat General is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Intelsat, Ltd.

    Concerto Advisors is a venture advisory firm currently working with US Strategic Command and industry partners to create a transformative paradigm for satellite communications and related services. Concerto Advisors is an Industry Management Team Member and the investment manager for the industry team for the IRIS.

    In FY2006 a new business process was initiated which replaced the successful ACTD (Advanced Concepts Technology Demonstration) program, updating it to meet the transformational goal of the DoD to become capability vice threat-based in its focus. The program is referred to as the Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) program.

    JCTD includes many positive aspects of the ACTD program, but was revamped to meet the defense challenges of the 21st Century. The new process integrates the ACTD program with the new Joint Integration and Development System (JCIDS) developed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

    The IRIS JCTD is a three-year program that allows the DoD to collaborate with Intelsat General and its industry team to demonstrate and assess the utility of the IRIS capability. IRIS is designed to support enhanced network services for voice, video and data communications over a common IP network. Additionally, the IRIS JCTD serves as an operational test bed to further examine Network Operations (NetOps), Concept of Operations (CONOP) and Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs), and how space-based routing and processing can serve the Joint Interagency Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) user community.
    Salut Prieteni!


  3. #3
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    Telenor has signed a contract with Thales Alenia Space for the construction and delivery of a new geosynchronous communications satellite, Thor 6. The new bird will provide high power direct-to-home (DTH) television services from the 1° West orbital position.

    Thor 6 will be based on Thales Alenia Space’s Spacebus 4000B2 platform. It will be fitted with 36 active Ku-band transponders. Sixteen transponders will point to the Nordic countries while 20 transponders will be positioned to serve the growing broadcasting demands within Central and Eastern Europe.

    With the launch of Thor 6, the 1° West will have a total of 71 transponders providing capacity to facilitate both organic growth and expansion for Telenor. Thor 6 is the final satellite in Telenor Satellite Broadcasting's replacement program for Thor 2 and Thor 3. Thor 6 will replace Thor 3, which is set to retire in 2010.

    The order calls for a 26 month in-orbit delivery schedule, and is expected to start services in summer 2009 with an operational lifetime of 15 years. The expected investment for Thor 6 is $219 million, including the spacecraft, launch services and insurance.

    Cato Halsaa, managing director of Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, said Telenor is very pleased to be working with Thales Alenia Space to provide the replacement of Thor 3. “Telenor has developed 1° West into a prime broadcasting position for the Nordic region and aims to make it the leading platform choice within Central and Eastern Europe. With the launch of Thor 5 and Thor 6, I am confident that Telenor has an excellent satellite fleet, and the necessary high power capacity to support further growth."

    Thales Alenia Space will be responsible for the design, construction and test activities for Thor 6. Pascale Sourisse, president and CEO, Thales Alenia Space, said they are extremely gratified that an important operator such as Telenor Satellite Broadcasting AS has turned to Thales Alenia Space to provide a new powerful satellite.

    This contract heralds a new phase of cooperation with Telenor Satellite Broadcasting and is an additional recognition of the reliability of the Spacebus 4000 family. She noted that this contract also marks the new Thales Alenia Space's first satellite ordered.

    Telenor Satellite Broadcasting provides television broadcasting services for distribution, contribution and occasional applications to all Nordic broadcasters and many other broadcasters throughout Europe, using its hybrid network consisting of satellites, terrestrial circuits, international teleports and remote earth stations.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    The commercial satellite services industry is stepping up a campaign aimed at preventing the C-band frequencies it now uses from being shared with mobile satellite services as the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference in October draws closer.

    The conference, held every four years under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), will discuss whether it is appropriate to allow terrestrial mobile networks to use the band 3.4-4.2 GHz, which is now reserved for the use of satellite operators worldwide. The satellite industry argues this sharing will cause significant harm to the communications services provided by satellite operators.

    It said the 3.4-4.2 GHz frequencies are fully used by satellite operators to provide a variety of essential services, including strategic government communications, rural communications, avionics, maritime services and basic telephony. These services contribute to national economic growth, stability and social advancement.

    The industry said it is technically impossible for satellite services to share frequencies with mobile services or to use other frequencies. In some areas, the industry is obliged to share its spectrum with fixed wireless networks, which cause significant and harmful interference to satellite services.

    SES has taken on the lead role in the international campaign to ensure no change is made in the satellite industry’s use of the C-band frequencies. It contends that the proposed terrestrial mobile services would cause harmful interference into both existing and planned satellite services.

    It noted satellite services would experience signal loss, blackouts and synchronization loss. SES said it is not acceptable that mobile operators, who use only a fraction of their current spectrum assignments, should try to harm satellite transmissions in this unnecessary way.

    SES is asking satellite operators to lobby their national delegations to the October ITU conference to support “No Change” to the current global allocation of 3.4-4.2 GHz to the fixed satellite services.
    Salut Prieteni!


  5. #5
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    The Satellite Business Technology Theater held at the Central Hall of the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada from April 16-19 highlighted the many opportunities for the satellite industry in the growing HDTV, IPTV and enterprise markets.

    The broadcasting market, which has traditionally been one of the mainstays of the satellite services market, is undergoing revolutionary changes with the demand for high bandwidth services such as IPTV, Mobile TV and HDTV. The was the overarching theme of the NAB show this year and the Satellite Business Theater conference held in the trade show floor explored various ways in which the satellite industry can capitalize on the many opportunities in the new media environment. As one speaker put it ”people want their video, anywhere, anytime and to any device.”

    “Bandwidth begets bandwidth,” said David Myers, Senior Vice-President of Spacenet, emphasizing that new mobile and IP applications would only drive more demand for satellite services. Speakers at various sessions addressed many different themes including “Capturing IPTV Opportunities in Satellite,” “Terrestrial Wireless Carriers Want Your Satellite Bandwidth,” “ How Satellite Service Providers Can Win the Value-Added Game,” and many others.

    In the session on “Business Fundamentals for Reaching Niche TV Audiences via Satellite” chaired by ATCi President Gary Hatch, he said a new paradigm has evolved for delivering content to various devices. Satellites can play a vital role in delivering this content to the consumer according to the various speakers which included Andrew Dale of the Any Dale Co.’ Emrah Ozcan , CEO of Home2US Communications and Jonathan Feldman, SVP of GlobeCast Americas. “Niches are riches,” said Andy Dale, emphasizing the need for reaching the right niche audience for a satellite delivered channel to be successful.

    The conference was held from April 16-19 and featured speakers including Ron Samuel, CEO of Eutelsat; Mike Antonovich, President of the Space Connection; Mary Frost, CEO, GlobeCast Americas; Robert Zitter of HBO; Dick Tauber of CNN, among others.

    The Satellite Business and Technology Conference at the NAB is organized by the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) and the World Teleport Association (WTA) and sponsored by Intelsat and SES Americom.

    Two sessions moderated by Jimmy Schaeffler, Chairman of The Carmel Group offered a unique look at satellites as they relate to Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) and the distributing Internet and mobile channels.

    Capturing IPTV Opportunities In Satellite," on April 16, included Robert Phelan, SES-Americom SVP and Amino General Manager Roy Kirsopp. Aimed at carriers, teleports, integrators and technology providers, this session captured several of the key elements of IPTV today, including costs, marketing, competition and technology, indeed with a slight lean toward the latter. Phelan exhibited a prototype of a mobile IPTV phone and TV, which operated flawlessly during the onstage demonstration. Kirsopp and his company, Amino, headquartered in the United Kingdom, were uniquely important in the sense that they hail from the European continent, where in many countries, especially France and England, IPTV has made or will soon make significant steps toward becoming a future "killer application."

    The Wedneday, April 18 panel brought together experts Bill Squadron, Esq., Sr. VP for SES Americom; Barry Hobbs, VP from Datapath; and Tim Floerchinger, VP, Network Sales, from Comtech EF Data. Dubbed "Distributing Inrternet and Mobile Channels," this second hour-long session by The Carmel Group focused additional resources toward what many call the "other killer app" today (in addition to IPTV), i.e., mobile hardware and software. Hobbs predicted a marked increase in video services as a percentage of total bandwidth used, on all levels, including consumer, commercial and Internet. Squadron and Floerchinger, for their part, were also quite bullish on the future of mobile services development, particularly as it relates to the future generations of users.

    The NAB is the largest broadcasting conference and expo in the world with over 100,000 attendees this year, over 20 percent of whom are from outside the U.S.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Russia will soon orbit five of the 15 telecommunications satellites as part of a national effort to upgrade the country’s space based communications systems.

    Express-AM33 will be launched this September with Express-AM44 and Express-MD1 to be orbited in December. Express-AM4 and Express-MD2, will be sent into space in 2008.

    Russia will orbit 15 communications satellites before 2015 under a new Federal Space Program that intends to provide secure, mobile communications for the Russian president and government, assist in Russia’s transition from analog to digital TV and provide universal communications service for difficult to reach regions of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

    The program to renovate Russia’s satellite communications fleet provides for designing and launching into geostationary orbit five new-generation Express-AM satellites with improved technical characteristics. Seven other satellites were launched beginning 1999 as part of the effort to upgrade Russia’s communications satellite constellation.

    One of these new satellites (Express AM11), however, was lost when it apparently collided with space junk, causing it to spiral out of orbit. The satellite, equipped with 30 transponders, was built jointly with France's Alcatel Alenia Space and Sodern, with some equipment made in Germany and Japan. The spacecraft was supposed to remain in orbit for at least 12 years. In September 2004, Russia’s Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications, the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), the Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC), NPO Prikladnoy Mechanicky signed a contract for the design, manufacture and launch of Express-AM33 and Express-AM44.

    Also that month, Alcatel signed a contract with RSCC to develop and deliver the payloads for Express AM33 and AM44. The two payloads, or the electronic equipment for a specific satellite mission, is being manufactured in Alcatel Space's Toulouse plant and will then be integrated into Express-AM platforms produced by NPO- PM in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

    Express-AM33 and Express-AM44 have a flexible configurations that permit RSCC to use them at any orbital position. Both satellites have C- and Ku-band transponders, and L-band capacity to provide mobile communications for the Russian president. The spacecraft are designed to provide digital TV and radio broadcasting, telephony, data transmission channels, videoconferencing services and Internet access. The satellites will also serve VSAT networks across Russia, the CIS countries, Europe, Asia and Africa.

    Express MD-1 and MD-2 will each be equipped with eight C-band and one L-band transponders, along with a repeater panel and an antenna farm, to provide broadcasting and communications services across Russia and the CIS countries, as well as mobile presidential and governmental communications.

    The Ministry for Information Technologies and Communications said the development of Russian telecommunications infrastructure with satellite communications as an integral part intends to give Russians access to universal communications services and implement federal projects such as e-Russia.

    Alcatel Space has extensive experience in the development of Russian spacecraft equipment. Three RSCC Express-A satellites (A1R, A2, A3) and the new Russian Express AM11 and AM22 communications satellites are equipped with payloads produced by Alcatel Space. In August 2006, Alcatel Space delivered the Express AM2 satellite payload and the AM3 payload has been shipped from Alcatel Space's facility in Cannes to NPO-PM's factory. Alcatel Space's collaboration with Russia started in the mid-1990s with the construction of the Sesat satellite for Eutelsat in cooperation with NPO-PM.
    Salut Prieteni!


  7. #7
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    NASA and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) have signed a $719 million modification to the current International Space Station (ISS) contract for crew and cargo services until 2011.

    The firm-fixed price extension covers crew rotations for 15 crew members (six in 2009, six in 2010 and three in 2011) and the delivery and the removal of 5.6 metric tons of cargo. With the modification, NASA is also purchasing the capability for the Russian Docking Cargo Module (DCM) to carry 1.4 metric tons of NASA cargo to the space station. That module is scheduled to fly in 2010.

    By adding the module, NASA will be able to fly outfitting hardware for the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module on the DCM, eliminating the need to fly a cargo carrier and some ballast on a shuttle flight. NASA is obligated to deliver the Russian outfitting hardware to the station under a 2006 addendum to the ISS Balance of Contributions Agreement between NASA and Roscosmos.

    NASA is also purchasing a flight opportunity to and from the space station that will meet an obligation to the international partners. The flight will allow for an astronaut from the partners to spend approximately six months aboard the space station. That flight is planned for 2009.
    Salut Prieteni!


  8. #8
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    NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have signed a milestone cross-support agreement covering expanded space tracking, navigation and systems sharing operations.

    The "Network and Operations Cross-Support Agreement" includes ongoing missions where no specific Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is in place, typically due to the short-term nature or limited scope of the support. ESA said this type of support has been provided in the past, but was limited only to the sharing of ground tracking stations and had to be arranged for each mission separately through a Letter of Agreement (LoA), a lengthy process.

    The first application of the new agreement might be during the critical Launch and Early Orbit Phase (Leop) for NASA's upcoming Dawn and Phoenix missions. ESA will furnish support via its Perth and Kourou 15 meter antenna stations.

    ESA's network of tracking stations, or Estrack, is a worldwide system of ground stations providing links between satellites in orbit and the agency's Space Operations Center (ESOC), in Darmstadt, Germany. The core Estrack network comprises 11 terminals sited at eight stations in five countries.

    The new agreement was signed here by William Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for space operations, and Gaele Winters, ESA director for operations and infrastructure. The agreement covers cross-support in Bi-directional Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C) services; Space Navigation (including services such as determining spacecraft trajectories and Very Long Baseline Interferometer (VLBI) services), Mission Operations and Ground Data Systems services.

    "The agreement means ESA and NASA can provide each other network support and space operations services more quickly, and this is becoming very significant. The sharing of resources is a sensible and efficient way to achieve enhanced space science value in an era of tight budgets," said Dr Manfred Warhaut, head of ESA's mission operations department.

    The bi-directional sharing of TT&C services will enhance effectiveness and reduce risk for both agencies. This interoperability will benefit both by providing immediate back-up in case a mission's prime ground station is unavailable by ensuring additional station support during critical mission phases such as launch, orbit entry or maneuvers, and by expanding station resources when ground tracking coverage might otherwise be missed.

    ESOC's Ground Facilities Control Center VLBI accurately locates spacecraft using highly sophisticated signal processing techniques and is achieved using Delta DOR (Delta Differential One-Way Ranging) technology, used by both NASA and ESA. Since 2005, ESA has installed Delta DOR receivers at both of its 35 meter deep-space antenna stations, DS1 in New Norcia, Australia, and DS2 in Cebreros, Spain.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    International market research and consulting firm NSR said mobile TV will produce a variety of satellite opportunities for S-band direct access and FSS channel distribution/backhauling in many regional markets. Major barriers to growth exist, however, among which are the huge cost of building out S-band networks and a dearth of S-band capacity worldwide.

    NSR noted that S-band services are generating positive results in Asia via TU Media in South Korea with over 1.1 million subscribers. Additional S-band plans in Asia, Europe and potentially North America all point to positive momentum for mobile TV service delivered via S-band capacity. The continued deployment of S-DMB services and the recently approved DVB-SH standard point to positive standards-based momentum for this market segment.

    NSR anticipates an emerging market for mobile TV channel distribution and backhaul via FSS satellite capacity, especially as mobile carriers scale their networks and consider the cost of terrestrial distribution alternatives, in addition to terrestrial spectrum scarcity. Channel distribution and backhaul deals are already in place over FSS capacity in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia, and NSR expects these markets to generate incremental growth in tandem with terrestrial network buildout.

    Mobile TV via satellite, however, will face several challenges, all of which will affect the shape of its growth curve. NSR president Chris Baugh remains optimistic about the potential for using satellites to distribute and deliver mobile TV services.

    "However, we have great concern about a few key hurdles. The cost of building out S-band networks, including satellite capacity and terrestrial repeaters, is a significant barrier to growth. Very little S-band capacity is available or planned worldwide, and the cost to implement S-band mobile TV may limit the opportunity outside of Asia in the next several years." "Terrestrial broadcast spectrum scarcity might actually negatively affect satellite-based channel distribution and backhaul growth over the next several years," Baugh added.

    The NSR report, Mobile TV via Satellite: Assessing S-band and Channel Distribution/Backhaul Opportunities, provides an in-depth analysis of two distinct mobile TV via satellite opportunities (S-band and FSS channel distribution/backhaul) and presents forecasts and analysis on the expected number of users, revenues (services and CPE) and transponder demand (TPEs) in each region over the next five years.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (TSE: 7011, 'MHI') and Arianespace S.A. are combining their commercial satellite launch services in a competitive move to enhance services to customers in Japan and around the world.

    MHI is one of the world's leading heavy machinery manufacturers. Its diverse lineup of products and services encompasses satellite and launcher rockets, shipbuilding, power plants, chemical plants, environmental equipment, steel structures, industrial and general machinery, aircraft and air-conditioning systems.

    Since April 1, production and management of the H-2A have been shifted from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to MHI. H-2A Number 13 that will launch the lunar orbit satellite Selene this summer will be the first H-2A to be launched after its privatization. The enhanced partnership with Arianespace is expected to greatly support MHI's entry into the commercial launch market.

    The agreement is a further development of an ongoing cooperative relationship between MHI and Arianespace in the area of commercial satellite launch support. The two partners propose to offer launch services using either MHI's H-2A or Arianespace's heavy lift Ariane 5 to more flexibly accommodate customers' launch needs at their desired timing.

    In 2003, MHI and Arianespace concluded an agreement that also involved Boeing Launch Services Inc., establishing the "Launch Services Alliance" to back-up their launches. This earlier alliance sought to provide customers with alternative launch services by a different alliance member in the event that one alliance partner was for some reason unable to execute a planned launch.

    "I am very pleased that we will be able to offer to our customers launch service and solutions which adds the very reliable H-2A to our own fleet of Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega" said Jean-Yves Le Gall, Arianespace's chairman & CEO.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    An Indian company based in Dubai will launch what is billed as the world’s first dedicated, 24-hour maritime satellite TV channel on May 7.

    “MarineBiz TV” is a free-to-air channel that intends to become the window on the world of marine and maritime activities. It is expected to facilitate global coordination of maritime activities on a single platform and to include a full range of marine activities. Aries Marine, the channel owner, described MarineBiz TV as the first single point of contact for the international marine industry.

    Aries Marine chairman Sohan Roy said MarineBiz TV aims to educate, inform and entertain, and “to make the marine industry an exciting, entertaining, progressive and forward thinking arena.” He said the channel will bring the world to the desktop, and also explore other areas of marine technology, shipbuilding, global navigation and deep sea activities.

    It will also bring buyers and sellers together. "The channel will provide a support platform for developments in marine trade and (will be) the point of contact for information linking worldwide developments," Roy said. "It will redefine the market place for maritime buyers where brand owners are provided with a selling space for their products.”

    MarineBiz TV will first be available in eight languages in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, and will extend to the rest of the world by August. It will be accessible via DTH and other networks. Aries Marine is now trailing the service and has amassed two months of programming.

    Dubai was chosen as group headquarters’ because this Middle Eastern country is taking on a lead role in maritime activity, said Roy. Members of the royal family of Dubai are expected to attend the launch of MarineBiz TV. The launch will also be accompanied by an awards ceremony for maritime videos in various categories

    An Internet TV station, the online arm of MarineBiz TV, is online at www.marinebiztv.com.

    Organized in 1998, Aries Marine is a consortium of firms that operate one of the largest ship design and consultancy facilities in the Middle East. Aries Marine has offices in Dubai and Sharjah and includes Aries Naval Architects and Marine Surveyors group, Aries Marine Llc in Dubai and Aries Tourism in Kochi, India.
    Salut Prieteni!


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    Intelsat has entered into a multi-year, multi-million-dollar contract with Arqiva for satellite capacity to carry digital programming for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) following its digital switch over.

    Intelsat is providing space segment capacity on its IS-907 satellite at 332.5º E that Arqiva will use as part of its distribution solution to around 90 main terrestrial transmitter sites in the United Kingdom.

    "We are happy to entrust Intelsat with this important task which provides us with cost-effective coverage of the UK as part of the distribution system for the BBC’s digital channels, The capacity on IS-907 provides us with an excellent technical solution, based on its high-power UK coverage. Intelsat was also flexible in its approach, helping us meet the commercial and technical needs of the BBC," said Steve Holebrook, managing director, Arqiva Terrestrial Media Solutions.

    "Intelsat has played a key role for many years in the distribution of terrestrial television signals with Arqiva, The addition of the BBC’s digital switchover program reinforces the high-performance, high-reliability solution we are able to provide to our video customers," said Jean-Philippe Gillet, Intelsat’s regional vice president, Europe & Middle East.

    With headquarters in Hampshire, UK, Arqiva operates in the broadcast and mobile communications industries, and provides network solutions and services in an increasingly digital world. The company provides much of the infrastructure behind television, radio and wireless communications in the UK and has a growing presence in Ireland, mainland Europe and the USA.

    Arqiva has an end-to-end capability ranging from outside broadcasts, satellite newsgathering, studios, playout, satellite distribution and terrestrial transmission, the latter including digital switch over and mobile TV development. Major customers include ITV, Channel 4, Five, the BBC, BSkyB, Classic FM, the five UK mobile operators, the RNLI and the Metropolitan Police.
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  13. #13
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    Geostationary satellites will continue to dominate the commercial satellite market in terms of revenue growth and number of launches, according to research firm Euroconsult. Government launches will account for most of the market.

    Euroconsult said that after 40 years, the commercial geostationary satellite industry is entering its fourth demand cycle with 28 communications satellites ordered in 2005 and 24 in 2005. The strong ordering activity in the past two years was driven by the replacement and expansion of existing operational orbital slots by companies such as SES and Eutelsat and by new entrants such as Kazsat, Vinasat, Hylas and Protostar.

    Euroconsult anticipates that 343 satellites will be launched by commercial operators worldwide over the next 10 years, representing 36 percent of total satellite demand over the period, with the bulk of the market remaining with government operators.

    The commercial satellite market remains dominated by geostationary comsats that represent 84 percent of the manufacturing and launch revenues, 65 percent of the satellites to be launched and 94 percent of the tons to be orbited. A total of 223 geostationary comsats are expected to be launched in the next ten years, a five percent growth over the past 10 years.

    Commercial satellites also populate Low Earth Orbit with three constellations for mobile communications services (Iridium, Globalstar and Orbcomm) and a few satellites for Earth observation. A total of 120 commercial satellites are expected to be launched into LEO over the next 10 years, of which 75 are to replace the first generation Globalstar and Orbcomm systems.
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    The General Electric Company has completed its split with satellite operator SES (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) and now fully controls SES International Holdings Inc. (SIH) and assets that include a telecommunications satellite. GE also took its 34.1 percent share in regional satellite operator Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings, Ltd (AsiaSat), which is being privatized.

    In February, SES re-acquired the 19.5 percent stake held by GE for $1.63 billion in assets and cash in a restructuring bid to boost earnings per share and optimize assets. Under the agreement, SES contributed certain assets and cash to SIH and exchanged shares of this company for GE’s entire holding of 103,149,900 shares in SES. GE exchanged its shareholding in SES for shares in SIH, comprising assets and $722 million in cash. The assets of SIH include the AMC-23 satellite and its related business; 100% of Satlynx; 49.5% of Bowenvale (representing a 34.1% interest in AsiaSat); 19.99% of Star One and 5.5% of Orbcomm.

    GE now holds both cash and SES’ 34.1% economic interest in Hong Kong-based AsiaSat. CITIC Group, AsiaSat’s founding shareholder, continues to hold 34.8% in AsiaSat. GE and CITIC have equal voting rights in AsiaSat and through Bowenvale Ltd control 68.9% of the share capital. A number of new appointments have been made at AsiaSat following the resignation of the SES board members. The new team at AsiaSat includes Ronald Herman as deputy chairman, John Connelly, Mark Chen and Nancy Wu as non-executive directors.

    Romain Bausch, President and CEO of SES, said GE’s exit allows SES to meet two business objectives: restructuring and optimizing its portfolio of assets following the New Skies acquisition and removing the GE share overhang.

    With SES New Skies generating most of its revenues in the government and enterprise infrastructure segment, SES has also re-evaluated the relevance of certain of its satellite end-to-end managed service activities in the enterprise market. As a result, SES decided to divest from Satlynx, the group’s end-to-end managed service entity. There will now be an increased focus of the SES service business on media and government applications.

    Total non-cash assets transferred to SIH represent some eight percent of SES' total assets. The cash outlay will not impede the refinancing capacity of SES nor the future development of SES’ business.

    SES (Paris:SESG) (LuxX:SESG) wholly owns three market-leading satellite operators, SES Astra in Europe, SES Americom in North America, and SES New Skies, which provide global coverage and connectivity. The company also holds strategic participations in SES Sirius in Europe, Ciel in Canada and Quetzsat in Mexico. SES provides outstanding satellite communications solutions via a fleet of 36 satellites in 25 orbital positions around the globe.
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    Arianespace's second mission for the year, another dual satellite launch, is ready for lift-off following the integration of Intelsat’s Galaxy 17 and the Astra 1L communications satellites.

    A heavy-lift Ariane 5 will launch both payloads next week—May 4—from the European Space Center at Kourou, French Guiana. Astra 1L, the Sylda dual-payload dispenser system and the launch vehicle's payload fairing, which constitute the upper payload composite, is in place. The payload fairing containing Astra 1L and the Sylda dispenser has been lowered over Galaxy 17.

    Ariane 5's dual-passenger capability is one of the keys to Arianespace's Service and Solutions launch offer, allowing satellites to be paired for efficient and reactive missions. For 2007, Arianespace is targeting a total of six Ariane 5 flights as its launch pace accelerates to a stabilized rate of eight Ariane 5 missions annually by 2009.

    The May 4 mission is scheduled for an evening liftoff from Kourou at the start of a 44-minute launch window that opens at 7:29 p.m. Kourou time (22h29 GMT).

    Galaxy 17 is equipped with 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders and is designed to provide telecommunications and television coverage over North America. With a liftoff mass of some four metric tons, it is the 50th geostationary communications satellite based on the Spacebus platform of Europe's Thales Alénia Space.

    Astra 1L is the larger of the two payloads for Ariane 5's upcoming mission, and is configured with 29 Ku-band and 2 Ka-band transponders to provide TV relay services for SES Astra. The spacecraft was manufactured in the U.S. by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, and will be the ninth SES Astra satellite launched by Arianespace. It is to be positioned at 19.2° East as a replacement satellite for Astra's existing capacity at this orbital slot, strengthening the company's customer service, security and redundancy scheme.
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