Telstar 18 satellite recovers from launch vehicle anomaly
LORAL NEWS RELEASE
Posted: July 14, 2004
Loral Space & Communications has announced that Telstar 18, launched June 28, 2004 aboard a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket, has successfully reached its in-orbit testing position at 142 degrees East longitude.
During the satellite's launch, the Zenit rocket's upper stage shut down 54 seconds early and released the satellite into a low orbit. After the launch, engineers at Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) raised the spacecraft to its correct orbit using a series of carefully planned satellite maneuvers and thruster burns.
All systems on the satellite are performing nominally and in-orbit testing has begun. The satellite, which was able to use its significant stationkeeping fuel margin for the unplanned orbit raising activities, has enough on-board fuel remaining that will allow it to exceed its specified 13-year life.
"Telstar 18's ability to reach orbit, even with a launch vehicle anomaly, showcases the robustness of SS/L's 1300 platform. Using its reserve margin, the satellite was able to correct for the launch shortfall and ensure the mission's success. SS/L's 1300 platform has a demonstrated record of exceeding our customers' requirements even in anomalous conditions," said Patrick DeWitt, President, Space Systems/Loral.
Telstar 18, which will be operated by Loral Skynet, ultimately will be located at 138 degrees East longitude where it will offer a wide variety of video and telecommunications services across Asia. The satellite carries a total of 54 active transponders, 16 high-power Ku-band transponders and 38 C-band transponders. In-orbit testing of the spacecraft will continue until its service start in August.
In addition to transmitting innovative new applications, cable programming and direct-to-home broadcasting services, Telstar 18 is scheduled to begin hosting Skynet's SkyReach(SM) in 2005. SkyReach is Skynet's two-way IP-based networking solution. SkyReach, which is already available and in use by several customers throughout the Americas, allows organizations to create an instant infrastructure using a VSAT network, connecting offices within a city or around the globe.
In consideration for funding a portion of the satellite project's cost, APT Satellite Company Limited, Hong Kong, will initially acquire use of 68.5 percent of Telstar 18's capacity for Apstar-V services. The number of transponders used by APT will be reduced over time, ultimately to 54 percent of the satellite's capacity.
Telstar 18 is a version of SS/L's space-proven 1300 satellite platform, which has an excellent record of reliable operation. The geostationary Telstar 18 satellite has a specified service life of 13 years and maintains stationkeeping and orbital stability by using bipropellant propulsion and momentum-bias systems. In all, SS/L satellites have amassed more than 1,100 years of on-orbit service.
A pioneer in the satellite industry, Loral Skynet continues to deliver the superior service quality and range of satellite solutions that have made it an industry leader for more than 40 years. Through the broad coverage of the Telstar satellite fleet, in combination with its hybrid VSAT/fiber global network infrastructure, Skynet is a source for all broadcast, data network, Internet access, IP and systems integration needs. Headquartered in Bedminster, New Jersey, Loral Skynet is dedicated to providing secure, high-quality connectivity and communications.
Space Systems/Loral is a premier designer, manufacturer, and integrator of powerful satellites and satellite systems. SS/L also provides a range of related services that include mission control operations and procurement of launch services. Based in Palo Alto, California, the company has an international base of commercial and government customers whose applications include broadband digital communications, direct-to-home broadcast, defense communications, environmental monitoring, and air traffic control. SS/L is ISO 9001:2000 certified.