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Latest Satellite News Discussion, Indonesian satellite’s dramatic rescue at General Satellite News forum; A Thales-Alenia satellite, built for Indonesia’s Indosat operator, has been rescued from a useless orbit. The satellite, Palapa-D1, was launched ...

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Indonesian satellite’s dramatic rescue
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Indonesian satellite’s dramatic rescue - 17-November-2009, 13:40

A Thales-Alenia satellite, built for Indonesia’s Indosat operator, has been rescued from a useless orbit.


The satellite, Palapa-D1, was launched upon a Chinese Long March 3B rocket on August 31st but the rocket’s third stage failed to operate correctly and the satellite was placed into a useless highly elliptical orbit just 130 miles above the Earth at its nearest, but 13,150 miles at its furthest from the ground.


Thales Alenia Space immediately re-thought the near-catastrophic dilemma and commenced a bold rescue mission.


On September 3 the satellite’s on-board thrusters were fired, starting its realigned route to a correct orbit. Bit by bit it achieved a correct transfer orbit, arriving on station (at 113 deg East) later in September.


Thales Alenia now says that Palapa-D1 has successfully completed its in-orbit testing and is ready for work.


However, there’s a price to pay for the use of the satellite’s on-board thrusters in terms of fuel used. Instead of its planned 15 years of active life the satellite now has enough fuel for some 10.5 years of work. But this is a huge improvement on what had initially looked like a total loss.


Palapa-D1 has 35 C-Band transponders and 5 in Ku-Band. It will serve the Pacific region from Asia to Australia.
   
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