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Friday, August 5, 2016

This Week in Satellite News! (Aug 1 – Aug 8 2016)


First two Iridium Next satellites shipped to Vandenberg

The first two next-generation Iridium satellites, designed to connect global subscribers with data and voice traffic, arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Tuesday, where they will join eight more message relay craft for launch in September on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
This week’s shipment via truck from an Orbital ATK satellite manufacturing plant near Phoenix to Vandenberg on California’s Central Coast will be followed by the arrival of eight more spacecraft at the launch site.
Like the first two craft, subsequent satellites will be transported two-and-a-time inside self-stabilizing, climate-controlled containers on a truck to SpaceX’s clean room at Vandenberg, where Orbital ATK engineers will prepare the satellites for launch.

Technicians load the first two Iridium Next satellites into their shipping containers at Orbital ATK's manufacturing facility in Gilbert, Arizona. Credit: Iridium
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Marlink and Telemar to join forces to create the world’s leading maritime communications, digital solutions and servicing group

Apax Partners has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Telemar Group from its current shareholders, the company said in its press release.
The combined activities of Telemar and Marlink will create the world’s leading maritime communication, digital solutions and servicing specialist for all customer segments at sea including: Shipping, Offshore, Cruise & Ferry, Yachting and Fishing. Marlink and Telemar customers will benefit from an unmatched integrated servicing offering, covering all existing maritime technologies. The newly combined group will generate US $450 Million in revenues with more than 800 employees worldwide serving at least 1 in 3 vessels operating globally.

 Marlink and Tampnet deliver North Sea 4G network
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China Eastern to upgrade 737 fleet with Rockwell Collins Iridium SATCOM Boeing-approved aftermarket solution

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, 4 Aug. 2016. China Eastern Airlines engineers have selected Rockwell Collins’ Iridium satellite communications (SATCOM) aftermarket solution with which to upgrade the airline’s fleet of more than 100 Boeing 737 commercial passenger jet aircraft. Installations are currently underway.
The voice and data communications solution, installed via a Boeing service bulletin for Next-Generation Boeing 737s, will enable reliable, long-range global voice communications, flight tracking, and Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS). The solution is also capable of enabling Future Airspace Navigation System (FANS) for airlines that need it for their operations.

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Dish Prepares 4K, Versatile Viewing Features for 2016 Rio Olympics

Dish Network has announced multiple features for customers watching NBCUniversal‘s multi-platform coverage of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, including the upcoming availability of a new, dedicated linear 4K channel. Dish subscribers will also have access to NBCUniversal’s 6,755 hours of Olympic programming, including coverage of all competition sessions, on-demand.
Dish’s Hopper 3 and 4K Joey customers can watch NBC’s coverage in 4K on a linear channel as well as in the video-on-demand catalog.The coverage will be made available on one-day delay. One event from the previous day’s competition will be provided daily and looped in three-hour intervals from August 7 through August 22, the day after the games conclude. Dish will also make the same 4K video assets available as part of its on-demand catalog.

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U.S. Navy narrows MUOS-5 problem to orbit raising propulsion system

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Navy said its newest communications satellite was about halfway to geosynchronous orbit when its orbit raising propulsion system failed during a transfer maneuver June 29.
Following a June 24 launch, the fifth satellite in the Navy’s next-generation narrowband communications constellation, known as the Mobile User Objective System, had expected to reach geosynchronous orbit and a test location about 35,400 kilometers above Hawaii by July 3.
But in an Aug. 2 statement, the Navy said the satellite “experienced a failure of the orbit raising propulsion system,” five days into a 10-day climb, halting the transfer maneuver that would push the satellite from its initial elliptical launch orbit to geosynchronous orbit.

An Atlas 5 rocket carrying the MUOS-5 satellite lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida June 24. Credit: ULA/Ben Cooper.
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Inmarsat, citing SpaceX delays, to miss European deadline for aeronautical broadband service

PARIS – Mobile satellite services provider Inmarsat is all but certain to miss a European regulatory deadline for its satellite-terrestrial aeronautical broadband service, raising the possibility that one or more governments could revoke Inmarsat’s rights to the radio spectrum, industry officials said.
Inmarsat said the Europasat/HellasSat-3 satellite, co-owned by Inmarsat and fleet operator Arabsat of Saudi Arabia and built by Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy, has met its construction milestones but is facing delays at launch-service provider SpaceX of Hawthorne, California.
It remains unclear when the satellite will be launched, but it will be well after the Dec. 1 deadline imposed by its license and may not occur before mid-2017.

Inmarsat Thales EAN sat- TAS photo
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Moon Express wins U.S. government approval for lunar lander mission

WASHINGTON — Moon Express said Aug. 3 that it has won a first-of-its-kind regulatory approval from the U.S. government for a commercial lunar lander the company is developing.
The approval, dated July 20, comes in the form of a payload review of the Moon Express MX-1E spacecraft by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, part of the launch licensing process run by that office. That payload review involved discussions among several government agencies, including the State Department and NASA.
“The FAA has determined that the launch of the payload does not jeopardize public health and safety, safety of property, U.S. national security or foreign policy interests, or international obligations of the United States,” the FAA said in an Aug. 3 fact sheet about the payload review.

Moon Express's MX-1 lander. Credit: Moon Express artist's concept
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ILS wins contract for Angara launch of South Korea’s Kompsat-6

International Launch Services (ILS) announces the first commercial Angara 1.2 launch contract was signed recently with Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) for the launch of the Korea Multi-Purpose Satellite (Arirang) 6 also known as the KOMPSAT-6 satellite from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Northwestern Russia around 2020.
The Angara 1.2 vehicle is the newest Russian launch vehicle, designed and built by Khrunichev State Research and Space Production Center (Khrunichev), serving the small to medium range satellite market, with the capability to launch up to 3.5 Metric Tons to Low Earth Orbit or Sun-Synchronous Orbit (SSO). The KOMPSAT-6 mission will be launched by Angara 1.2 into an SSO orbit.

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