ESA launches largest commercial telecom satellite
Friday, July 3, 2009
The TerreStar-1, an American communications satellite operated by TerreStar Corporation was launched Wednesday by an Ariane 5ECA rocket at 17:52 GMT by the European Space Agency (ESA) from the ELA-3 at the Guiana Space Centre. The 6,910-kilogram (15,200 lb) TerreStar-1 satellite cost US$300 million. It was launched from Kourou, French Guiana, a department of France in South America. This satellite weighs in as the heaviest and the largest telecommunications satellite ever launched.
AT&T Mobility along with TerreStar Corporation will market a hybrid prototype terrestrial/satellite hand set yet this year. The technology will allow the new hand set to operate on ground-based phone networks. In dead zones, the customer could use the device via satellite if they can access the southern sky similar to a satellite dish.
The TerreStar-1 made a successful separation from the rocket according to Arianespace, the French satellite launcher. The satellite will be in orbit 22,000 miles (35,200 kilometers) above earth, and will open a 60 feet (18 meters) antenna dish to communicate with the hand sets over the 2 GHz (S-band) spectrum. The TerreStar-1 has a life expectancy of 15 years.
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- "ESA launches Herschel Space Observatory and Planck Satellite" — Wikinews, May 15, 2009
- Michael Barkoviak. "World's Largest Commercial Telecom Satellite Launches Into Orbit" — , July 2, 2009
- Peter Svensson Associated Press. "World’s largest commercial satellite in orbit Can you hear me now? TerreStar 1 to fill in cell phone ‘dead zones’" — , July 1, 2009
- "Ariane 5 – Largest-ever telecommunications satellite launched" — , July 1, 2009