Archive for April, 2010

STS-131 Landing

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010



 Space shuttle Discovery lands at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Tuesday, April 20, 2010. Discovery and the STS-131 mission crew, Commander Alan Poindexter, Pilot James P. Dutton Jr. and Mission Specialists Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Rick Mastracchio, Stephanie Wilson, Clayton Anderson and Japanese astronaut Naoko Yamazaki returned from their mission to the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.

 Here’s the video…


Assets and Ashes

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010



The Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg (Grand Duchy of Luxembourg) owns 20% of SES S.A., and with a 33% voting share, it prevents any entity from owning more than 20% of the company. There’s more stock float out there, but you can’t buy it in the U.S. — Euronext Paris or Bourse de Luxembourg only, please. The stock seems to be doing well lately, so everybody’s happy. Will they ever sell? Don’t think so.

Chris Forrester is reporting they’ll hold on to it.

The Luxembourg state has no intention of selling its stake, including its so-called ‘golden share’, in satellite operator SES.

The emphatic statement came from Luxembourg’s culture minister Francois Biltgen, who told guests at the SES Astra 25th Anniversary celebrations, that the Luxembourg state did not regret having become the reference shareholder all those years ago. Luxembourg holds a 16.67% economic interest, and 33.33% of the voting rights.




CEO Romain Bausch, an astute financier,  sees the SES mission as more socially responsible, positioning its reinvestment in the business as more socially responsible — especially when it comes to emerging markets — declaring “Come hell or high water (or volcanic ash), we will continue to do what we do best: connect people and businesses through the power of satellites.”

I wonder whether they’ll lower their profit expectations when pricing is established for the O3b Networks system. Remember IP-PRIME? That IPTV service wasn’t paying off quickly enough and was, in my opinion, prematurely decommissioned.

So, what’s their motto? (I don’t know, what’s the motto with you? heh-heh)

"Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn"  (Luxembourgish) "We want to remain what we are."

 Hey, whatever. They’ve got a launch coming up on Saturday. Go SES-1!



WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits for April 16, 2010

Friday, April 16th, 2010




South Africa, Brazil, and India agree to joint satellite programme at trilateral summit.
[ – 04/16/2010]

KVH debuts CG-5100 Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) solution well-suited for applications already having GPS but needing full IMU capability.
[SatNews – 04/15/2010]

India’s cryogenic rocket satellite launch fails after apparent successful take-off as control of the cryogenic rocket motors fails.
[BBC News – 04/15/2010]

EUMETSAT’s Meteosat-9 meteorological satellite observes ash from volcanic eruption in Iceland.
[SatNews – 04/15/2010]

NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite renamed GOES-EAST, residing at prime orbital slot to observe potentially life-threatening weather along Eastern U.S., Atlantic Ocean, and Gulf of Mexico.
[SatNews – 04/15/2010]

U.S. Marine Corps networking plans driven by tactical, satellite based technologies.
[Signal Online – 04/15/2010]

Vizada, with Inmarsat, to launch test program to validate readiness of Inmarsat’s IsatPhone Pro for market.
[SatNews – 04/15/2010]

Stratos gets advance orders for 1,000 of Inmarsat’s new handheld IsatPhone Pro.
[Satellite Spotlight – 04/15/2010]

RapidEye enters contract with Metria of Sweden for Metria to be distributor of RapidEye satellite imagery in the Scandinavian, Baltic, and Icelandic data markets.
[SatNews – 04/15/2010]

Vizada launches SkyFile Video powered by ClipWay application, software that can be downloaded and installed on any computer and used to send video images over a mobile satellite terminal.
[SatNews – 04/15/2010]

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov confirms plans to launch a Soyuz carrier rocket from the Kourou space center in French Guiana later this year.
[Space Daily – 04/14/2010]

Intelsat expands African satellite infrastructure and is offering new satellite capacity to the region on Intelsat 25 and Intelsat New Dawn.
[Satellite Spotlight – 04/14/2010]

Lockheed Martin completes work on first U.S. Air Force advanced EHF satellite, readying it for Mid-2010 launch.
[PR Newswire – 04/14/2010]

PSSI and Ericsson provide technology and satellite transmission services enabling NASCAR Media Group to provide multiple streams of live HD content from races to its 75 million fans.
[SatNews – 04/14/2010]

Intelsat launches IntelsatONE, a global, terrestrial architecture consisting of an IP/MPLS-based network, fiber, teleports, and points of presence powered by Cisco Systems.
[Satellite Today – 04/14/2010]

Nagravision and SkyLife of South Korea expand their relationship to collaborate on 3D television.
[SatNews – 04/14/2010]

Eutelsat teams with Russia’s General Satellite Corporation and the Marinsky Theatre for April 15th  3D TVsatellite transmission of classical ballet performed by leading Russian dancers.
[SatNews – 04/14/2010]

Newtec introduces at NAB its DualFlow technology that allows users to easily migrate to satellite IP-based operations by interfacing modems with networks using either ASI or IP, or both at once.
[SatNews – 04/14/2010]

CPI introduces enhanced version of its Ku-band High Power SSPB, a fully integrated unit that is one of the lightest and smallest on the market.
[SatNews – 04/14/2010]

Ericcson signs 3D TV, HD deals with ESPN, Tata Sky.
[Satellite Today – 04/14/2010]

Move by FCC under its National Broadband Plan (NBBP) to release 500 MHz of additional spectrum for broadband service applauded by satellite operators Harbinger and Globalstar, opposed by Verizon and AT&T.
[Fierce Broadband Wireless – 04/14/2010]

Increasing demand for bandwidth coupled with finite limit of available orbital slots drives wider acceptance among satellite operators of dual-use satellite platforms.
[PR Newswire – 04/14/2010]

Raytheon successfully completes major communications upgrade in Antarctica for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) program.
[Space Daily – 04/14/2010]

ESA’s CryoSat-2, launched April 8, has had excellent performance, delivering its first data just hours after ground controllers switched on the satellite’s sophisticated radar instrument for the first time.
[esa news – 04/13/2010

Globecomm Systems launches at NAB their Tempo Enterprise Media Platform, a hosted terrestrial service allows enterprises with a single platform to deliver interactive training, employee communications, and digital display to global audiences.
[SatNews – 04/13/2010]

Ethiopa’s national telecom operator, ETC, chooses Gilat for backhaul solution to extend range of cellular services to remote regions.
[Market Watch – 04/13/2010]

NASA – Chrysler agreement seeks to use technologies originally developed for human spaceflight to enhance future vehicles, and adapt advanced automotive technology for use in space.
[SatNews – 04/13/2010]

VELOCITY Broadcasting of Pittsburgh, PA, becomes largest global, private HD broadcasting network through agreement with Global Vision Networks, expanding throuigh satellite distribution to more than 200 network sites across 3 continents.
[SatNews – 04/13/2010]

Goodrich Corporation continues its celebration of 50 years  of working in advanced space programs at the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, CO.
[SatNews – 04/13/2010]

Xicom Technology announces at NAB new lightweight, high power, antenna-mounted traveling wave tube amplifiers to expand capabilities of broadcasters and teleport operators.
[SatNews – 04/13/2010]




Raytheon successfully completes major satellite communications system upgrade in Antartica for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Satellite System program, providing better performance and higher data rates.
[PR Newswire – 04/13/2010]

ACS Angola contracts with Eutelsat for capacity on W7 to expand satellite resources to support high growth of data communications in the region.
[PR Newswire – 04/13/2010]

EchoStar Satellite Services announces that Minnesota-based Pace International has joined its VIP-TV Reseller Program.
[SatNews – 04/13/2010]

SES WORLDSKIES signs long-term multi-transponder deal with Puerto Rico Telephone to deliver its CLARO TV DTH offering to homes across Puerto Rico.
[SatNews – 04/13/2010]

GSA and CISA lay out their strategy under their joint Future Commercial Satellite Communications Acquisition (FCSA) program, with draft request for proposals for $3.5 billion in commercial satellite services between 2011 and 2015.
[Defense Systems – 04/12/2010]

India charges that Chinese anti-satellite program is a global threat.
[Space Daily – 04/12/2010]

GlobeCast signs contract with Argentine broadcaster Pramer allowing Pramer to base its playout and origination facilities at GlobeCast’s Sunrise, Florida technical operations center.
[SatNews – 04/12/2010]

Integral Systems announces on-schedule handover of satellite bus operations for the third Wideband Global SATCOM Space Vehicle to the Command and Control System – Consolidated baseline.
[Market Watch – 04/12/2010]

While other industries were slammed by recession, the global space business grew 7% in 2009 over 2008, to $261 billion, and 40% over the past 5 years.
[Reuters – 04/12/2010]

DG FastChannel and Univision partner to provide High Definition commercial content during broadcast of 2010 FIFA World Cup, which is expected to be viewed by up to 95% of U.S. Hispanic households.
[Market Watch – 04/12/2010]

Russia had no part in the Indian cryogenic engine program according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
[Space Daily – 04/12/2010]

NASA engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center find and patent a way to improve reception of GPS signals.
[Space Daily – 04/12/2010]

China aims to capture 20% of the world’s space business by 2015, according to the country’s only satellite launch contractor.
[Space Daily – 04/12/2010]

Avanti sells new capacity and services on its first satellite, HYLAS 1, to longstanding partner in Eastern Europe MPB.
[SatNews – 04/12/2010]

TeleCommunication Systems receives additional $7.1 million in revenue from U.S. Army for maintenance of internet and satellite-based communications systems deployed outside the country.
[Baltimore Sun – 04/10/5010]

NSR releases report "Hosted Payloads on Commercial Satellites," the "first ever" market study which analyzes and quantifies the business case for hosted payloads, covering the entire gamut of the satellite industry.
[NSR – April, 2010]

NSR states that "Broadband Satellite Markets Did Not Falter in Face of 2009 Economic Crisis – Sector Revenues to Increase by 135% in Coming Ten Years."
[NSR – April, 2010]

WBMSAT PS services

DIY Friday: R2-D2 Lamp

Friday, April 16th, 2010



This is a cool project for Star Wars fans: a metal desk lamp decorated to look like R2-D2, via Instructables

I am building a full size R2D2 from scratch, when you are scratch building everything begins look like a potential part, well this lamp I just got from IKEA really reminded me of the little domed one so I got bored and with a little bit of tweaking I got him looking pretty good.

Can’t make the decals yourself? Buy them on Etsy! Kids love R2-D2.



2,400 Jobs for Florida’s Space Coast

Friday, April 16th, 2010


President Obama is committed to NASA’s mission — and I especially like the promise of employment in and around The Cape.

I’m puzzled by the apparent disagreement among the first moon walkers, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

First, the letter signed by Armstrong, Lovell and Cernan

The United States entered into the challenge of space exploration under President Eisenhower’s first term, however, it was the Soviet Union who excelled in those early years. Under the bold vision of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, and with the overwhelming approval of the American people, we rapidly closed the gap in the final third; of the 20th century, and became the world leader in space exploration.

America’s space accomplishments earned the respect and admiration of the world. Science probes were unlocking the secrets of the cosmos; space technology was providing instantaneous world wide communication; orbital sentinels were helping man understand the vagaries of nature. Above all else, the people around the world were inspired by the human exploration of space and the expanding of man’s frontier. It suggested that what had been thought to be impossible was now within reach. Students were inspired to prepare themselves to be a part of this new age. No government program in modern history has been so effective in motivating the young to do ‘what has never been done before.’

World leadership in space was not achieved easily. In the first half century of the space age, our country made a significant financial investment, thousands of Americans dedicated themselves to the effort, and some gave their lives to achieve the dream of a nation. In the latter part of the first half century of the space age, Americans and their international partners focused primarily on exploiting the near frontiers of space with the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station.

As a result of the tragic loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003, it was concluded that our space policy required a new strategic vision. Extensive studies and analysis led to this new mandate: meet our existing commitments, return to our exploration roots, return to the moon, and prepare to venture further outward to the asteroids and to Mars. The program was named ‘Constellation’. In the ensuing years, this plan was endorsed by two Presidents of different parties and approved by both Democratic and Republican congresses.

The Columbia Accident Board had given NASA a number of recommendations fundamental to the Constellation architecture which were duly incorporated. The Ares rocket family was patterned after the Von Braun Modular concept so essential to the success of the Saturn 1B and the Saturn 5. A number of components in the Ares 1 rocket would become the foundation of the very large heavy lift Ares V, thus reducing the total development costs substantially. After the Ares 1 becomes operational, the only major new components necessary for the Ares V would be the larger propellant tanks to support the heavy lift requirements.

The design and the production of the flight components and infrastructure to implement this vision was well underway. Detailed planning of all the major sectors of the program had begun. Enthusiasm within NASA and throughout the country was very high.

When President Obama recently released his budget for NASA, he proposed a slight increase in total funding, substantial research and technology development, an extension of the International Space Station operation until 2020, long range planning for a new but undefined heavy lift rocket and significant funding for the development of commercial access to low earth orbit.

Although some of these proposals have merit, the accompanying decision to cancel the Constellation program, its Ares 1 and Ares V rockets, and the Orion spacecraft, is devastating.

America’s only path to low Earth orbit and the International Space Station will now be subject to an agreement with Russia to purchase space on their Soyuz (at a price of over 50 million dollars per seat with significant increases expected in the near future) until we have the capacity to provide transportation for ourselves. The availability of a commercial transport to orbit as envisioned in the President’s proposal cannot be predicted with any certainty, but is likely to take substantially longer and be more expensive than we would hope.

It appears that we will have wasted our current ten plus billion dollar investment in Constellation and, equally importantly., we will have lost the many years required to recreate the equivalent of what we will have discarded.

For The United States, the leading space faring nation for nearly half a century, to be without carriage to low Earth orbit and with no human exploration capability to go beyond Earth orbit for an indeterminate time into the future, destines our nation to become one of second or even third rate stature. While the President’s plan envisages humans traveling away from Earth and perhaps toward Mars at some time in the future, the lack of developed rockets and spacecraft will assure that ability will not be available for many years.

Without the skill and experience that actual spacecraft operation provides, the USA is far too likely to be on a long downhill slide to mediocrity. America must decide if it wishes to remain a leader in space. If it does, we should institute a program which will give us the very best chance of achieving that goal.

Neil Armstrong
Commander, Apollo 11

James Lovell
Commander, Apollo 13

Eugene Cernan
Commander, Apollo 17

And here’s Buzz Aldrin’s piece in USA TODAY


Since the release of President Obama’s NASA budget for the next fiscal year, the debate over America’s future course in space has become unusually heated, resulting in a polarization of views that has divided Congress and many members of the space community. All want what is best for our nation, but few see a chance at a consensus that can bring us all together.
We’ll get that chance today.

The president will visit the Kennedy Space Center to air these views in a conference on America’s future in space. This meeting offers the administration, Congress and the American people our best — and possibly our only — chance to reach such a consensus. This is a reasonable way forward that builds on the president’s budget proposal while extending our reach ever deeper into space.

As I have said before, I agree broadly with the president’s plan because it contains many elements that I have advocated for years. These include a flexible path for exploration with a robust technology development program enabling the extension of the human presence to Mars. His plan avoids rerunning the moon race that America won 40 years ago and opens a new era for commercial space transportation after years of government dominance of access to low-Earth orbit.

We need specifics

These are good principles, to be sure. But the budget lacks key details. First, I think that the president needs to be clear that Mars is the ultimate goal. The stepping stones to the Red Planet might include missions such as flybys of comets, approaches to near-Earth objects, and finally a manned mission to the Martian moon Phobos. This flexible path would create the infrastructure and transportation systems that would enable commercial and international development near Earth.

NASA also should be clearer about the purpose behind investments in technology. For example, we can utilize the investments made in the Orion spacecraft to jump-start the development of a human deep-space exploration capability. And using the spare hardware left over from the assembly of the International Space Station, I propose we develop a prototype deep-space exploration vehicle that can be docked to and tested at the station.

Over time, astronauts at the station could then outfit the ship, making it capable of forays beyond low-Earth orbit, around the moon, then deeper into space — to near-Earth orbit crossing asteroids, and on to Mars. I also encourage the president to set a clear goal to develop the heavy lift capability needed for our journey to Mars. There are, in effect, placeholders for these programs in the $19 billion devoted to NASA in the president’s budget, but I think we deserve a greater level of clarity.

Restore America’s place

While transitioning the operation of crew delivery to private industry, it is important that the system we develop is capable of enabling broader commercial markets. To do this, the future plan should include the development of a reusable, space plane-like runway lander as the next generation of crew carrying space transport.

Other astronauts might have different views, and I respect them, but I believe that working with this president toward a consensus on how America can lead human exploration, commercialize that effort in a timely way as possible, and set our collective sites on Mars is more likely to create the kind of sustained effort, commitment and legacy that we all want to see. This seems more productive than simply opposing a change of course.

I also differ with the president’s plan in a few critical ways, one being that we should keep the space shuttle in flight while we develop a heavy-lift launch vehicle. This should be a national priority. These investments will give us a solid basis for the civil space program for decades to come.

These additions offer us the chance at a middle ground that preserves our highly specialized workforce, maintains critical access to space, and will enable us to maintain and service the International Space Station. Most important, we can re-establish American space leadership by reaching for this manned mission to Mars.

America’s future in space is worth the modest, additional investment that will be required by this flexible path. I hope that, as passions cool, we can all come together at this important meeting to bring our nation fully into a 21st century space program, one that is, as my friend Norm Augustine put it, "worthy of a great nation."

OK, both agree on leadership in space.  Especially Mars and deep space, and we can’t get there without a heavy-lift launcher. Manned space flight — and commercial space — need more heavy-lift rocket development and manufacturing.





Eyjafjallajoekull Eruption

Friday, April 16th, 2010

 How did the volcanic eruption in Iceland get to ground air traffic in northern Europe? Check out this illustration from the ESA


The information has been derived by a model using SO2 as particle tracer for the ash plume. This model has been developed at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research in the Department of Atmospheric and Climate Research.

This service was developed within the ESA Data User Element ‘Support to Aviation for Volcanic Ash Avoidance’ with the aim of generating accurate and timely satellite-based information to Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres (VAACs) to assist the aviation community. 





GSLV D3 Launch Anomaly

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Watched the launch in real-time via NDTV from Sriharikota. The launch was good, with the first stage firing perfectly (of course). The second stage burned as planned. ISRO did confirm the indigenous cryogenic engine ingnited, then telemetry data indicated the launch vehicle was tumbling and subsequently contact was lost.

After 18 years of hard work by many at ISRO, the launch is considered a limited success. They’re determined to try again in one year.


Thaicom Uplink is Freedom

Monday, April 12th, 2010



The protesting Red Shirts in Thailand have seized the Thaicom uplink to ensure news broadcasts remain uninterrupted, via Political Prisoners in Thailand blog

The Bangkok Post (9 April 2010) reports that People TV satellite uploader Thaicom, “the country’s sole satellite service provider, said the government’s blocking of the red shirts’ People Channel television station (PTV) had severely damaged its international reputation.The company said foreign customers using the same transponder as PTV were threatening to sue Thaicom for their losses. An executive expressed concern that interference with the station’s signals could damage the satellite’s transponder.” He added “Despite the fact that signal jamming violates our contract and causes severe damage to our reputation, we must follow the order…”.

In response to the closing of People TV, The Nation (9 April 2010) reports that red shirts have broken through army “barricades and entered ThaiCom uplink station’s compound and were trying to enter the station’s buildings in Lat Lum Kaew, Pathum Thani province at about 2.40pm.”

The army used “smoke bombs” but were unable to stop the “thousands” of demonstrators who reportedly “seized police trucks park[ed] inside the compound and forced open and seized weapons from the trucks.” No evidence of this weapons claim presented anywhere else, including on a BBC report from the compound [but see update below].

There were said to be 7,000 anti-riot forces at the Thaicom site.

It is reported that red-shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan had “urged the red shirts to stay calm and not to raid the satellite uplink station.” However, when it became clear that the anti-riot forces were making “preparations for crowd control” the red shirts responded. These troops “were seen deploy[ing] the water cannon to deter the crowds after devices emitting heav[y] smoke were thrown from the crowds.”

By 5.20 p.m., the government had apparently agreed to restore the People TV broadcast. The Nation reports that “red-shirt leader Natthawut Saikua said the red shirts had succeeded to force Thaicom uplink station to resume its satellite service to PTV.  The negotiations was brokered by Provincial Police Region 1 chief Lt General Krisada Pankongchuen. In exchange for the resumption of PTV broadcast, the red shirts agreed to disperse from the uplink station and allow police to gain control of the area.” People TV was back up by about 5.45 p.m.

It was reported that about 20 persons, mainly red shirts were injured in this action.

A brief but important victory for the red shirts but another action to “contain” anti-riot forces is already said to be underway at the Police hospital at the Rajaprasong intersection at around 6 p.m.

Update 1: This latter action seemed to coincide with action at the Rajaprasong area as “customers and workers were asked to leave shopping malls around Rajprasong. Police are reportedly preparing six locations to detain suspects.” This report is associated with a picture gallery at The Nation’s website. Note that the malls had already re-opened.

Update 2: Some international coverage of the Thaicom events: The Times, Christian Science Monitor and The Globe and Mail. Note that this latter report seems oddly different from all others that PPT has seen to date, referring to protesters “Hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails.” It also states that: “After the clash, some security forces were seen throwing down their shields and riot gear and shaking hands with the protesters.” The same report states that, “The Red Shirts offered water to soldiers and police, and showed reporters a small cache of weapons, including M-16 assault rifles and shotguns, they had seized from soldiers.” The government estimated that 15,000 demonstrators were at Thaicom.


Satellites and freedom: gotta love it.


Here’s the video, Thai guys & gals…


WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits for April 9, 2010

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

European scientists relieved when a Russian rocket put their Cryosat-2 satellite into a perfect Earth orbit after a catastrophic failure of the previous attempt.
[UK Financial Times – 04/09/2010]

SES announces the consolidation of all US Government sales and delivery activities into a single business unit, naming it SES WORLS SKIES, U.S. Government Solutions.
[SatNews – 04/09/2010]

GOES-15 takes its first full-disk visible image of the Earth on April 6.
{SatNews – 04/09/2010]

TCS receives additional $7.1 million in funding from U.S. Army for maintenance of Secret Internet Protocol Router and Non-secure Internet Protocol Router Access Point VSAT terminal systems outside the U.S.
[SatNews – 04/09/2010]

FCC may alter broadband plan to comply with Federal Appeals ruling on Comcast challenge that invalidated the FCC’s Net Neutrality policy.
[Information Week – 04/09/2010]

Expand Networks announces major upgrade to operating system of its Accelerators that will significantly improve functionality, value, and installation.
[SatNews – 04/09/2010]

Canadian phone giant Bell Canada to introduce the country’s first national 3D HD TV broadcast this weekend from the Masters golf tournament on its Bell TV satellite TV service.
[Hollywood Reporter – 04/09/2010]

DISA and GSA preview details of the draft request for proposals for $3.5B commercial satellite communications services planned to be purchased by U.S. government between 2011 and 2016.
[Washington Technology – 04/08/2010]

Intelsat’s Galaxy 15 anomaly did not cause immediate service interruption to customers, but plan to transition to Galaxy 12 is in the works.
[SatNews – 04/08/2010]

MTN signs agreement with Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines, an international shipping company based in Norway, to outfit its entire fleet of ships with MTN’s VSAT equipment and services.
[SatNews – 04/08/2010]

India plans to launch satellite using a rocket powered by a cryogenic engine developed by scientists in India.
[redOrbit – 04/08/2010]

ND SatCom to demonstrate XWARP technology which provides nearly latency-free virtualized and bandwidth-optimized software performance at user’s front end for geographically distributed entities.
[SatNews – 04/08/2010]

VISLINK News & Entertainment to debut latest vehicle-mounted satellite antenna, NewSwift LT, at NAB,
[SatNews – 04/08/2010]

Harmonic will feature 3D television demonstration at NAB in conjunction with Panasonic and DIRECTV.
[SatNews – 04/08/2010]

Chairman John Malone will cut voting interest in DirecTV to about 3% from 24% and leave the board of directors.
[Business Week – 04/06/2010]

SIS LIVE will unveil uPak, a new Ku-band flat-panel antenna system for satellite contribution at low data rates at NAB.
[SatNews – 04/08/2010]

RRSAT to distribute iConcerts High Definition channel on Measat 3A satellite.
[PR Newswire – 04/08/2010]

Latitude Technologies announces receipt of Transport Canada Supplemental Type Certificate number SH10-16 covering Bell Helicopter and Eurocopter models for their satellite based tracking/messaging device SkyNode S100-001.
[SatNews – 04/08/2010]

Comtech EF Data announces availability of the CDM-625 Advance Satellite Modem with IP Packet Processor.
[SatNews – 04/08/2010]

Goodrich to display scale model of its Operationally Responsive Space satellite at Natioinal Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, CO April 12-14.
[SatNews – 04/08/2010]

Federal Appeals cou8rt says the FCC does not have authority to enforce Net Neutrality regulations (part of it’s broadband initiative) on ISPs.
[SatNews – 04/07/2010]

Canadian service provider BCE to use proceeds from sales of its stake in SkyTerra to fund its wired and wireless broadband ambitions.
[Fierce Telecom – 04/07/2010]

Harris Corporation completes successful operational test of first U.S. Navy satellite communications terminal to simultaneously communicate at X and Ka band through single dual-band feed.
[CNN Money – 04/07/2010]

Vizada renews partnership with Telecoms Sans Frontiers; will provide mobile satellite communications services including training program in 2010.
[TMCnet – 04/07/2010]

C-COM receives $750,000 worth of new orders for its iNetVu mobile antenna systems from the Asia Pacific region.
[SatNews – 04/07/2010]

Newtec announces multi-million US$ order from North America’s leading provider of horse and greyhound simulcast racing for high definition and IP based DVB-S2 using its DualFlow technology.
[SatNews – 04/07/2010]

SES ASTRA announces scheduled launch for ASTRA 3B of April 9.
[SatNews – 04/07/2010]

SES WORLD SKIES announces that its SES-1 satellite has safely arrived at the Baikonour Cosmodrome, scheduled for April 24 liftoff.
[SatNews – 04/06/2010]

NASA signs $335M modification to current International Space Station contract with Russian Federal Space Agency for crew transportation, rescue, and related services in 2013 and 2014.
[SatNews – 04/06/2010]

CPI gets $3.8M contract from Harris to provide satellite communications amplifiers for Navy program meant to boost broadband capability of Navy ships 10 fold.
[San Francisco Business Times – 04/06/2010]

SPOT sponsors Backpacker Magazine’s 10th annual Get Out More Tour, a national interactive mobile media and education road tour..
[SatNews – 04/06/2010]

Bolivia, China sign satellite launching agreement; Chinese will help Bolivia launch communications satellite "Tupac Katari."
[Space Travel – 04/06/2010]

iDirect announces Global Crossing launch of next-generation satellite network for Brazilian ISPs and enterprises using iDirect Series 14000 universal satellite hub and 600 X3 satellite remotes, with plans to service as many as 2000 sites.
[SatNews – 04/06/2010]

WBMSAT PS – Satellite Communications Consulting Services

Homegrown Cryogenic Engine

Friday, April 9th, 2010



The Indian Space Research Organization is hoping it’s launch of GSAT-4 on 15 April 2010, using a 4th stage cryogenic engine they developed themselves, will allow India to join the rocket launch club, via the BBC:

The new engine is being incorporated into the upper-stage of India’s Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

"It is a complex strategy technology," said Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) Chairman K Radhakrishnan.

He said the rocket would send a heavy communications satellite into space on 15 April from the country’s launch pad at Sriharikota in eastern India.

Dr Radhakrishnan told reporters in Banglalore that the technology was home grown because "one country stopped another country in giving this technology to India".

India began developing cryogenic technology after Russia reneged on a deal to supply cryogenic engines in 1993 – following pressure from the United States, which believed India was using the technology to power missiles.

"The best reply is to… build your own technology," Dr Radhakrishnan said.

India has been using Russian engines to launch heavier satellites into space for some time. It joins the US, Russia, Japan and China in having developed cryogenic engines.

India hopes to emerge as a global player in the multi-billion dollar satellite launch market.

 Adding another reliable launch service provider for heavy payloads will be a game-changer.