Spacenet 3R, Télécom 1C
Fri Mar 11, 1988 23:28 UTC
Spacenet 1 to 3R were a series of hybrid C-/Ku-band satellites. The Spacenet satellites were built for Southern Pacific Communications (SPC), which was bought by GTE before the first Spacenet ever launched.
The spacecraft were based on RCA's 3-axis stabilized AS-3000 bus.
To help offset the loss of DFH-2A 4 and the delay in the DFH-3 program, China in late 1992 purchased the nearly 9-year-old Spacenet 1 from GTE. In 1993 the spacecraft, renamed Zhongxing 5 (ChinaSat 5), was moved to 115.5 degrees E. Following ChinaSat-7's launch failure, ChinaSat purchased a second in-orbit satellite (Spacenet-2) in 1997 and renamed it ChinaSat-5R.
The first Telecom spacecraft, Telecom 1A, was launched by an Ariane booster on 4 August 1984. Operated by France Telecom under government sponsorship, Telecom satellites service both civilian and military users through twelve active and five reserve transponders operating at 6/4 GHz (four transponders), 14/12 GHz (six transponders), and 8/7 GHz (two X-band transponders). The last units provide the Syracuse (Systeme de Radio Communications Utilisant un Satellite) secure military channels for the French Ministry of Defense.
Telecom 1 satellites were designed and manufactured by Matra with the communications package supplied by Alcatel Espace. At the start of its 7-year design life, each Telecom 1 had a mass of approximately 700 kg and an initial electrical power capacity of 1.2 kW, supplied by two narrow solar arrays with a total span of 16 m. The spacecraft bus was derived from the earlier ECS program in which Matra was a subcontractor to British Aerospace. A total of three Telecom 1 satellites were launched (1984, 1985, 1988). Only Telecom 1C remained operational at the end of 1994 and was stationed at 3 degrees E after being moved from 5 degrees W in the Fall of 1992.