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Satellite Update - June 26, 2009

TerreStar Networks has requested an extension of its milestone date for launching geostationary satellite TerreStar-1 from June 30, 2009 through and including July 7, 2009. TerreStar requested the delay to allow additional time for investigation of a recent in-orbit anomaly of another satellite that used components made by the same satellite vendor. Comments on the application are due no later than June 26, 2009 with reply comments due no later than June 30, 2009.

TerreStar said its launch vendor, Arianespace, established a two hour launch window that will open at 16:14 GMT on July 1, 2009. In a June 16, 2009 press release the company's CTO, Dennis Matheson, expressed optimism that the launch would go forth without any glitches.

"We have conducted extensive analysis and our vendors have also conducted exhaustive testing and analysis," said Matheson. "As a result, we believe TerreStar-1 is ready to launch."

Jeffrey Epstein, president of TerreStar, was also upbeat about the new bird.

"We are pleased that our process has validated TerreStar-1's flight worthiness," Epstein said. "Today's announcement means we are that much closer to bringing the next generation of mobile communications to North America." TerreStar is one of two companies using spectrum previously allocated to the 2 GHz broadcast auxiliary service."

From FCC Report SAT-00612:

  • PanAmSat requested authority to launch and operate satellite Intelsat 14 at 45 degrees west longitude (WL). Intelsat 14 would use frequency bands 3700-4200 MHz, 5925-6425 MHz, 11.45-11.95 GHz and 14.0-14.5 GHz. PanAmSat stated it is not required to post a bond because Intelsat 14 is a replacement satellite.

From FCC Report SAT-00613:

  • The FCC granted Intelsat North America authority to construct, launch and operate a 17/24 GHz Broadcasting Satellite Service (BSS) satellite Galaxy BSS-4 at 122.9 degrees WL using t7.3 – 17.8 GHz (space-to-Earth) and 24.75-25.25 GHz (Earth-to-space) frequency bands. The 17.7-17.8 GHz band is limited to international service only. Intelsat North America was allowed to modify its authorization for Galaxy 26 to operate it at 50.75 degrees east longitude (EL) using 14.0–14.5 GHz (Earth-to-space) and 11.7-12.2 GHz (space-to-Earth). Telemetry, tracking and command (TT&C) operations are authorized using C-band frequencies. EchoStar Satellite Operating LLC was granted special temporary authority (STA) to perform TT&C on a non-interference during the relocation of EchoStar 1 from 148 degrees West Longitude (WL) to 77.15 degrees WL for 60 days, beginning June 12. EchoStar was also given STA to operate EchoStar 1 at that location for 180 days using the 12.2-12.7 GHz (space-to-Earth) and 17.3-17.8 GHz (Earth-to-space) frequency bands on a non-interfering basis.
  • The FCC granted, with conditions, a request from Sirius XM Radio for STA for 180 days to operate 25 terrestrial repeaters with an effective isotropically radiated power of up to 2,000 watts at specified locations through the U.S. in the 2320-2345 MHz SDARS band.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.