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Astra 1K

Astra 1K was a communications satellite manufactured by Alcatel Space for SES. When it was launched on November 25, 2002 it was the largest civilian communications satellite ever launched, weighing .[1] Intended to replace the ailing Astra 1B satellite and provide backup for 1A, 1C and 1D at the Astra 19.2 E orbital position[2], the Block DM-3 upper stage of the Proton launch vehicle failed to function properly, leaving the satellite in an unusable parking orbit. Although some attempts were made to "rescue" the satellite[3], it was intentionally de-orbited on December 10, 2002.

The satellite featured frequency re-use for some of its transponders, using dual patterns coverage, one covering eastern Europe, the other covering Spain. This design was meant to cover specific markets only, in order to expand the capacity of the fleet, as frequency re-use enables more channels to be transmitted simultaneously at the same frequency, with the drawback that channels broadcast on the Spain beam wouldn't be receivable by any means (no matter how large the receiving dish would be) in the east beam and vice versa.

This would have left for example the Netherlands and parts of neighbouring countries without reception of either of the beams, as the beams overlap over those countries, efficiently jamming each other.

Astra 1K also featured multiple Ka Band capabilities, originally intended to provide an upload path for satellite internet services. SES later developed such a 2-way commercial satellite internet service with ASTRA2Connect, using Ku band for upload and download paths.[4]

A replacement craft, Astra 1KR was successfully launched in 2006.[5]

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Source: Wikipedia | The above article is available under the GNU FDL. | Edit this article

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