Re: Teledesic launches test satellite

Lloyd Wood (
Sat, 28 Feb 1998 20:49:06 +0000 (GMT)

On Fri, 27 Feb 1998, Rohit Khare wrote:

> The satellite, dubbed the T1

awfully smart choice of name for the communication connotations, IMO.

> marks the first successful orbit of a
> commercial Ka-band low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite.

It's an experimental satellite of a completely different design,
launched via a different launch method (the finalised bus design
should be _way_ too heavy for a teensy Pegasus to launch over your
backyard, never mind to above 1000km), and at a very different and
lower altitude from the actual constellation. Oh, and it doesn't
appear to be offering any commercial services whatsoever.

Possibly less of a first than it may appear at first glance, but
that's marketing spin for you. I really need to go and check up on
the frequency bands used by a variety of remote-sensing satellites...

> Teledesic has had its doubters since the audacious $9 billion
> project was unveiled in 1994. While the project is still far from
> reality, the test satellite is the first tangible sign of life.

I don't know about that - what about that restaurant Teledesic was
running as part of their tangible signs of lively lobbying at the last
WRC? Fresh food can be lively...

> It also gives Teledesic a step on Motorola, which is building a
> similar system called Celestri.

...if you're willing to ignore the experience Motorola has gained in
multiple launches while building the Iridium constellation, of course.

> Because LEOs fly so low, there is little delay relaying
> communications - a necessity if satellites are to handle
> Internet-style traffic.

...aargh; my current favourite bugbear. Lots of Pacific islands are
getting 'internet-style' traffic via GEO right now; by this argument,
you should put your money in Sky Station because they fly even lower,
they have the advantage of being in a fixed position (very
'internet-style' given the general dumbness of routing and useful for
e.g. the MBONE) and there's even less delay!

> By Kevin Maney, USA TODAY

are these the people who did 'World War II Bomber found on Moon'?