TV-SAT 1 or TVSAT-1 was a West German communications satellite which was to have been operated by Deutsche Bundespost. It was intended to be used to provide television broadcast services to Europe, however it failed before entering service. It was constructed by Aérospatiale, based on the Spacebus 300 satellite bus, and carried five NATO J-band (IEEE Ku band) transponders. At launch it had a mass of 2,077 kilograms (4,579 lb), and an expected operational lifespan of eight years.[1]

Mission typeCommunication
OperatorDeutsche Bundespost
COSPAR ID1987-095A
SATCAT no.18570
Mission duration8 years
Spacecraft properties
BusSpacebus 300
Launch mass2,077 kilograms (4,579 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date21 November 1987, 02:19:00 (1987-11-21UTC02:19Z) UTC
RocketAriane 2
Launch siteKourou ELA-1
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Longitude19.2° West
Period24 hours
Band5 J-Band

TV-SAT 1 was launched by Arianespace using an Ariane 2 rocket flying from ELA-1 at Kourou. The launch took place at 02:19:00 GMT on 21 November 1987.[2] It was the first Spacebus 300 satellite to be launched. Immediately after launch, one of its solar panels failed to deploy, and as a result of this the main uplink antenna, which was located behind the solar panel, could not deploy either.[3] This failure was later established to have been the result of two hold-down bolts,[4] which should have been removed prior to launch, being left on the satellite.[3]

Despite the failure, TVSAT-1 was placed into a geosynchronous orbit at a longitude of 19.2° West.[1][4][5] It was briefly used for a series of tests to verify the satellite's systems, before it was retired to a graveyard orbit.[3]

TV-Sat 2 followed on 8 August 1989.

See also


  1. Krebs, Gunter. "TV-Sat 1, 2". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
  2. McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
  3. Harland, David M; Lorenz, Ralph D. (2005). Space Systems Failures (2006 ed.). Chichester: Springer-Praxis. ISBN 0-387-21519-0.
  4. "Tvsat 1". TSE. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
  5. Wade, Mark. "TVSAT". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-07-06.

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