Hispasat 1C fulfilled its mission and was sent to the graveyard orbit
June 2, 2017
• Today the third satellite of the HISPASAT fleet completed its re-orbiting operations, which began on 29 May.
• This satellite effectively provided services for 17 years from two orbital positions, 30° and 84° West.
MADRID, 2 June 2017. Today the Spanish satellite communications operator HISPASAT completed the re-orbiting operations of the Hispasat 1C satellite (subsequently called 30W-3 and 84W-1, the two orbital positions where it was located). These operations, which began on 29 May after the transmission of the final command from HISPASAT's satellite control centre in Arganda del Rey, takes place after effectively providing communication services for 17 years, two more than the initially expected lifetime.
The Hispasat 1C satellite was launched on 3 February 2000 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard the Atlas IIAS rocket, from the company ILS. Built by Thales Alenia Space, it was located at the 30° West orbital position (Hispasat 30W-3). With this satellite, in 2003 HISPASAT began marketing its broadband services in Latin America, which have been used by more than 20 of the operator’s clients in the region. Furthermore, the capacity of Hispasat 1C has been used for distance education, such as in the Uruguay’s Plan Ceibal project or the Subtel Programme in Chile, for the MEDNET project for telemedicine in Peru, to connect remote areas of Antarctica in Argentina, and to develop energy, livestock and fishing industries in different areas of the region.
The satellite, based on the Spacebus B2 platform, had 24 transponders on the Ku-band and its main services included broadcasting television channels both in Europe and in the Americas, as well as providing other telecommunications solutions, such as corporate networks and broadband applications. Throughout its lifetime, Hispasat 1C has made 22,850 transmissions, more than 1,200 manoeuvres controlled from the ground, and has borne witness to 1,544 eclipses of the Earth and 36 of the moon.
In 2014, after an agreement was reached between HISPASAT and Star One, the satellite was moved to the 84° West position and was renamed Hispasat 84W-1. From this new position over Brazil, it continued to provide service to Latin America, mainly internet access and IP communications.
“The satellite’s operational lifetime surpassed our contractual commitment, clearly reflecting the reliability that characterizes our Spacebus satellites fleet,” said Bertrand Maureau, Vice President, Telecommunications at Thales Alenia Space. “Thales Alenia Space formed close ties with Spanish industry to conduct the Hispasat 1C program, including companies such as CASA, GMV, Indra, Mier, RYMSA, SENER and Thales Alenia Space in Spain, proving our ability and commitment to partnering countries that contribute to generate business growth in the space sector".
Antonio Abad, Chief Technical and Operations Officer noted that "the Hispasat 1C satellite exceeded our expectations. We were able to provide guaranteed services for 17 years and it was a privilege to work with the Spanish industry in its development. Without any doubt, part of this technological success can be attributed to the Spanish industry, along with Thales Alenia Space, the satellite’s manufacturing company”.
Today marks the end of the satellite's journey from 84° West, at 36,000 km to 36,300 km, where it has been definitely placed in the so-called "graveyard orbit", as established by the recommendations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee regarding the proper maintenance of the geostationary orbit when a satellite reaches the end of its lifetime.
About THALES ALENIA SPACE
Thales Alenia Space brings over 40 years of experience to the design, integration, testing and operation of innovative space systems for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ “Space Alliance”, which offers a complete range of services and solutions. Thales Alenia Space has built up unrivalled expertise in dual (civil-military) missions, constellations, flexible high-throughput payloads, altimetry, meteorology, and high-resolution radar and optical observation. The company capitalizes on its strong legacy, while also making innovation a key to its strategy. By offering a continuous stream of new products and expanding its global footprint, Thales Alenia Space has established its leadership in today’s fast-evolving space sector. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of about 2.4 billion euros in 2016 and has 7,980 employees in nine countries.
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HISPASAT is comprised of companies that have a presence in Spain as well as in Latin America, where its Brazilian affiliate HISPAMAR is based. HISPASAT is a world leader in the distribution and broadcasting of Spanish and Portuguese content, and its satellite fleet is used by important direct-to-home television (DTH) and high-definition television (HDTV) digital platforms. HISPASAT also provides satellite broadband services and other added value solutions to governments, corporations and telecommunication operators in America, Europe and North Africa. HISPASAT is one of the world's largest companies in its sector in terms of revenue, and the main communications bridge between Europe and the Americas.