Quetzsat 1 Successfully Launched!

SQUEEZON

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Jan 10, 2007
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Question?? How come all of these are lauched from someplace other than the U.S? Is this because of location or is it competitive bidding?
 

nelson61

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Question?? How come all of these are lauched from someplace other than the U.S? Is this because of location or is it competitive bidding?

Money. The US is abolutely non-competitive, the French have a site in South America close to the equator but has limited use because of costs, and Sea Launch (US west coast assembly site) went bankrupt and just got back into business. Meanwhile , the Russians set up an assembly line and went for low prices to get market share. Their problem is their launch site in the far north and the satellite has to use up a significant amount of it's fuel to move the orbit inclination from 51 degrees to 0 degress. If things were to start over, the French or Sea Launch would have a good change of getting the volume they need to be competitive but now they have to chip away at the Russian market share.
 

HDRoberts

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Money. The US is abolutely non-competitive, the French have a site in South America close to the equator but has limited use because of costs, and Sea Launch (US west coast assembly site) went bankrupt and just got back into business. Meanwhile , the Russians set up an assembly line and went for low prices to get market share. Their problem is their launch site in the far north and the satellite has to use up a significant amount of it's fuel to move the orbit inclination from 51 degrees to 0 degress. If things were to start over, the French or Sea Launch would have a good change of getting the volume they need to be competitive but now they have to chip away at the Russian market share.

I think the launch with a 51 degree inclination impacts the Proton's mass to geostationary transfer orbit capabilities, however, the satellite does not have to use up it's fuel any more than an Cape Canaveral or even Sea Launch bird. The Breeze-M is makes one final burn to go from 51 degrees to 18 degrees, leading to a standard required delta-V (I believe I've seen literature stating 1800 m/s, same as any any launcher, I believe) to get to Geostationary.

For instance one thing you notice about ILS target is a bit further than Sea Launch target perigee. Echostar 11, for example, went into orbit from Sea Launch with zero degree inclination, but a 35643x750 km orbit, while Quetzsat-1 had a target of 18.6 inclination, but 35786x5983 orbit. An orbit that needs flattened, but needs less fuel to get to circular.

There is one US launcher using the Delta II, Delta IV and Atlas V, but they are kept busy with government launches, and as was mentioned, is pricier than the Russians. But they have done some commercial work. For instance in 2009 they launched Intelsat 14 and the ICO G1 sat in 2008, both of which were just too big for the Proton.

Arianespace, the French launcher, becomes quite cost competitive when you lose it's superior mass to GTO capabilities to launch two small or medium sats. Dish sats of late, though, are too beefy to share a launch, thus ILS is the cheapest option for them.
 

nelson61

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The most current data is found at United States Strategic Command website.

I think this is the last one.
I'm going to go back and add any recorded post launch movements to the spreadsheet.

Monday Oct 3 - 2 measurements between 9 am and 11 pm Mountain Time
5.04 degree Inclination
35815 x 19309 KM
 
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nelson61

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Quetzsat 1 ID : 37826
Epoch Wed Oct 5 11:15 AM Mountain
Inclination: 0.01 degrees
35796 x 35716 km
-30 km from GEO
eccentric oscillation: 0.11 degrees
Current longitude: 68.55W

drifting east at 0.38 degrees/day
 

HDRoberts

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By the way, although the Heavens Above link I gave was updating with new TLEs, seems they changed their mind and called one NORAD ID before the sat.

OBJECT A - Orbit DataN2YO link (good because it calculates longitude):
LIVE REAL TIME SATELLITE TRACKING AND PREDICTIONS: OBJECT AAs mentioned, US Space Command has the most up to date data, but is only presented in TLEs. But not all of us speak TLE, so the links above do a nice job translating, albeit with a slight delay.
 

nelson61

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Quetzsat 1 ID : 37826
Epoch Thu Oct 6 6:48 AM Mountain
Inclination: 0.076 degrees
35797 x 35722 km
-26.5 km from GEO
eccentric oscillation: 0.10 degrees (oscillation will be less than 0.05 degrees when it is on station)
Current longitude: 68.3W (Target 67.1W)

drifting east at 0.35 degrees/day
 

nelson61

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Quetzsat 1 ID : 37826
Epoch Sat Oct 8 8:14 AM Mountain
Inclination: 0.072 degrees
35797 x 35722 km
-26.7 km from GEO
eccentric oscillation: 0.10 degrees (oscillation will be less than 0.05 degrees when it is on station)
Current longitude: 67.64W (Target 67.10W)

drifting east at 0.35 degrees/day
 

nelson61

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Quetzsat 1 ID : 37826
Epoch Tue Oc1 11 23:56 Mountain
Inclination: 0.065 degrees
35797 x 35773 km
-0.8 km from GEO
eccentric oscillation: 0.03 degrees
Current longitude: 67.08W (Target 67.10W)

It has arrived at test site and the testing probably has begun.

SES has reported that income stream from lease is delayed due to the launch delays. They will be working to finish testing and move to 77W so they can start collecting the lease payments ASAP.
 
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