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Boeing SkyTerra 1 sends 1st signals from space


An artistic representation of SkyTerra 1 satellite with beams.

CALIFORNIA (BNS): Boeing has received the first on-orbit signals from LightSquared’s SkyTerra 1 following the satellite’s launch at 12:29 PM Eastern time on Nov. 14 (16:29 GMT) on an International Launch Services Proton vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Signal acquisition indicates that the satellite is healthy and ready to begin operational testing and on-orbit manoeuvres.

The 5390 kg SkyTerra 1 satellite has been designed and developed by Boeing for the US operator LightSquared. The commercial satellite is based on Boeing 702 Geo-Mobile (GEM), a modified Boeing 702 platform.

"Boeing has been designing advanced geomobile satellite systems for the past 13 years, and our experience enables us to provide LightSquared with a high-value solution," Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager, Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems, was quoted as saying in the company news release.

Featuring a 22-meter L-band reflector-based antenna -- the largest commercial antenna reflector to be put into service -- SkyTerra 1 will provide voice and data services.

It will be among the first to combine satellite and terrestrial technologies for use in standard handsets and other devices.

Boeing and LightSquared will soon begin on-orbit maneuvers to move SkyTerra 1 into its test orbit location, where the spacecraft will begin deployments and signal testing. After validating the satellite’s subsystems and the SBN with ground stations, LightSquared will accept the SBN from Boeing in early 2011.

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Boeing  Satellite  

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