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Japanese communications satellite damaged

20th July 2016 - 13:00 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Hong Kong

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Even before it got close to the launchpad, a mishap involving a tarpaulin will delay Japan’s first military communications satellite by up to two years, it has emerged.

The DSN-1 X-band satellite, also known as Superbird-8, was supposed to launch aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from the spaceport in French Guiana. However, during its transportation from Japan in an aircraft hold on 25 May, a tarpaulin blocked valves designed to equalise internal air pressure as the plane descended in altitude.

This error damaged the satellite’s sensitive antennas supporting its high-performance Ku- and Ka-band transponders.

This satellite manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric

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Gordon Arthur

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Gordon Arthur


Gordon Arthur is the Asia Pacific editor for Shephard Media. Born in Scotland and educated …

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