Telstar 18 & graveyard orbits

From: Laura Grego (
Date: Tue Jul 06 2004 - 11:57:46 EDT

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    Apologies for being slightly off-topic, but I thought these two bits of news would be of interest:
    From Loral's press release:
    "According to Sea Launch, the spacecraft separated from the rocket's upper stage prematurely and was placed into a lower than expected transfer orbit. However, current data indicates the satellite has sufficient on-board fuel to bring it to its final orbital position and exceed its 13-year specified life. Telstar 18 has deployed its solar arrays and all systems on the spacecraft are operating normally."

    New FCC Orbital Debris Rules Set New Standard for Disposing of Satellites
    Space News Staff Writer 
    PARIS - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) stepped into a years-long debate on orbital debris by ordering tough new measures governing how satellites are disposed of by their owners.
    Over the objections of several of the world's largest commercial satellite-fleet operators, the FCC ruled that all U.S.-licensed satellites launched after March 18, 2002, will have to be placed into so-called graveyard orbits between 200 and 300 kilometers above the geostationary arc, where most commercial satellites operate.
    The ruling, published June 21, will set a regulatory standard that will be difficult for other nations to avoid. 
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