Palapa-D was an Indonesian geostationary communications satellite which was operated by Indosat Ooredoo. It was built by Thales Alenia Space, based on the Spacebus-4000B3 satellite bus, and carries 35 C-band and 5 Ku-band transponders. It was positioned in geostationary orbit at a longitude of 113° East, where it replaced the Palapa-C2 satellite.[3]

Mission typeCommunication
OperatorIndosat Ooredoo
COSPAR ID2009-046A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.35812Edit this on Wikidata
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeSpacebus
ManufacturerThales Alenia Space[1]
Launch mass4,100 kg (9,000 lb)
Power6 kW
Start of mission
Launch date31 August 2009, 09:28 UTC
RocketLong March 3B / E
Launch siteXichang, LA-2
ContractorChina Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT)
Entered serviceNovember 2009
End of mission
DisposalGraveyard orbit
Deactivated31 August 2020 (officially)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit[2]
RegimeGeostationary orbit
Longitude113° East
Band40 transponders:
35 C-band
5 Ku-band
Coverage areaParts of Europe, Asia, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Central Asia, South Asia, India, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Indonesia, East Asia, China, Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Oceania, Australia, New Zealand

Indosat ordered Palapa-D from Thales Alenia Space on 2 July 2007.[4] The satellite was built without using American components, and was therefore not restricted by U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR),[5] which allowed the China Great Wall Industry Corporation to be selected as a launch service provider.[6]

Launch edit

A Long March 3B launch vehicle, flying from Launch Area-2 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre was used to launch Palapa-D. A problem with the third stage of its carrier rocket left it in an incorrect orbit,[7] which was subsequently corrected using the spacecraft's onboard propulsion system.

After launch, Palapa-D was to have separated from its launch vehicle into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO), however one of its two identical upper-stage engines failed to deliver the necessary thrust,[8][9] resulting in it reaching a lower orbit than planned. The S400 apogee motor of the satellite was subsequently used in for raise it into geostationary orbit.[10]

Recovery and operations edit

On 3 September 2009, the satellite's orbit was adjusted, placing it into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).[11] It reached geostationary orbit on 9 September 2009.[10] It underwent on-orbit testing, and arrived at its orbital slot of 113° East in mid-September 2009. After completing its testing, it is now being used to provide communications to Asia and Australia.

Palapa-D was built with a design life of fifteen years, but due to the expenditure of fuel during maneuvers to correct its orbit, it was expected to have enough fuel for about ten years of operations, according to Reynald Seznec, President of Thales Alenia Space.[12][13]

Thales Alenia Space announced that the Palapa-D communications satellite is now positioned at its final location (113° East) and fully ready for operations for more than 10.5 years.[14]
On 31 August 2020, Palapa-D was officially declared inadequate for operation after it was close to running out of fuel for stationkeeping and all of its transponder services were officially moved to Telkom-4 (Merah Putih) and BRIsat satellites for broadcasting and data services respectively.

Replacement edit

Palapa-D was planned to be replaced by the Nusantara Dua (Palapa-N1) satellite; the launch of Nusantara Dua on 9 April 2020 by Chinese Long March 3B/E launch vehicle was a failure, resulting in the loss of the satellite. A replacement satellite (Nusantara-2R or Palapa-N1R) to be built by the same manufacturer (China Academy of Space Technology/CAST) is being considered, albeit with possibly different specifications with the lost one. However, on 28 October 2021, Telkomsat awarded the replacement satellite (working designation HTS-113BT) contract to Thales Alenia Space instead of CAST using the Spacebus-4000B2 platform, with planned launch for 2024. The HTS-113BT is expected to have similar specifications to the lost one.[15]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Thales Alenia Space statement concerning Palapa-D satellite". Thales Group. 2 September 2009. Archived from the original on 4 September 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  2. ^ "PALAPA D". Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Thales Alenia Space To Build Palapa-D Satellite For Indosat". Space Mart. 2 July 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  4. ^ "China to launch Indonesia's communications satellite". China View. 29 August 2009. Archived from the original on 1 September 2009.
  5. ^ Brown, Peter J. (4 December 2008). "US firms tired of being shut out". Asia Times. Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  6. ^ "PT Indosat Picks Chinese Rocket To Launch Its New Telecom Sat". Space News. 29 July 2007. Retrieved 29 April 2023.
  7. ^ Barbosa, Rui C (31 August 2009). "Chang Zheng-3B suffers third stage problem during Palapa-D launch". Retrieved 31 August 2009.
  8. ^ Tong, Xiong (31 August 2009). "Indonesian satellite launched in China fails to enter orbit". Xinhua. Archived from the original on 3 September 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
  9. ^ Space News
  10. ^ a b "Palapa-D communications satellite now in geostationary orbit". Thales Group. 9 September 2009. Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  11. ^ "Thales Alenia Space statement concerning orbital positioning of the Palapa-D satellite". Thales Group. 3 September 2009. Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  12. ^ "Indonesian satellite reaches preset orbit despite skewed launch_English_Xinhua". Archived from the original on 22 September 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  13. ^ de Selding, Peter (11 September 2009). "Palapa-D to be Salvaged After Being Launched into Wrong Orbit". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 5 January 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  14. ^ Thales Alenia Space statement concerning In Orbit Acceptance Review of the Palapa-D satellite Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Rainbow, Jason (29 October 2021). "Indonesia orders Thales Alenia Space satellite to replace lost Nusantara-2". SpaceNews. SpaceNews. Retrieved 29 October 2021.