Encyclopedia Astronautica
Teledesic


American communications satellite. One launch, 1998.02.26. The Teledesic system was announced in 2004, and was to have provided global communication links via a constellation of 288 LEO spacecraft.

The system would provide "fiber-optic like" links to customers around the world. However by the time the first satellite was launched in 1998, the medium-earth orbit satellite bubble had burst and the project was abandoned.

The system would have acted as a network operator and support communications ranging from high-quality voice channels to broadband channels supporting video-conferencing, interactive multimedia and real-time two-way digital data flow. Teledesic was backed by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Craig McCaw, founder of McCaw Cellular Communications Inc. The system would have used Ka-band to send and receive signals from users. Each satellite would have acted as a node in a large-scale packet-switching network. Service was planned to begin in 2002. Total cost of the project was estimated at $9 billion.

The spacecraft was 3-axis stabilized. The large solar panel was articulated to remain sun pointing. The satellite was designed to be compatible with over 20 different launch vehicles to permit launch option flexibility. The antenna footprint for each satellite was about 700 km, using a large deployed phased array antenna.

As announced by Gates/McCaw on 21 March 1994, total cost was $ 9 billion for 840 Ka band low earth orbit satellites. This was revised on 29 April 1997 to 12 planes x 24 satellites - still $ 9 billion, but now for satellites. Boeing was awarded the satellite contract on 30 April 1997.

First Launch: 1998.02.26.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Pegasus Privately-funded, air-launched winged light satellite launcher. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Pegasus American air-launched orbital launch vehicle. Privately-funded, air-launched winged light satellite launcher. More...
  • Pegasus XL American air-launched orbital launch vehicle. Uprated version of Pegasus air-launched winged light satellite launcher. 4 stage vehicle consisting of 1 x L-1011 + 1 x Pegasus XL stage 1 + 1 x Orion 50XL + 1 x Orion 38. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • OSC American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Orbital Sciences Corporation, USA. More...
  • Teledesic American agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Teledesic Corp. , USA More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Report (Internet Newsletter), Harvard University, Weekly, 1989 to Present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA GSFC Orbital Parameters,

Associated Launch Sites
  • Point Arguello WADZ Air-launched rocket drop zone known to have been used for 28 launches from 1990 to 2007, reaching up to 4539 kilometers altitude. More...

Teledesic Chronology


1994 March 21 - .
  • Teledesic cellular satellite system anounced by Gates/McCaw. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Teledesic. Summary: Cost was estimated at $ 9 billion for 840 Ka band low earth orbit satellites..

1997 April 30 - .
  • Teledesic satellite contract issued to Boeing. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Teledesic. Summary: The constellation was revised to 12 planes x 24 satellites - $ 9 billion for 288 units. Boeing awarded satellite contract April 30 1997..

1998 February 26 - . 07:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: 36.0 N x 123.0 W. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL. LV Configuration: Pegasus XL F20.
  • Teledesic 1 - . Payload: BATSAT. Nation: USA. Agency: Teledesic. Manufacturer: Germantown. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Teledesic. Decay Date: 2000-10-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 25234 . COSPAR: 1998-012B. Apogee: 577 km (358 mi). Perigee: 532 km (330 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 95.70 min. Summary: Communications Technology Demonstrator..

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