Encyclopedia Astronautica
WorldSpace


The WorldSpace project, led by Ethiopian-born Noah Samara, was intended to empower the developing world by providing improved access to information. Its three satellites, Afristar, Asiastar, and Ameristar, were to broadcast digital radio to less developed countries. Small hand-held radios could pick up the 24 to 96 radio channels available on the three L-band beams broadcast by each satellite. On-board processing allows variable bit rates to provide audio quality ranging from monophonic to CD digital. Broadcasters would send their programs to the satellite with a small X-band ground station.

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Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Eurostar 2000 French communications satellite. 24 launches, 1988.03.11 (Telecom 1C) to 2006.11.08 (Badr 4 ARABSAT 4B). More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Ariane 44L French orbital launch vehicle. Ariane 4 with 4 liquid rocket strap-ons. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Associated Launch Sites
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...

WorldSpace Chronology


1998 October 28 - . 22:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44L. LV Configuration: Ariane 44L-3 V113.
  • Afristar - . Nation: France. Agency: Worldspace. Manufacturer: Toulouse. Program: WorldSpace. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Eurostar 2000. USAF Sat Cat: 25515 . COSPAR: 1998-063A. Apogee: 35,805 km (22,248 mi). Perigee: 35,769 km (22,225 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Afristar was the first WorldSpace satellite. Afristar was to broadcast digital radio over Africa and the Middle East. Small hand-held radios could pick up the 24 to 96 radio channels available on the three L-band beams. Dry mass of Afristar was 1205 kg; it carried 1534 kg of propellant at launch. Geostationary at 21.0 degrees E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 21 deg E in 1998-1999 As of 3 September 2001 located at 20.98 deg E drifting at 0.004 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 20.98E drifting at 0.010W degrees per day.

2000 March 21 - . 23:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5G. LV Configuration: Ariane 5G V128 (505).
  • Asiastar - . Mass: 2,778 kg (6,124 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: Worldspace. Manufacturer: Toulouse. Program: Worldspace. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Eurostar 2000. USAF Sat Cat: 26107 . COSPAR: 2000-016A. Apogee: 35,805 km (22,248 mi). Perigee: 35,770 km (22,220 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Direct Radio Broadcasting satelllite. First night launch of Ariane 5. Worldspace's second digital radio satellite. Joined Afristar in orbit with a mission of providing radio broadcasting to the developing world. Stationed at 105 deg E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 105 deg E in 2000. As of 4 September 2001 located at 104.96 deg E drifting at 0.015 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 104.99E drifting at 0.012W degrees per day.

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