‘BulgariaSat-1’: Bulgaria’s first geostationary communication satellite ready to go

Written by on April 23, 2017 in Business - Comments Off on ‘BulgariaSat-1’: Bulgaria’s first geostationary communication satellite ready to go

The first ever Bulgarian geostationary communication satellite, called BulgariaSat-1, is ready to be launched into space. It is supposed to reach an orbit located 36,000 kilometers above the face of the Earth, according to its owner, the company BulgariaSat. It’s task is to provide high quality television signals and communication services to consumers in Bulgaria and other parts of Europe.

BulgariaSat is affiliated with Bulsatcom, a large cable TV provider. The CEO of both Bulgaria Sat and Bulsatcom, Maxim Zayakov, said he was “extremely pleased” with the completion of all test procedures on the satellite.

The BulgariaSat-1 project was launched several years ago, when the company developed the theory and planned the funding. Towards the end of 2014, the satellite production phase began at  Space Systems / Loral (SSL) in California. Initially, the satellite was supposed to be launched at the end of 2016.

Recently, after all systems were tested successfully, SSL checked the satellite’s onboard solar array, by deploying it in an artificially created zero-gravity environment.

Now, BulgariaSat-1 will be shipped to NASA’s launch site at Cape Canaveral in Florida. In this case, the object will not just be thrown into a cardboard box provided by FedEx, since it is far too sensitive. It will rather be packed into a high tech container, which keeps out dust and anything else.

Once in Cape Canaveral, the first Bulgarian satellite of this kind will be placed into a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which will take it to space, the final frontier. SpaceX, the company’s full name is Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, was founded by its CEO Elon Musk, who is also the man behind the electric vehicle producer Tesla.

If everything works well and the satellite actually reaches space, it will still have to find its orbit. It will do so by itself, by using its built-in thrusters. BulgariaSat says that within 30 days of its launch, BulgariaSat-1 will be ready to “broadcast a large number of high quality TV programs to end-users”.

Photo: BulgariaSat-1 during the production phase. By BulgariaSat.

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com