Encyclopedia Astronautica
GTE


Through a series of purchases and mergers, General Telephone and Electronics (GTE) ended up with a consolidated constellation of geosynchronous communications satellites originally launched by itself and two other entities. Gstar was GTE's original planned fleet.

The Spacenet satellites were built by Southern Pacific Communications (SPC), which was bought by GTE before the first Spacenet ever launched. The ASC satellites were initiated by American Satellite Corp. (Amersat). This company was bought by Continental Telecommunications Inc. (Contel) before the first one was launched, and became Contel ASC. In March 1991, General Telephone and Electronics (GTE) in turn merged with Contel and acquired its satellites.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • AS 3000 American communications satellite. 25 launches, 1981.11.20 (RCA Satcom 4; RCA Satcom 3R) to 1996.01.14 (Koreasat 2). More...
  • ASC British military communications satellite. 3 launches, 1985.08.27 (ASC-1) to 1991.04.13 (ASC-2 / Spacenet F4). More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Ariane 1 French orbital launch vehicle. First version of the Ariane launch vehicle. More...
  • Shuttle American winged orbital launch vehicle. The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. Redesign of the shuttle with reliability in mind after the Challenger disaster reduced maximum payload to low earth orbit from 27,850 kg to 24,400 kg. More...
  • Ariane 3 French orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 2 x PAP solid rocket boosters + Ariane 2 core. More...
  • Ariane 42P French orbital launch vehicle. Ariane 4 with 2 solid rocket strap-ons. More...
  • Delta 7925 American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 9 x GEM-40 + 1 x EELT Thor/RS-27A + 1 x Delta K + 1 x Star 48B More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • ASC American agency overseeing development of spacecraft. ASC, USA. More...
  • Contel American agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Contel, USA. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • 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...

GTE Chronology


1984 May 23 - . 01:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 1. LV Configuration: Ariane 1 V9.
  • Spacenet F1 - . Mass: 705 kg (1,554 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: GTE. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: GTE. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 3000. USAF Sat Cat: 14985 . COSPAR: 1984-049A. Apogee: 35,897 km (22,305 mi). Perigee: 35,840 km (22,260 mi). Inclination: 4.9000 deg. Period: 1,440.30 min. Stationed at 120 deg W. C, Ku band communications satellite. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 120 deg W in 1984-1993; 115 deg E in 1993-on. As of 2 September 2001 located at 165.12 deg E drifting at 0.985 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 109.23W drifting at 1.077W degrees per day.

1984 November 10 - . 01:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 3. LV Configuration: Ariane 3 V11.
  • Spacenet F2 - . Mass: 705 kg (1,554 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: GTE. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: GTE. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 3000. Completed Operations Date: 1998-06-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 15385 . COSPAR: 1984-114A. Apogee: 35,962 km (22,345 mi). Perigee: 35,904 km (22,309 mi). Inclination: 4.2000 deg. Period: 1,443.60 min. Stationed at 68 deg W. C, Ku band communications satellite. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 69 deg W in 1984-1997; 115 deg E in 1997-1998 As of 5 September 2001 located at 65.20 deg E drifting at 1.887 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 64.76W drifting at 1.866W degrees per day.

1985 May 8 - . 01:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 3. LV Configuration: Ariane 3 V13.
  • GStar 1 - . Mass: 705 kg (1,554 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: GTE. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: GTE. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 3000. Completed Operations Date: 1997-01-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 15677 . COSPAR: 1985-035A. Apogee: 35,791 km (22,239 mi). Perigee: 35,783 km (22,234 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Stationed at 103 deg W. Ku band communications satellite. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 103 deg W in 1985-1996; 105 deg W in 1997-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 105.33 deg W drifting at 0.011 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 105.07W drifting at 0.006W degrees per day.

1985 August 27 - . 10:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle 51-I.
  • ASC-1 - . Mass: 1,271 kg (2,802 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ASC. Program: GTE. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: ASC. Completed Operations Date: 1994-08-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 15994 . COSPAR: 1985-076C. Apogee: 35,796 km (22,242 mi). Perigee: 35,778 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Released by STS 51I 8/27/85; stationed at 81 deg E. C, Ku band communications satellite. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 128 deg W in 1985-1994 As of 5 September 2001 located at 99.97 deg W drifting at 0.156 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 119.21W drifting at 0.126W degrees per day.

1985 September 12 - . 23:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 3. LV Configuration: Ariane 3 V15. FAILURE: Geosynchronous orbit injection failure. Third stage igniter cartridge failure was determined to be the most likely cause..
1986 March 28 - . 23:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 3. LV Configuration: Ariane 3 V17.
  • GStar 2 - . Payload: SBTS-2. Mass: 1,140 kg (2,510 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: GTE. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: GTE. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 3000. Completed Operations Date: 1997-08-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 16649 . COSPAR: 1986-026A. Apogee: 35,943 km (22,333 mi). Perigee: 35,902 km (22,308 mi). Inclination: 5.6000 deg. Period: 1,443.10 min. Ku band communications satellite. Stationed at 70 degrees W. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 105 deg W in 1986-1992; 125 deg W in 1992-1997 As of 5 September 2001 located at 148.11 deg W drifting at 1.728 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 2.39W drifting at 1.699W degrees per day.

1988 March 11 - . 23:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 3. LV Configuration: Ariane 3 V21.
  • Spacenet F3R - . Payload: Spacenet 3R. Mass: 1,212 kg (2,672 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: France Telecom. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: GTE. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 3000. Completed Operations Date: 1999-12-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 18951 . COSPAR: 1988-018A. Apogee: 35,980 km (22,350 mi). Perigee: 35,935 km (22,328 mi). Inclination: 2.4000 deg. Period: 1,444.90 min. US domestic communications; 87 deg W. C, Ku band communications satellite. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 87 deg W in 1988-1997; 83 deg W in 1997-1999 As of 2 September 2001 located at 107.85 deg W drifting at 2.220 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 153.60E drifting at 2.179W degrees per day.

1988 September 8 - . 23:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 3. LV Configuration: Ariane 3 V25.
  • GStar 3 - . Mass: 1,270 kg (2,790 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: GTE. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: GTE. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 3000. Completed Operations Date: 1998-01-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 19483 . COSPAR: 1988-081A. Apogee: 35,806 km (22,248 mi). Perigee: 35,769 km (22,225 mi). Inclination: 5.3000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. AKM malfunctioned, but orbit achieved using on-board propulsion system. Ku band communications satellite. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 93 deg W in 1989-1996; 105 deg W in 1996-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 105.39 deg W drifting at 0.005 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 105.31W drifting at 0.004W degrees per day.

1990 November 20 - . 23:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 42P. LV Configuration: Ariane 42P V40.
  • GStar 4 - . Mass: 1,295 kg (2,854 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: GTE. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: GTE. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 3000. USAF Sat Cat: 20946 . COSPAR: 1990-100B. Apogee: 35,790 km (22,230 mi). Perigee: 35,785 km (22,235 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Stationed at 125 deg W. Ku band communications satellite. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 125 deg W in 1990-1992; 105 deg W in 1992-1999 As of 6 September 2001 located at 104.95 deg W drifting at 0.005 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 74.47W drifting at 4.077W degrees per day.

1991 April 13 - . 00:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7925. LV Configuration: Delta 7925 D204.
  • ASC-2 / Spacenet F4 - . Mass: 1,350 kg (2,970 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Contel. Program: GTE. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: ASC. USAF Sat Cat: 21227 . COSPAR: 1991-028A. Apogee: 35,794 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,780 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Commercial business communications; stationed at 101 deg W. C, Ku band communications satellite. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 101 deg W in 1991-1999; 81 deg W in 2000. As of 6 September 2001 located at 172.04 deg E drifting at 0.007 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 34.51E drifting at 2.539W degrees per day.

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