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This spacecraft was Australia's first dedicated communications spacecraft. It was a Hughes HS-376 satellite, and it operated with extremely tight pointing accuracies using a new triple dish spot beam antenna designed specifically for Australia. It provided the first continuous television and radio facility to thousands of remote Australian homesteads and communities. It also provided a real-time communications relay for Australian air traffic control, receiving aircraft signals relayed from VHF grand stations. The satellite was spin-stabilized and ejected from the payload bay attached to a PAM perigee kick stage. Operating location was at 156 degrees E longitude.

Alternate Names

  • 15993
  • OPTUS A1
  • AUSSAT 1

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1985-08-29
Launch Vehicle: Shuttle
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 655 kg

Funding Agency

  • AUSSAT Proprietary Ltd. (Australia)


  • Communications

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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