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BSB-R 2, a UK TV broadcasting satellite known as Marco Polo 2, was launched using the Delta launch vehicle on August 18, 1990, from Cape Canaveral. It joined a sister craft at 31 deg. w, to provide high-power direct broadcast signals to UK users with antennas as small as 0.3 m. It housed 5 Ku-band transponder channels, but only 3 could be at full power at one time. With both satellite on station, 5 channels could be beamed at full power. The twins were maneuvered to stay in close proximity allowing signals from both to be beamed at the same spot. Built for British Satellite Broadcasting by Hughes Space and Communications Group, Marco Polo 2 was a 2.1-m diameter drum, 2.7 m tall. With solar drum deployed and antenna reflector raised, overall height was 7.2 m. Body mounted solar arrays provided 1,000 W at the beginning of its 10-year life.

Alternate Names

  • 20762
  • British Sat Broadcast R2
  • Marco Polo 2

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1990-08-18
Launch Vehicle: Delta
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 679 kg
Nominal Power: 1000 W

Funding Agency

  • British Satellite Broadcasting (United Kingdom)


  • Communications

Additional Information

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

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