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Anik E2



A fifth-generation Canadian telecommunications satellite, Anik E2 was launched via an Ariane 44P booster from Kourou, French Guiana. The satellite was the largest North American domestic commsat launched to date and required the extra lift of 4 Ariane solid propellant strap-on boosters. The Anik E series carried two dozen 12-W C-band transponders plus six spares, and sixteen 50-W Ku-band transponders, with two spares. Coverage extended throughout Canada and a large portion of the US. The satellite was manufactured by Spar Aerospace for TELESAT Canada. The bus was provided by GE Astro-Space. The main body measured 2.8 by 2.3 by 2.4 m; solar arrays, generating 3888 W, spanned 21.5 m. Anik E2 arrived on station at 107.3 deg. w as planned, but its orbital debut was dampened when the C-band antenna did not deploy. With earth sensors covered by the stuck antenna, operations were impossible. For nearly three months, the satellite was spun up, slowed down, heated and cooled in repeated attempts to free the antenna. Telsat was prepared to write the bird off. Relentless engineers tried a series of dual spin turn maneuvers, with the satellite spinning up the 4.5 rpm. On July 3, the C-band antenna swung free. Although the rescue maneuvers used about a year's worth of fuel, Anik E2 still had a 12-year life expectancy. After a two month test phase, Ku-band service was transferred to the new satellite from Anik C1, and C-band service from Anik D1 and D2.

Alternate Names

  • 21222
  • AnikE2

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1991-04-04
Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44P
Launch Site: Kourou, French Guiana
Mass: 2923 kg
Nominal Power: 3888 W

Funding Agency

  • Telesat Canada Ltd., Ottawa (Canada)


  • Communications

Additional Information

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

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