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Mission type Communication
Operator Arabsat
COSPAR ID 1985-015A
SATCAT no. 15560
Mission duration 7 years
Spacecraft properties
Bus Spacebus 100
Manufacturer Aérospatiale
Launch mass 1,170 kilograms (2,580 lb)
Dry mass 532 kilograms (1,173 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 8 February 1985, 23:22:00 (1985-02-08UTC23:22Z) UTC
Rocket Ariane 3
Launch site Kourou ELA-1
Contractor Arianespace
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Geostationary
Longitude 19° East
Eccentricity 0.02348
Perigee 33,911 kilometres (21,071 mi)
Apogee 35,849 kilometres (22,276 mi)
Inclination 0.2°
Period 1,390.1 minutes
Epoch 08 February 1985
Band 2 E/F-band
25 G/H-Band

Arabsat-1A (Arabic: عربسات-A1‎‎)[1] was a Saudi Arabian communications satellite which was operated by Arabsat. It was used to provide communication services to the Arab States. It was constructed by Aérospatiale, based on the Spacebus 100 satellite bus, and carries two NATO E/F-band (IEEE S band) and 25 NATO G/H-Band (IEEE C band) transponders. At launch, it had a mass of 1,170 kilograms (2,580 lb), and an expected operational lifespan of seven years.[2]

Arabsat-1A was launched by Arianespace using an Ariane 3 rocket flying from ELA-1 at Kourou. The launch took place at 23:22:00 GMT on 8 February 1985.[3] It was the first Spacebus satellite to be launched. Immediately after launch, one of its solar panels failed to deploy, resulting in reduced performance. It was placed into a geosynchronous orbit at a longitude of 19° East.[4] Following a series of gyroscope malfunctions, it was retired from active service, and remained operational as a backup.[2][5] In September 1991, another problem developed with the spacecraft's altitude control system, and it began to drift eastward. It failed completely in March 1992.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ إنفجار الفضائيات العربية : الأبعاد و الأهداف و التأثيرات الثقافية - الأسد الأسد - Google Books (Arabic)
  2. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter. "Arabsat 1A, 1B, 1C / Insat 2DT". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  3. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  4. ^ Wade, Mark. "Arabsat". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  5. ^ Harland, David M; Lorenz, Ralph D. (2005). Space Systems Failures (2006 ed.). Chichester: Springer-Praxis. p. 221. ISBN 0-387-21519-0. 
  6. ^ "Arabsat 1A". TSE. Archived from the original on 2 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-05.