Japan loses ‘Winds’ broadband satellite

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Japanese space exploration agency JAXA has revealed that it has suffered a failure with its Kizuna (‘Winds’) satellite. The craft failed in mid-February and began to drift in the geostationary arc from its designated slot at 143 degrees East.

JAXA says the craft was powered down on February 27th as the agency could not raise it to a safe ‘graveyard’ orbit.  JAXA, in a low-key announcement on March 1st said that the satellite’s operation was now “completed”.

Kizuna was launched in 2008 aboard a Japanese rocket, and was designed to offer a wideband inter-networking service throughout Japan but especially in rural and mountainous areas where conventional surface technology was not available.

Consumers only needed to install a low-cost small antenna (about 45 cm in diameter) at their property and enable data at up to 155Mbps and transmit data at up to 6 Mbps.

The satellite was especially useful in ‘remote medicine’ situations where there was an illness or accident and were far from medical help.


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