The Korea Aerospace and Research Institute (KARI) has awarded a contract to EADS Astrium to design and manufacture the country's first multipurpose geosynchronous orbiting satellite, COMS.

The 2.7t satellite will be based on a Eurostar 3000 spacecraft bus, of which four are in orbit and seven more are being built for customers. COMS will be equipped with an experimental Ka-band communications payload built by KARI and meteorology and ocean observation payloads from other suppliers.

The satellite will be located either at 116°E or 138°E. Three Lockheed Martin-built Koreasat geosynchronous communications satellites were launched in 1995, 1996 and 1999, while a fourth, built by Alcatel Space is scheduled for a 2006 launch. The country also operates a Kompsat sun-synchronous-orbiting multi-purpose satellite, built by TRW and launched in 1999.


Source: Flight International