TV-SAT 1 or TVSAT-1 was a West German communications satellite, which was to have been operated by Deutsche Bundespost. It was intended to provide television broadcast services to Europe, but it failed before entering service. It was built by Aérospatiale, was based on the Spacebus 300 satellite bus, and carried five Ku-band transponders. At launch it had a mass of 2,144 kg (4,727 lb), and an expected operational lifespan of eight years.[2]

DBP 1986 1290 Europäische Satellitentechnik.jpg
Mission typeCommunication
OperatorDeutsche Bundespost
COSPAR ID1987-095A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.18570
Mission duration8 years (planned)
Failed on orbit
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeSpacebus
BusSpacebus 300
ManufacturerEurosatellite (Aérospatiale) and
Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB)
Launch mass2,144 kg (4,727 lb)
Dimensions2.4 x 1.64 x 6.4 m
Power4.5 kW
Start of mission
Launch date21 November 1987, 02:19:00 UTC
RocketAriane 2 (V20)
Launch siteCentre Spatial Guyanais, Kourou, ELA-2
Entered serviceFailed on orbit
End of mission
DisposalGraveyard orbit
DeactivatedFebruary 1988
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit[1]
RegimeGeostationary orbit
Longitude19.2° West
Band5 Ku-Band[1]
Bandwidth27 MHz
Coverage areaEurope, Germany


TV-SAT 1 was launched by Arianespace using an Ariane 2 rocket flying from ELA-2 at Centre Spatial Guyanais, Kourou, French Guiana. The launch took place at 02:19:00 UTC on 21 November 1987.[3] It was the first Spacebus 300 satellite to be launched. Immediately after launch, one of its solar panels failed to deploy, so that the main uplink antenna, behind the solar panel, could not deploy either.[4] This failure was caused by the presence of two hold-down bolts,[1] which should have been removed before launch.[4]


Despite the failure, TV-SAT 1 was placed into a geostationary orbit at a longitude of 19.2° West.[2][1][5] It was briefly used for a series of tests to verify the satellite's systems, before it was retired to a graveyard orbit in February 1988.[4]

TV-Sat 2 followed on 8 August 1989.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Tvsat 1". TSE. 28 February 2021. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter (21 July 2019). "TV-Sat 1, 2". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  3. ^ McDowell, Jonathan (14 March 2021). "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Harland, David M; Lorenz, Ralph D. (2005). Space Systems Failures (2006 ed.). Chichester: Springer-Praxis. ISBN 0-387-21519-0.
  5. ^ Wade, Mark. "TVSAT". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 29 August 2002. Retrieved 6 July 2009.