NSF adds South Pole satellite

NSF adds South Pole satellite

Comsat Corp. is maneuvering the world's oldest working communications satellite into a new orbit to provide an extra data link to the U.S. Amundsen-Scott South Pole science station.

The unused Marisat F-2 satellite, launched in 1976, has been parked in orbit over the west coast of India. In February, the Comsat General subsidiary of the Bethesda, Md., company began moving the satellite to a new path above the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil. It should be in place by next month to provide coverage for the Antarctic science station. It will use Comsat's gateway facilities in Clarksburg, Md.

The satellite, which will serve the South Pole station for five years, will give the National Science Foundation users an additional 2 Mbps of bandwidth. Comsat's $4 million contract has one base year and four one-year options.

'Patricia Daukantas, Christopher J. Dorobek and William Jackson

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