Orbital Test Satellite
The Orbital Test Satellite programme was an experimental satellite system inherited by the ESA
European Space Agency
The European Space Agency , established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 18 member states...

 in 1975 from its predecessor, the European Space Research Organization (ESRO).

The first of the pair of OTS satellites (OTS-1) was lost at launch in September 1977. OTS-2 became one the first geostationary communications satellite
Communications satellite
A communications satellite is an artificial satellite stationed in space for the purpose of telecommunications...

s to carry six Ku-band transponders and was capable of handling 7,200 telephone circuits. With a mass of approximately 445 kg on station, the OTS 2 bus was hexagonal with overall dimensions of 2.4 m by 2.1 m. Two solar panels with a span of 9.3 m provided 0.6 kW of electrical power. British Aerospace
British Aerospace
British Aerospace plc was a UK aircraft, munitions and defence-systems manufacturer. Its head office was in the Warwick House in the Farnborough Aerospace Centre in Farnborough, Hampshire...

 was the prime contractor from the European MESH consortium which developed the OTS vehicle. It completed its primary mission in 1984 after which the spacecraft was involved in a 6-year program of experiments, including the testing of a new attitude control technique taking advantage of solar wind forces. In January 1991, OTS 2 was moved out of the geostationary ring and into a graveyard orbit
Graveyard orbit
A graveyard orbit, also called a supersynchronous orbit, junk orbit or disposal orbit, is an orbit significantly above synchronous orbit, where spacecraft are intentionally placed at the end of their operational life...



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