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This Day in History

Australian History

Thursday, June 12, 2003. :   Optus launches the C1 satellite, the largest Australian hybrid communications and military satellite ever launched.

     The Optus and Defence C1 satellite is a joint initiative between Australian communications provider Optus and the Australian Department of Defence. Launched on 12 June 2003 from French Guiana on an Ariane 5G rocket, it is the largest hybrid communications and military satellite launched, to date.

Costing A$500 million, the C1 has an expected life span of 15 years. The satellite carries 16 antennas which provide 18 beams across Australia, New Zealand and East Asia, in addition to global beams which cover from India to Hawaii. The C1 satellite is positioned in orbit at 156 degrees east longitude, and is controlled from Optus's Sydney earth station.

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