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The most powerful telecommunications satellite in the Asia- Pacific region went into orbit this week for the Mabuhay Philippines Satellite Corp (MPSC). Agila, built in Palo Alto, California by Space Systems Lorel (SS/L), a subsidiary of the New York-based Lorel Corp, was launched on a Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province, China. With more than nine kilowatts of total on-board power, it enables PPSC to transmit over 190 channels of digital programming to cable companies and home satellite dishes and it handles 50,000 simultaneous two-way telephone conversations. Operating 30 C-band transponders at 27 watts and 24 Ku-band transponders at 110 watts which combine to 12 transponders at 220 watts, the satellite has the largest active number of transponders in the region. Agila 2 uses SS/L’s three-axis body-stabilized FS-1300 bus for communications. Expected to last 12 years, Agila 2 is the second advanced broadcast satellite launched by MPSC in two weeks.

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