German TET-1 Demo Sat Commences Operations

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PARIS — Germany’s TET-1 technology demonstration satellite, launched into low Earth orbit aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket July 22, has cleared initial checkout and begun operations expected to last for 12 months, TET-1 prime contractor Kayser-Threde announced Oct. 17.

The 120-kilogram TET-1 carries 11 experiments intended to validate the in-orbit performance of new designs for solar cells, navigation equipment, propulsion systems and other gear considered important to German satellite builders.

TET-1 operates in a 520-kilometer orbit and is expected to function for little more than a year before it is gradually pulled into the atmosphere and destroyed.

The German space agency, DLR, paid about 27 million euros ($35 million) for TET-1 and is expected to spend 2 million euros for the operation of the satellite.