Ralph McConahy (
Thu, 25 Mar 1999 22:21:18 -0800

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike <>
To: 'SeeSat-L' <>
Date: Thursday, March 25, 1999 4:25 PM
Subject: COMETS

>>I'd never heard of this satellite, let alone seen it.


COMETS (Communications and Broadcasting Engineering Test Satellite) is a
NASDA (Japan) satellite, launched in Feb. 1998, costing over $2 billion,
that was supposed to be placed in a geostationary orbit. But the second
stage burn lasted shorter than required to get it into GTO. It therefore
ended up in a highly elliptical orbit about 18,000 x 500 km. When you happen
to catch it near perigee it can be quite bright.

You can see a picture of it (without solar panels) at:

And videos at:

Some tests are still being performed with it:

You can read more about it at:

   Ralph McConahy
   34.8829N  117.0064W  670m