Mission typeCommunication, experimental
COSPAR ID1989-053A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.20122
Mission duration4 years, 1 month
Spacecraft properties
Thales Alenia Space
Launch mass2,612 kilograms (5,758 lb)[1]
Power3600 watts
Start of mission
Launch date12 July 1989 (1989-07-12)
RocketAriane 3, V32
Launch siteGuiana Space Centre
Kourou, French Guiana
End of mission
Deactivated12 August 1993 (1993-08-13)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric

Olympus-1 was a communications satellite built by Astrium (at the time of the construction of the satellite British Aerospace and Matra Marconi Space) and Thales Alenia Space (also at the time Alcatel Espace and Alenia Spazio), along with Fokker and SPAR Aerospace, for the European Space Agency. At the time of its launch on 12 July 1989, it was the largest civilian telecommunications satellite ever built, and sometimes known as "LargeSat" or "L-Sat". The satellite had a series of unfortunate accidents in orbit and went out of service on 11/12 August 1993.[1] The first accident was the loss of ability to articulate the satellite's solar arrays. This was later followed by the loss of an on-board gyro during the height of the Perseid meteor shower. The satellite spun out of control and efforts to stabilise it resulted in the expenditure of the majority of its fuel. Subsequently, it was moved to a GEO disposal orbit and was put out of commission.[2] The same manufacturers made the Alphabus satellite bus, using lessons learned from the Eurostar and Spacebus programs, and acting very much in the same way as Olympus. However, only one was constructed for Inmarsat (Inmarsat-4A F4).


  1. ^ a b "ESA Achievements BR-200 - Olympus" (PDF). ESA. November 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Shooting Stars Can Shoot Down Satellites". Spectrum.ieee.org. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2012.