ORBCOMM-X was launched from the Kourou Space Center in French Guiana on the same Ariane rocket with UOSAT 5, TUBSAT, and SARA. Built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, it was a forerunner of a proposed network of low-earth-orbiting mobile communications satellites. The 0.46 by 0.66 by 0.2-m orbiter was powered by body mounted solar cells generating 27 W. It was flown to evaluate the ORBCOMM communications system, explore possible store and forward services and test location determination capability. Initial ground contact with ORBCOMM-X indicated the satellite was healthy, but communications were lost following a scheduled shut down of the VHF transmitter.
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