THOR 3 (THOR III) at 4° West (Inclined Orbit)
|Position:||4° West (Inclined Orbit)|
|Launch vehicle:||Delta II|
|Expected lifetime:||12 Years|
Satellite operator Telenor from Norway ordered powerful satellites with Hughes Space and Communications, Inc. (Boeing Defense and Space), to deliver direct-to-home television programming to Scandinavia and northern Europe.
In November 1995, Hughes was awarded the contract for THOR 2, a high-powered version of Hughes’ spin-stabilized HS-376 model. THOR 2 was successfully launched in May 1997. That same month, Telenor the second high-powered HS-376HP satellite,
THOR 3, which was successfully launched on June 10th 1998 from Cape Canaveral on a Delta II launch vehicle, operated by McDonnell Douglas, later to become United Launch Alliance (ULA).
Both contracts required Hughes to provide the spacecraft, launch services on a Delta II (Delta-7925) rocket, earth station upgrades at various sites, including the main site in Nittedal, Norway and training.
Telenor’s three-satellite fleet will deliver television and telephony/data services to Scandinavia and Northern Europe, with western offshore beams to the Faroes, Iceland, and Greenland. THOR 2 and THOR 3 were collocated at Telenor’s Nordic Hot-Bird position at 1° West longitude. THOR 2 covers five zones stretching from Scandinavia across the north Atlantic to Greenland, with the primary zone comprising Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and the Baltic states. The Ku-band effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) is 52dBW in the primary zone. THOR 3 will cover three zones stretching from Scandinavia across the north Atlantic to Greenland and into eastern Europe. The EIRP for THOR 3 is 50dBW.
THOR 2 was retired and send to a graveyard orbit in January 2013. THOR 3 is still in operation and is flying in inclined geostationary orbit but has been pointed towards the Middle-East. THOR 3 was replaced by THOR 6 in June 2010.