The First Commercial Lunar Spacecraft – 20 Years before Israel & Beresheet

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A quick update on the news, followed by a story of the first commercial spacecraft to fly to the moon. In 1997 a communications satellite was left in a useless geostationary transfer orbit. Using the small stationkeeping thrusters it was pushed into an orbit that would fly past the moon, correcting the inclination and raising the perigee.
So while it wasn’t intended to go there HGS-1 became the first commercial spacecraft to visit the moon.

  1. Woodworker Don

    FYI. The Flat Earth Society doesn’t actually have ANY evidence for anything. 👌

  2. fixpacifica

    Didn’t the Hughes Corporation do the “Rock the Boat” song?

  3. 5Andysalive

    I guess beside the costs for a Space Shuttle mission, the question is, do you risk the life of Astronauts to repair a (commercial) satelite?
    I’d say Hubble was worth the risk, other cases, despite being impressive, weren’t really. You’d risk them to save the insurance some money. And you also justify the ludicrously complex and costly shuttle. Theres a documentary about the repair of 2 Satelites, and you can tell that that was the aim of the very public mission.
    Maybe if the shuttle would have flown as easy, safe and often as it was supposed to.
     However Skylabs managed actual repairs outside without a shuttle. And on Gemini 9 it was at least thought about the Astronauts EVAing outside to remove the stuck shroud from their docking target. After they got close to it. Which Nasa higher ups liked as a idea, mission control and the astronauts not so much. And with 9’s later hairy EVA experiences it was a very wise call to drop this idea.
    But you can get to things in loe and do something even without shuttle. You just lack the big Cargo bay and the arm. Which is a big “just”. But if there were money in reparing satelites, you’d think, somebody would work on it.

  4. Who said that ?

    Some great jokes in this video Scott! Well done

  5. WestOfEarth

    so did that Hughes satellite really perform those crazy loop-d-loops? Incredible that it resulted in a stable orbit.

  6. JFlight16

    *is not a satellite in geostationary orbit*
    *flies unsafely*

  7. Mikoto

    Oh man the Hughes Sat! Now that is how you play around with N body physics to save a mission! Stuff like that is why astrodynamics interested me in the first place, we have the perfect system to use the moon like that

  8. texaswilliam

    The main engine was only nominally nominal. : P

  9. MarcAFK

    The lesson of the day? Always put a docking port onto your satellites.

  10. Močnik Royale

    Cheesy moon is REAL everyone!

  11. Navis Mirza

    question sir, is it internasional marine law applied in space? in sense of salvage operation, if agency lost contact with a space craft and other agency manage to hack in and salvage those space craft?

  12. Fx arts

    I would like to know if a version of starship could the things only the space shuttle could do, like recovering/repairing satellites . it would definitely need a crew section with airlock but would it be possible/viable ?

  13. Richie Rich

    2:20 more evidence than the flat earthers, lol!!! 🧀

  14. WillieRants

    2:25 LMAO, Scott you animal!

  15. Yangshensensen

    Given how ginormously expensive the Shuttle turned out, was sending the Shuttle up to repair Intelsat the right call from a cost/benefit perspective? Seems to me it might actually’ve been cheaper to build another sat to the same specifications. And why did they launch it from Baikonur if the aim was a geostationary orbit?

  16. zapfanzapfan

    That satellite at the end has been turned into a comet…

  17. Gabe Darrett

    It’s like the Falcon Heavy center core is cursed

  18. Martyn

    Can’t believe I never heard of the Intelsat rescue until now, what an amazing story!

  19. Timothy White

    Rescuing that sat was soooo Kerbal

  20. Močnik Royale

    Which insurance company is so mad to cover SpaceX?

  21. hicham mohsen

    Haha if you are a satellite in GSO, flight safe. :D

  22. Amanda Jansen

    I’m not a satellite in stationary orbit, 🤔 so yay! I’m allowed to fly as dangerous I please!!! 😁😸


    Great reference to that bridge in Durham, NC.

  24. Fx arts

    spaces has really bad luck with that center core 😂 

  25. Zaphods BlueCar

    Loved the animation Scott – nicely done!

  26. Benn Knights

    why that platform is unstable when oil rigs had this sussed years ago

  27. ccccrnr

    Since HGS-1 was never intended for the moon, and only went to the moon’s gravity well
    Shouldn’t the First commercial spacecraft to the moon be considered
    4M mission by companies LuxSpace and OHB systems of Europe, launched with Change5-T1 on a CZ-3C?

  28. Stalin

    What if i’m a satellite in a polar orbit? :(

  29. EnraEnerato

    Well they can still get data from the core, they did fish it out of the ocean, didn’t they?
    Well they (ISA) has come closer to the moon than some others, as long as they learn from failure it’s a partial sucess.
    Good content as usual!

  30. QuantumBraced

    The FH center core wasn’t technically lost to the sea, they still recovered it. Elon Musk has said they may reuse the engines.

  31. Slamsugare

    but if I´m not..should I fly unsafe?

  32. Sam Salhi

    LOL! Only if we’re satellites in geostationary orbit? Come on Scott! We’re all on a floating globe, we need your wishes for the whole planet!
    Thanks, I REALLY enjoyed this video! Thanks for bringing back old memories!
    Any change LRO will photograph the debris filed for Beersheet?

  33. Brixxter

    Really enjoying these types of space stories! I’d love to hear more!

  34. Močnik Royale

    9:45 hey I am one of those, thanks!

  35. Chaitanya Patil

    Please make a video on the trajectory shown of international space station on NASA screens. how that trajectories are followed

  36. Bundi

    Every time I watch a Scott Manley video I have the urge to subscribe even though I know full well I’ve already done so.

  37. gawydion M

    luckily, I am not a satellite in geostationary orbit :D

  38. Andy

    I was thinking negligent barge pilot also lol 😂🤣

  39. john pepin

    So… the failure was due to an erroneous message sent from the ground? Seriously?
    No way that is suspicious.

  40. Kamil O

    that space shuttle rescue mission is amazing

  41. James Blackwell

    I remember that space walk well. It was amazing and dangerous.

  42. DreamskyDance

    This about HGS-1 is an awesome story… o.O nice XD
    The amount of calculationg percise position and orbits and all.. the amount of forethought needed.. imho.. this could be a good space science thriller movie XD

  43. Mark Morris

    Been loving these updates/mini doc videos.

  44. Ronius Adethel

    This was such an awesome tale. Thanks for sharing, Scott.

  45. Rick L.

    I have no doubt that Space X will be developing a new landing ship with a stabilized platform.. once its financially feasible.

  46. Chris Holt

    Fascinating updates all around – thanks Scott!

  47. Brian Streufert

    Where are all my 11’8″ fans??

  48. Sean McCabe

    I still love you barge rip xo

  49. Robert Miles

    4:07 Forgot myself and tried to right-click-drag to swing the view around and check the inclination.

  50. Silv3rDragon

    Would love to see more Elite Dangerous videos if you ever feel like it. Regardless, they are all amazing, keep it up.

  51. Wyatt G

    “Oh how far we’ve come, how far we’ve fallen, and how far we’ve still left to go…”

  52. Agamemnon

    Haha, cheesy jokes about Flat Earthers. :D

  53. Treavor Miller

    this is arguably way more impressive then what Space Il did.. mostly because the entire thing was planed after it was in orbit

  54. Maeyanie

    At least geostationary debris doesn’t have much risk of a high-velocity collision with anything.

  55. Nicholas Maude

    While the Falcon Heavy’s first-stage was damaged beyond repair hopefully it can be salvaged for components like its’ Merlin-1D rocket motors, grid-fins and avionics.

  56. Močnik Royale

    The core boster seems cursed, really! The first didn’t had enough tab, despite the collaudated landing… The second one tumbled over…. Idk man, idk

  57. Andrey Kuznetsov

    Was IntelSat 29E impacted by debris from the Indian anti-satellite rocket?

  58. Chris2008

    Thanks for the Fly Safe wishes. I actually am a satellite… I think. ;-)

  59. HeadHunter

    “Only” one kilometer per second… LOL.

  60. Sean McDonough

    3:53 – Another reason to quicksave!

  61. Milwaukee Joe

    With all three astronauts standing there looking at the sattelite, it felt like a “Hold my beer.” moment was inevitable.
    So did they just kinda reach up and grab it?

  62. Stan .Rarick

    My crystal ball shows you creating a new YouTube channel called “121foot6”.

  63. radarw64

    Hey Scott, on April 15 secureteam10 put out a video of something like a circular cloud in the moon “atmosphere?”. I wonder if it has to do with the Israeli lander.
    Don’t think I believe any of Tyler’s opinions. He assumes too much.
    Love your thoughts though, thanks for the informative videos.

  64. Alan Smith

    It was just the recipe for queso, not the actual queso itself.

  65. OldMan_PJ

    It never had a commercial target of the Moon, never went into lunar orbit and merely used gravitational pull of the Moon to alter it’s course.

  66. Josh Kaufman

    I wonder if they were able to get the titanium grid fins off of the top of the core booster before it sank?

  67. Snyper1188

    Hey there Scott, I have an off-topic question regarding space engine. Could you do a few tutorials on ship building?

  68. Penny Lane

    There are some orbits you show on this channel that must’ve been thought up by absolute wizards.

  69. Epifunke

    Dear Scott,
    I like your videos. Thank you.

  70. jonharson

    Don’t drink and barge, you might lose your ship.

  71. Upright Ape

    I have a fix for the barge landings………….catamaran style outrigger pontoons to soften those choppy seas, perhaps with some motion actuated flex in the connector arms. Now send me a check, Elon.

  72. Sean McDonough

    1:14 – And that’s why you always remember to quicksave.

  73. Sheridan McNeil

    “Moving on to the the other thing that didn’t stop in time….” haha savage

  74. Lalo Coronas

    Fucking awesome Mr Manley! Really loved this video, almost gave me excitement chills to find out how they managed to rescue the HGS sat! Almost like a real KSP game! XD

  75. Simon Stebbins

    That is some awesome trajectory planning!

  76. ed p

    That is bad that IntelSat 29E has disintegrated in geosationary orbit. Spacejunk in the Clark belt is not good. I have not heard of this happening before. A few years ago there was an operational communications satellite in the geo orbit that lost all ability to be commanded, while remaining fully functional as a transponder communications satellite. This caused it to drift into neighboring orbital slots (uncommanded of course). It got the nickname ‘Zombie Sat’. It became an interference problem for other satellites until it lost sun lock and went into safe mode. At that point it was able to be re booted and resumed it’s mission. InteSat 29E is different. That debris will remain there forever, and will be a hazard to satellites in that orbit.

  77. Sean McDonough

    3:22 – Not helped by the fact that you have to start out from Baikonur going _northeast,_ in order to avoid overflying China.

  78. Sean McDonough

    2:00 – Maybe if they’d gone into the cheat menu and checked “No Crash Damage” and “Unbreakable Joints”…

  79. grovermatic

    11′ 8″ Bridge for the win!

  80. Wayne Robinson

    It was cool to hear the details of those satellite rescue missions, especially seeing a shuttle mission for which it was uniquely qualified.

  81. footynutguy

    Thanks for telling us about the satellite rescue by the shuttle in the 90’s. I was only previously aware of the rescue during the 41-C and 51-A missions.

  82. Sean Bailin

    You’re the best man. As usual, thanks for the content!

  83. lbogaardt

    The image of the ‘lost’ center core shows the bottom part. So the tank is lost but the engines are still on the barge..? If so, that’s the most expensive part, right?

  84. Mike McLaughlin

    notification squad and RIP center core

  85. Toboter XP

    Are you, saying that, proportionally, the moon has more cheesy bits than the earth has flat ones?!

  86. Aldi More

    Wallace and Gromit would be happy to have a supply of Cheese on the moon now.

  87. Ali Shaikh

    The cheesy moon society finally have a good queso for their theories

  88. Arkaïd

    5:36 What’s up with the satellite orbit at this timestamp?

  89. justin gray

    outro: “fly safe, if not: don’t leave a mess!”

  90. Ted Garrison

    If only Space-X put Flex Seal on the landing legs the core booster would have been saved.😢

  91. Daniel Jensen

    They docked the space shuttle with a satellite by sending 3 people out on EVA to litterally grab it and pull it in by hand? And then attached a new booster stage to it in space? Holy shit is that Kerbal. How have you not told that story before?

  92. TonboIV

    Looks like the 11foot8 bridge video is going to be exiting!

  93. Alain Martel

    «The cheezy Moon now have more credential than the flat earth» LOL
    The flat earth never had close to the credential of the cheese Moon.

  94. Josh Kaufman

    @ 3:42 Awesome shot of rocket exhaust seen in moon light

  95. BuzzedAldrin

    I know the Shuttle has its flaws, but damn, what an amazing spacecraft. Seeing those shots with the bay open above the earth always makes my jaw drop.

  96. Kajle Radbourne

    Today’s sign off is oddly specific. Seems that Scott is targeting a new demographic.

  97. Joachim Voldseth

    Man, those manuevers of the hughes satelite is just brilliant! Genius way to save the spacecraft.

  98. injustice fellow

    Finally us at the cheesy moon society are recognized by the scientific community

  99. Guido

    Can’t wait for all the cheese bacteria to develop into complex life forms and build a moon base

  100. Matt Cy

    That satellite rescue mission to attach extra motors is the most Kerbal thing I have heard

Comments are closed.