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Japan's Kiku-8 Communications Research Satellite Develops Glitch

TOKYO (AP) -- One of the world's largestgeostationary satellites has developed a glitch in an experimentaltelecommunications system, authorities said Friday.

Launched inDecember, the Japanese research satellite Kiku No. 8 is designed to be aplatform for testing various telecommunications systems and other experiments.

Geostationarysatellites orbit the Earth by staying over a fixed point, usually to providetelecommunications services to a particular area.

Earlierthis week, however, one of the experimental telecommunications systemsapparently developed a problem when officials tried to power it up, theNational Institute of Information and Communications Technology said in astatement Friday.

Officialsfrom NICT--which is responsible for the experiment--have not yet been able todetermine if the system's power supply is working properly, NICT spokesmanMasato Tanaka said.

Theinstitute is working with Japan's space agency to determine why the problemoccurred and how to remedy it, he said. It was not immediately clear whatimpact the problem could have on either the test or the satellite's mission, headded.

Thesatellite experienced difficulties deploying one of its two antennas a weekafter launch.

The JapanAerospace Exploration Agency, NICT and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.,which also collaborated in the satellite's development, have been running testson its equipment since early January, according to JAXA. Experiments are slatedto start in April.

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