The Palapa satellites form Indonesia's domestic satellite system. Meaning "fruits of labor", Palapa satellites provide regional communications between the country's 6000+ inhabited islands. Originally operated by a government-owned company, Perumtel, the Palapa system is now operated by Satelindo, a private Indonesian company established in 1993. The system began with the launch of Palapa A1 on July 8, 1976, with operational service beginning the following month. Palapa A1 and A2 were phased out of service (A1 - June '85, A2 - January '88) following the introduction of the Palapa B series, which increased coverage to include the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Singapore. Palapa B2, originally launched by STS-41B in February 1984, did not successfully reach orbit, and was subsequently retrieved by STS-51A in November, 1984. Following the failure of B2, Perumtel ordered an identical replacement satellite, B2P, which was launched in March 1987 on an expendable Delta rocket. Following return of B2 to Earth, it was sold by the satellite's insurers to Sattel Technologies, refurbished, relaunched in April 1990, and then resold back to Perumtel, where it was known as Palapa B2R. The newest Palapa series began with launch of Palapa C1 in January 1996, which replaced Palapa B2P (which ended service in February 1996). At least one more C series satellite will be built and launched, with a further option for a third C class vehicle.
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