Ariane 1 fairing for ESA's ECS-1 and AMSAT's P3B. ECS-1 and P3B were launched from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on 16 June 1983. The fairing protects the payload from the Earth's atmosphere as the launcher climbs through it at supersonic speeds.
The ECS telecommunications satellites each operated up to nine Ku-band transponders working simultaneously through five beams across Europe, with a capacity equivalent to 12 000 telephone circuits or 10 TV channels. Five ECS satellites were built; ECS-3 was lost due to a launcher failure.
After in-orbit testing, ECS-1 was handed over to Eutelsat by ESA on 12 October 1983. It was retired from service in December 1996, having been in service for almost twice its design lifetime of seven years.
AMSAT-P3B, a relay satellite for amateur radio, was renamed AMSAT-OSCAR 10 on reaching orbit. In December 1986 the main computer failed due to radiation damage sustained by the integrated circuits that made up its memory. The spacecraft, now without attitude control, operated with a much reduced capability for some time after the failure.