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Wideband direct-sequence (DS)-code-division multiple-access (CDMA) is a strong candidate for both terrestrial and satellite components of UMTS. The forward-link capacity of a satellite DS-CDMA system with a conventional matched filter (MF) receiver is limited by interference from adjacent beams and possibly overlapping beams from multiple satellites. In this paper, we study the performance of the linear minimum mean squared error (MMSE) receiver for the satellite forward link. System constraints are long propagation delay, which prevents accurate closed-loop power control, and low on-board power consumption, which implies a low received bit energy to noise density ratio at the mobile receiver. We consider a "one-step" power adjustment algorithm which attempts to compensate for random shadowing and path loss, and compare the associated performance of the MMSE and MF receivers. Dual-satellite diversity is also considered. The effect of code rate on performance is studied through the use of punctured convolutional codes and the evaluation of random coding bounds. Our results indicate that linear MMSE interference suppression can improve the quality of service and increase system capacity significantly.