A Boeing [NYSE: BA] Delta II successfully launched the Thor III satellite for Telenor Satellite Services of Norway, lifting it into geosynchronous transfer orbit from Space Launch Complex 17 here at 8:35 p.m. EDT.
The satellite, built by Hughes Space and Communications International., Inc. for Telenor, will
enhance television services in the Nordic countries and other parts of Europe. The estimated life span for Thor III is 11.5 years.
Hughes contracted with Boeing last year for today's launch. Thor III joins Thor I and Thor II
both successfully launched into orbit by Boeing Delta II rockets.
"We're three for three," said Jay Witzling, Boeing vice president, Delta II and Titan programs.
"A Hughes satellite on a Delta rocket is a winning combination," said Witzling, "with the
biggest winner being Telenor and the people they serve."
"Today's launch represents another successful partnership with Hughes and Boeing," said Arve Johansen, managing director and CEO, Telenor International AS. "The addition of Thor III positions Telenor as a leading provider of direct-to-home television programming covering Scandinavia and central and eastern Europe."
Thor satellites I, II and III will add additional capacity for television, telephone and data information services to Telenor's international communication system.
Boeing manufactures the Delta II in Huntington Beach, Calif., and the Rocketdyne RS-27A main engine in Canoga Park, Calif., with final assembly in Pueblo, Colo. Delta's major subcontractors include: Alliant Techsystems, Magna, Utah; Aerojet, Sacramento, Calif.; and
Allied Signal, Teterboro, N.J.
Telenor is a leading company in the growing satellite communications business in Scandinavia and in other worldwide markets. Hughes Space and Communications International, Inc., is a unit of Hughes Electronics, the world's leading manufacturer of commercial communications satellites.
The company has built approximately 40 percent of the satellites currently in operation.