Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications (NYSE:LOR), has signed an agreement with Sea Launch, the ocean-based launch services company, to launch the Telstar-8 satellite in 2002.
The contract, signed July 26, came two days before the successful launch of PAS-9, in which Sea Launch delivered the satellite to orbit with "bull's eye" accuracy. That mission reaffirmed the reliability of the system, the performance of the rocket and the extraordinary teamwork of the Sea Launch partners.
"This agreement represents yet another significant expression of customer confidence in Sea Launch," said Will Trafton, president of Sea Launch. "It is confidence not only in our capability demonstrated to date, but also in our future as we grow our way to 5700 kg performance. Telstar-8 is the heaviest payload on our current manifest and this launch will demonstrate the robust capacity of our Zenit-3SL."
The rocket will lift the 5500-kg. (12,125 lb.) Telstar-8 satellite to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit from the Odyssey Launch Platform, which is positioned on the equator at 154 degrees West Longitude. Built by SS/L for Loral Skynet, Telstar-8 is one of the most powerful communications satellites ever designed. It is the first to be built on SS/L's extended 1300 bus and will carry 92 transponders with a total end-of-life power of 16 kw. The payload will include Ku-band, C-band, and Ka-band transponders, providing coverage across North and South America.
Sea Launch provides commercial satellite customers, the most direct and cost-effective route to geosynchronous transfer orbit. From its ocean-based launch site, the Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket can lift a heavier spacecraft mass or place a payload into a higher perigee, helping satellite operators attain a longer satellite service capability. Launching from the equator also provides value-added operational benefits, including increased performance and launch availability.
The Sea Launch multinational partnership includes Boeing Commercial Space Company of Kent, Wash.; RSC Energia of Moscow, Russia; SDO Yuzhnoye/PO Yuzhmash of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine; and the Anglo-Norwegian Kvaerner Group of Oslo, Norway. For more information, visit the Sea Launch website at: www.sea-launch.com
Space Systems/Loral is a premier designer, manufacturer and integrator of satellites and satellite systems. SS/L also provides a range of related services, including mission control operations and procurement of launch services. Based in Palo Alto, California, SS/L serves an international base of commercial and governmental customers in applications such as broadband digital communications, wireless telephony, direct-to-home broadcast, environmental monitoring and air traffic control. SS/L is ISO 9001 certified. For more information, visit the SS/L website.