Sea Launch announced today it has signed an additional agreement with PanAmSat Corporation (NASDAQ: SPOT), to launch the Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 satellite in the 4th Quarter of 2002. The new spacecraft will support both PanAmSat's cable program distribution services as well as a new joint venture with Japan's JSAT Corporation for expanded Ku-band services in North America and extended services to Japan and Asia via a Hawaii-based relay station.
"We are very pleased to announce this agreement today," said Will Trafton, president and general manager of Sea Launch, who made the announcement in Paris while speaking to a gathering of industry attendees at Satellite 2001 Europe. "This strengthens an already solid relationship between PanAmSat and Sea Launch and also demonstrates Sea Launch's growing market position."
Built by Boeing Satellite Systems, the world's largest satellite manufacturer, the 601 HP model spacecraft will provide a variety of digital video, Internet and data services to North America, Central America, Alaska and Hawaii. The spacecraft's Ku-band payload, which will be known as Horizons-1, is being constructed for PanAmSat's and JSAT's Horizons joint venture and will be jointly owned by the two companies. The C-band portion of the new spacecraft will be known as Galaxy XIII and will be operated separately as part of PanAmSat's Galaxy cable neighborhood, which serves the domestic U.S. cable industry.
"Sea Launch successfully launched PAS-9 in July 2000, which currently broadcasts programming from top international broadcasters and cable programmers to cable systems and satellite TV households throughout the Americas," said Robert A. Bednarek, PanAmSat's executive vice president and chief technology officer. "In addition to our planned launch of Galaxy IIIC next year aboard Sea Launch, this additional agreement further demonstrates our confidence in their capabilities."
From its equatorial launch site at 154 degrees West Longitude, the Sea Launch rocket will lift Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 to a lofted perigee geosynchronous transfer orbit on its way to a final orbital position at 127 degrees West Longitude. The spacecraft will carry a total of 48 active transponders, 24 in Ku-band and 24 in C-band. While it is designed for a 15-year lifespan, Sea Launch's direct insertion into equatorial orbit is expected to yield additional years of service.
PanAmSat Corporation is the premier provider of global video and data broadcasting services via satellite. Operating a global network of 21 in-orbit spacecraft and seven technical facilities, the company delivers entertainment and information to cable television systems, TV broadcast affiliates, direct-to-home TV operators, Internet service providers, telecommunications companies and corporations worldwide. PanAmSat is 81 percent owned by HUGHES Electronics Corporation. For more information on PanAmSat, visit the company's web site at www.panamsat.com
JSAT is a leading satellite operator in the Asia-Pacific region. The company owns and operates eight satellites in seven orbital slots. JSAT provides communications and broadcasting services that offer a range of unique features made possible by satellite communications which is well suited to support the high-volume, wide-distribution, high-speed networks. Based on its corporate slogan, "JSAT, Expanding Horizons," the company is working to actively expand its business. JSAT is listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. For more information on JSAT, visit the company's web site at www.jsat.net
Sea Launch Company, LLC, based in Long Beach, Calif., provides reliable, cost effective, heavy lift launch services for commercial satellite customers. The international partnership includes the Boeing Commercial Space Company (U.S.), the Anglo-Norwegian Kvaerner Group (Norway), RSC Energia (Russia) and SDO Yuzhnoye/PO Yuzhmash (Ukraine). Established in 1995, Sea Launch has completed six highly successful missions and has a current backlog of 17 firm launch contracts. As the world's only services provider launching from the Equator, Sea Launch offers the optimal starting point for spacecraft heading for geostationary orbit. For additional information, visit the Sea Launch website at: www.sea-launch.com