The upcoming lift-off of two Boeing-built satellites on the same rocket will be the first dual launch in six years for the satellite manufacturing arm of Boeing Space and Communications, a unit of The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA].
The satellites -- a Boeing 601 model called JCSAT-8 and a Boeing 376HP model named ASTRA 3A -- are scheduled to be launched on March 28 by Arianespace aboard an Ariane 4 rocket from the Guiana Space Center on the northeast coast of South America. The 45-minute launch window opens at 10:29 p.m. at the launch site (5:29 p.m. PST; 1:29 a.m. March 29 GMT).
Both satellites were built in El Segundo, Calif., by Boeing Satellite Systems. JCSAT-8 was built for JSAT Corporation of Tokyo. It is the fifth Boeing 601 and the seventh Boeing satellite for the JSAT fleet. ASTRA 3A was built for SES ASTRA of Luxembourg and is the second Boeing 376 to be launched for SES ASTRA. Including ASTRA 3A, a total of 10 Boeing satellites have been built for SES ASTRA.
"Both JSAT and SES ASTRA are long-time customers whose business and trust we greatly value," said Randy Brinkley, president of Boeing Satellite Systems. "We delivered our first JSAT satellite in 1989, and our first ASTRA spacecraft in 1993. The fact that both companies have relied on Boeing to provide multiple satellites over the past 12 years is a tremendous endorsement of our technology and customer focus."
JCSAT-8 will provide coverage to Japan, East Asia, Oceania and Hawaii from the orbital slot of 154 degrees East longitude.
ASTRA 3A will augment the existing SES ASTRA fleet of 12 spacecraft to help meet growing demand for digital satellite services to the German-speaking markets of Germany, Austria and Switzerland from the 23.5 degrees East orbital slot.
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.
The ASTRA Satellite System is Europe's leading analogue and digital satellite television broadcast system. At the end of 2000, ASTRA served approximately 86% of all European satellite and cable homes. ASTRA is owned and operated by SES ASTRA, a wholly owned subsidiary of SES GLOBAL, the world's premier satellite operator.
Boeing Space and Communications (S&C), headquartered in Seal Beach, Calif., is the world's largest space and communications company. A unit of The Boeing Company, S&C provides integrated solutions in launch services, human space flight and exploration, missile defense, and information and communications. It is NASA's largest contractor; a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; and a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The global enterprise has customers worldwide and manufacturing operations throughout the United States and Australia.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos of the ASTRA 3A and JCSAT-8 spacecraft are
available upon request or can be downloaded from the
Boeing Media web site.