Sea Launch Company, LLC, has negotiated an agreement with Intelsat to reassign an earlier launch contract to a future payload requirement.
Following a decision last November to terminate the Intelsat 10-01 mission, and a more recent decision to launch the Intelsat 10-02 payload on a Proton vehicle, Intelsat elected to negotiate with Sea Launch for a firm future launch service. The original contract, signed Dec. 12, 2001, called for a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket to place an Intelsat spacecraft into geosynchronous transfer orbit in 2003.
"We are delighted that we have been successful in negotiating a continuation of this contract," said Ramu Potarazu, president of Intelsat Global Service Corporation, in signing the new agreement. "Sea Launch is one of the world's leading launch service providers and we would not want to lose an opportunity to fly with them. We are now looking forward to our future mission on Sea Launch."
The Sea Launch team had progressed well into its mission planning on the Intelsat 10-01 launch, when Intelsat determined it would assign the remaining payload to the Proton vehicle. While disappointed with the outcome of the decision, the team will now work toward this next assignment.
"Our experience in working with Sea Launch has been nothing but exemplary," said Terry Edwards, director of Intelsat's Launch Vehicle Program Office. "They invested considerable work in the mission integration phase for the Intelsat 10 mission and, in fact, exceeded our expectations."
Sea Launch President, Jim Maser, noted that the new contract "reflects the strong relationship already established between Sea Launch and Intelsat and reiterates Intelsat's confidence in Sea Launch's growing record of reliability and accuracy. As I stated earlier when we first announced our agreement to launch an Intelsat payload, our mission managers and launch team are well prepared to meet all the needs of our highly experienced customer."
Sea Launch Company, LLC, based in Long Beach, Calif., and sold commercially through
Boeing Launch Services, provides reliable, cost-effective, heavy lift launch services for commercial satellite customers. The Sea Launch partners include Boeing, RSC Energia, SDO Yuzhnoye/PO Yuzhmash and the Kvaerner Group. Established in 1995, Sea Launch has a current backlog of 17 firm launch contracts, including a manifest for five missions in 2003. As the world's only services provider launching from the Equator, Sea Launch offers the optimal starting point for spacecraft heading to Geostationary Orbit. For additional information, visit the
Sea Launch web site.