e-BIRD, the first satellite built by Boeing [NYSE:BA] for Eutelsat, S.A. of France, is set to launch on Saturday, September 27. The Boeing 376HP model satellite was built by Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS) in El Segundo, Calif.
The all-Ku-band satellite is the first spacecraft optimized for two-way broadband Internet connectivity. Paris-based Eutelsat, one of the world's leading satellite operators, will deploy e-BIRD to serve users across a broad region of Europe and Turkey from the satellite's 33 degrees east orbital slot.
"Boeing is pleased to provide Eutelsat with a reliable, versatile spacecraft combining a proven, spin-stabilized design with the most advanced antenna ever used on a Boeing 376," said Dave Ryan, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International. "The Boeing 376 spacecraft model has a heritage of quality, and I am confident that e-BIRD will support Eutelsat's drive to offer a diverse array of broadband applications via satellite."
Arianespace will lift the satellite into orbit aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana on the northeast coast of South America. The 19-minute launch window opens at 4:02 p.m. PDT (23:02 GMT).
e-BIRD will be the 207th Boeing-built commercial communications satellite launched to date. Forty years ago this year, the Boeing-built Syncom ushered in a revolution as the world's first geosynchronous communications satellite. Like Syncom, e-BIRD will use spin-stabilization to remain on station in proper attitude above the Earth.
e-BIRD carries 20 active transponders and is designed to generate a minimum of 1,600 watts of power through the end of its 10-year service life.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing IDS is a $25 billion business that provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.
Note to editors:
High-resolution photos to accompany this release and QuickTime video clips of a spacecraft deployment animation and other construction milestones are all available for download.
An e-BIRD fact sheet is available for download.