A Boeing-built communications satellite that will provide telecommunications and data services in the Asia-Pacific region was successfully launched today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Superbird-6, built by Boeing [NYSE:BA] for Japan's Space Communications Corporation (SCC), rocketed to geosynchronous transfer orbit at 8:45 p.m. EDT (12:45 a.m. April 16 GMT). The 3,100 kg (6,834 lbs) spacecraft separated from the launch vehicle approximately 31 minutes after launch and one minute later its first signals were received at a Telemetry, Tracking and Control Station at Hartebeesthoek, South Africa. The signals confirmed normal operation.
"With this successful launch and signal acquisition behind us, we now look ahead to several weeks of in-orbit testing to validate that Superbird-6 is ready to support SCC's business," said David Ryan, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International. "Thanks to the dedication of the Boeing team and the rigorous assembly, integration and testing procedures in place at BSS, I am fully confident in the long-term quality and reliability of this spacecraft."
Boeing Satellite Systems built the spacecraft, based on a 601 platform, in El Segundo, Calif.
Slated to occupy an orbital slot at 158.0 degrees East longitude, Superbird-6 will provide business telecommunication services using a payload of 23 active Ku-band transponders and four Ka-band transponders. The spacecraft's Steerable Ka-band Spot Beam also will enable SCC to provide higher data rate Ka-band service to areas across a broad swathe of the Pacific region.
Space Communications Corporation, a Japanese satellite communications service company, was established in 1985 by Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO), and other Mitsubishi Group Companies. SCC now operates four communications satellites named Superbird-A, B2, C, and D in four orbital slots, by which SCC is providing stable and high quality telecommunication services to a wide range of customers.
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 Integrated Defense Systems is a $27 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; 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 of SUPERBIRD-6 and QuickTime video clips of a spacecraft deployment animation and other construction milestones are all available for download at http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/space/bss/hsc_pressreleases/photogallery/photogallery.html
A SUPERBIRD-6 fact sheet can be accessed at http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/space/bss/factsheets/601/superbird_6/superbird_6.html