Boeing [NYSE:BA] today announced the handover of the Spaceway F2 satellite to DIRECTV, Inc., the second of four Boeing satellites that will provide DIRECTV with the capacity to broadcast hundreds of local and national high definition (HD) channels, positioning DIRECTV as the nation's leading provider of HD programming.
Spaceway F2 joins its sister satellite, Spaceway F1, as part of a massive capacity expansion that will enable DIRECTV to deliver more than 1,500 local HD channels and more than 150 national HD channels by the end of 2007. The Spaceway F2 satellite began broadcasting local HD programming to DIRECTV customers in eight new markets today and will begin broadcasting to an additional 16 markets by mid-year. DIRECTV launched 12 HD local markets last year on Spaceway F1.
"Spaceway F2 has successfully completed all on-orbit testing and is starting service across the United States," said Stephen T. O'Neill, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International, Inc. "The satellite joins the Boeing-built Spaceway F1 satellite to dramatically expand digital and HD programming. Together, the Spaceway satellites are the vanguard of DIRECTV's new fleet of spacecraft and include advanced capabilities such as adaptable spot beams and reconfigurable routing."
Launched by Arianespace on Nov. 16, 2005, from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, Spaceway F2 is the seventh Boeing-built satellite for DIRECTV. Boeing is building DIRECTV 10, DIRECTV 11 and an on-ground spare that will enable DIRECTV to significantly expand its delivery of local and national HD programming to customers across the continental United States, Hawaii and Alaska in 2007. Together, the Boeing 702 model Spaceway F1 and F2 satellites exemplify Boeing's heritage of satellite design and commitment to delivering space-based solutions that enable its customers to expand their businesses.
"With the Boeing handover of Spaceway F2, we will immediately begin the activation of HD programming in eight additional markets, and over the next several months, launch dozens more HD local markets," said Jim Butterworth, senior vice president, Communications Systems, DIRECTV, Inc. "The additional capacity provided by the Spaceway satellites and DIRECTV 10 and 11 will enable DIRECTV to assume a clear leadership position in the delivery of both local and national HD programming to consumers nationwide."
Boeing designed and manufactured the 702 model geostationary satellite at its Satellite Development Center (SDC) in El Segundo, Calif. The SDC is the leading manufacturer of government and commercial communications satellites. Encompassing approximately 1 million square feet, the state-of-the-art facility is the largest dedicated satellite factory in the world.
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 $30.8 billion business. It provides network-centric system 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 sustainment solutions and launch services.