Sea Launch Company has signed a firm contract with EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) for the launch of the EchoStar XI Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) in 2007. This will be Sea Launch's third mission with an EchoStar spacecraft, having launched EchoStar IX in August 2003 and EchoStar X in February 2006.
The new contract, signed in November 2005, requires Sea Launch to lift the EchoStar XI spacecraft to geosynchronous transfer orbit. Under construction by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), the spacecraft is based on SS/L's 1300-series platform and will support EchoStar's DISH Networktm customers.
"We are honored to have the opportunity to launch another spacecraft for EchoStar," said Rob Peckham, interim president and general manager for Sea Launch. "This new contract serves to reinforce our long-term relationship with EchoStar, and with Space Systems/Loral. We intend to follow through with another successful mission, responding to their confidence in our launch system and our team."
EchoStar XI is a DBS spacecraft designed to complement the existing EchoStar fleet. Its Ku-band payload will provide uninterrupted service and additional capacity and capabilities for EchoStar's DISH Networktm customers. The 1300 bus -- an industry leader in power, performance and reliability -- is a space-proven platform for a wide range of satellite services, providing total satellite power capability of 20 kW throughout the life of the satellite.
EchoStar Communications Corporation, based in Englewood, Colorado, serves more than 12 million satellite TV customers through its DISH Networktm
, the fastest growing U.S. provider of advanced digital television services in the last five years. DISH Networktm
offers hundreds of all-digital television channels, including interactive TV services, sports and international programming, and high definition delivery. For more information, visit: www.dishnetwork.com
About Space Systems/Loral
Space Systems/Loral, a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications (NASDAQ: LORL), is a premier designer, manufacturer and integrator of powerful satellites and satellite systems that also provides a range of related services including mission control operations and procurement of launch services. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., the company has an international base of commercial and governmental customers whose applications include broadband digital communications, direct-to-home broadcast, defense communications, environmental monitoring and air traffic control. For more information, visit: www.ssloral.com
About Sea Launch
Sea Launch Company, LLC, headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., is the world's most reliable heavy-lift commercial launch service. This international partnership offers the most direct and cost-effective route to geostationary orbit. With the advantage of a launch site on the Equator, the robust Zenit-3SL rocket can lift a heavier spacecraft mass or provide longer life on orbit, offering best value plus schedule assurance. Sea Launch is building a legacy, with one successful launch, one satisfied customer, at a time. For additional information, visit: www.sea-launch.com