CARPINTERIA, Calif., March 29, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) AstroMesh deployable reflector system successfully deployed aboard the MBSAT satellite early today. The MBSAT satellite was manufactured by Space Systems/Loral for Mobile Broadcasting Corporation (MBCO) of Japan and SK Telecom (SKT) of Korea.

Following a series of release commands by ground controllers, the 12-meter (40-foot) diameter AstroMesh furlable mesh reflector and boom support system, built by Northrop Grumman's Astro Aerospace unit, was successfully deployed as indicated by satellite telemetry.

MBSAT will enable MBCO and SKT to provide pioneering digital multimedia broadcasting services such as high-quality audio, MPEG-4 video and data to mobile users throughout Japan and Korea who are equipped with receivers in cars, ships, trains, hand-held terminals, cellular phones and home portables.

"This achievement underscores our commitment to reliable space-deployable products," said Susan Fuhs, general manager of Astro Aerospace. "Our AstroMesh reflector product is an enabling technology for new space-based services."

The AstroMesh furlable mesh reflector is a key component of MBSAT's antenna system, reflecting S-band radio frequency energy and focusing it into a pattern on the ground. Over the next several weeks, on-orbit testing will confirm the satellite antenna system and AstroMesh reflector performance. AstroMesh reflectors provide large diameter antennas with accurate surfaces that result in enhanced ground performance in a lightweight package.

Astro Aerospace, based in Carpinteria, is a business unit of Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector, a leader in the development of space, defense and electronics systems. For more than 40 years, Astro Aerospace has pioneered the technology of space deployable structures including AstroMesh furlable antennas and reflectors, truss masts, telescopic booms, storable tubular extendible members, solar arrays and deep truss structures. It has a 100 percent success rate on hundreds of flight-specific deployable units.

  CONTACT: 
Pete Chase
Northrop Grumman Space Technology
(805) 684-6641 ext. 1805
pete.chase@ngc.com