First GEOStar Spacecraft Built for DIRECTV
Spacecraft Activation and In-Orbit Testing Procedures Underway
DULLES, Va.May 27, 2015--
Orbital ATK, Inc. (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense
technologies, today announced that the SKY MEXICO-1 (SKYM-1) satellite,
built by the company for DIRECTV, was successfully delivered to orbit
aboard an Ariane 5 rocket and is operating as planned early in its
An Ariane 5 rocket lifts off on May 27 in French Guiana carrying the Orbital ATK built SKYM-1 commercial satellite. (Photo: ARIANESPACE)
The lift-off of the Ariane rocket occurred today as planned at 5:15 p.m.
(EDT) from the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana.
The satellite successfully separated from the launcher approximately 38
minutes into the mission, placing it into its targeted geosynchronous
transfer orbit. Orbital ATK engineers have completed the initial
post-launch health check and the configuration of the satellite in
preparation for several weeks of orbit-raising activities and in-orbit
tests, after which the spacecraft will be placed in its final orbital
slot. The in-orbit testing will ensure that all satellite subsystems are
functioning properly before SKYM-1 is officially turned over to DIRECTV
for full operational control.
The SKYM-1 satellite is based on Orbital ATK s flight-proven GEOStar-2
platform and will provide direct-to-home television broadcast services
to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean for DIRECTV. Orbital ATK
produced the satellite in just 20 months and delivered it to the launch
site four months ahead of the original baseline schedule.
The early indications from our initial checkout and testing process
show that the satellite is performing well, said Chris Richmond, Vice
President and General Manager of Orbital ATK s commercial satellite
division. SKYM-1 marks the first satellite we built for DIRECTV and
represents what we hope is the start of a valued relationship for years
to come. This mission demonstrates our continued ability to deliver
high-quality, reliable satellites to our customers on time and
demonstrates that Orbital ATK truly is a partner you can count on.
Built and manufactured at its state-of-the-art facility in Dulles,
Virginia, SKYM-1 is equipped with 24 active Ku-band transponders and two
active R-band transponders to provide DIRECTV s premium video broadcast
services to millions of users. The commercial communications satellite
uses reflectors, solar arrays and structural components produced by
Orbital ATK s Space Components Division in California and Utah. At
launch, the spacecraft weighed 2,962 kg (6,530 pounds) and carried
sufficient fuel on board to provide an anticipated 20-year mission life.
The SKYM-1 satellite is the 35th GEOStar spacecraft launched
for customers around the world. Orbital ATK is currently producing the
following satellites that will be delivered and launched for customers
over the next several years: Thaicom-8, Al Yah 3, HYLAS 4 and
About Orbital ATK
Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies.
The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation
systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and
merchant supplier. Its main products include launch vehicles and related
propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense
electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition;
satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced
aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK
employs more than 12,000 people in 20 states across the U.S. and in
several international locations. For more information, visit www.orbitalatk.com.
Source: Orbital ATK, Inc.
Vicki Cox, 703-406-5663
Systems Group Public Relations
Barron Beneski, 703-406-5528