Spacecraft to Begin Several Weeks of In-Orbit Testing Prior to
Commencement of Commercial Service
DULLES, Va.Dec. 1, 2009--
Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE:ORB), one of the world’s leading
space technology companies, announced today that the Intelsat 15 (IS-15)
satellite, built by the company for Intelsat, Ltd., was successfully
launched into orbit aboard a Land Launch Zenit-3 rocket from the
Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The mission, which took place
yesterday, November 30, began with the lift-off of the Zenit-3 space
launch vehicle at 4:00 p.m. (EST). The satellite separated from the
final stage of the rocket approximately six hours and 30 minutes after
Mr. Christopher Richmond, Orbital’s Senior Vice President and head of
its communications satellite business unit, said, “Following the
excellent launch carried out by the Land Launch Zenit rocket, the
several-week in-orbit testing process has now begun. Intelsat and
Orbital engineers are now working together to prepare the spacecraft for
its introduction into commercial service. We are very pleased that the
IS-15 mission is off to such a good start and we look forward to
completing the in-orbit testing and turning over another reliable
satellite to Intelsat.”
Orbital designed, built and tested the IS-15 spacecraft at the company’s
satellite manufacturing facility in Dulles, Virginia. The IS-15
satellite will replace the Intelsat 709 satellite currently positioned
at 85 degrees East Longitude. The high power Ku-band payload aboard
IS-15 will provide video and data services for the Middle East and
Indian Ocean regions as well as Russia. The IS-15 spacecraft is designed
to produce 4.6 kW of payload electrical power and features two 2.3 meter
dual-grid deployable antennas, as well as one 1.4 meter dual-grid
deck-mounted antenna. The satellite is expected to have a useful life of
at least 17 years and is part of Intelsat’s 11-satellite launch
campaign, the largest in Intelsat’s history.
The IS-15 satellite is one of nine Orbital spacecraft ordered by
Intelsat since 2001 that are either now in orbit or in production for
upcoming launches. The other satellites are as follows:
Galaxy 12 and 14, currently in
orbit providing C-band digital video programming, high-definition
television (HDTV) and other fixed satellite services to the
Continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii.
Galaxy 15, currently in orbit
providing services similar to Galaxy 12 and 14 with an additional
L-band payload to relay Global Positioning Systems (GPS) navigation
data to in-flight aircraft.
Intelsat 11, a hybrid satellite
currently in orbit with a C-band payload serving the continental
United States, Mexico and South America, and a Ku-band payload serving
DirecTV’s downlink for Brazil, with additional spot coverage.
Horizons-2, currently in orbit
for a joint venture between Intelsat and SKY Perfect JSAT of Japan, to
meet the growing demand for Ku-band communications in North America.
Intelsat 16, a high-power
Ku-band satellite to provide direct-to-home TV services to Latin and
South America. The satellite is nearing completion and is schedule to
be shipped to the launch site in approximately one month.
Intelsat 18, a hybrid C- and
Ku-band satellite now in production to provide services to East Asia,
the Pacific, French Polynesia and the United States scheduled for
delivery in 2010.
New Dawn, a hybrid C- and
Ku-band satellite now in production to provide services to Europe,
Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Saharan regions scheduled for
delivery in 2010.
Orbital’s highly successful geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO)
communications satellites are based on the company’s STARTM
spacecraft platform, which is able to accommodate all types of
commercial communications payloads and is compatible will all major
commercial launchers. The company’s STAR product line includes the STAR
2.4 design, which is optimized for smaller satellite missions,
generating up to 5.0 kW of payload power. Orbital has also developed the
higher-power STAR 2.7 spacecraft design, delivering the next increment
of payload power for applications between 5.0 and 7.5 kW, allowing
Orbital to offer its innovative and reliable satellite design to the
medium-class of communications satellites.
Intelsat is the leading provider of fixed satellite services worldwide.
For 45 years, Intelsat has been delivering information and entertainment
for many of the world’s leading media and network companies,
multinational corporations, Internet service providers and governmental
agencies. Intelsat’s satellite, teleport and fiber infrastructure is
unmatched in the industry, setting the standard for transmissions of
video, data and voice services.
Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and
space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers.
The company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles,
including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary
spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense
missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other
missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into
orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and
target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and
space-related technical services to government agencies and
laboratories. More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com
Note to Editors: A high-resolution image of the IS-15 satellite
is available on Orbital’s web site at: http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/ImagesMultimedia/Images/SatelliteSpaceSystems
Source: Orbital Sciences Corporation
Barron Beneski, 703-406-5528