Posted: Thursday, November 18, 2004
Second Ku/Ka-band Spacecraft for AMERICOM2Home Customer EchoStar
The AMERICOM-16 (AMC-16) satellite of SES AMERICOM, an SES GLOBAL Company (Euronext Paris, Luxembourg and Frankfurt Stock Exchanges:SESG), has been delivered to Cape Canaveral to prepare it for its scheduled ATLAS V launch on December 16, 2004. The A2100AX model spacecraft was built by Lockheed Martin and is being launched by International Launch Services (ILS) for service at the 85 degrees West longitude orbital position. The hybrid Ku-band/Ka-band satellite will support advanced video and broadband services for EchoStar Communications Corp.
AMC-16 will feature the second operating Ka-band payload in the SES AMERICOM fleet. Its "twin," AMC-15, was launched by ILS in October on a Proton launch vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and is currently undergoing in-orbit testing. AMC-16 carries twelve 125 MHz Ka-band spot beams, along with twenty-four 36 MHz, 140 watt Ku-band transponders. As the second satellite dedicated to AMERICOM2Home®, the spacecraft has been optimized to provide both Direct-to-Home video and broadband services into a single dish. After the launch, SES AMERICOM will complete the testing of all spacecraft systems and ready the satellite for service.
Romain Bausch, Chairman of the SES AMERICOM Board, said, "AMC-16 is strategic for AMERICOM in that it will enable the next generation combination of direct-to-home services to be enjoyed by DISH Network subscribers. As we expand our pivotal relationship with EchoStar, our collaboration on the development of advanced video and broadband solutions is clearly aiming at totally integrated, efficient and affordable systems."
The AMC-16 spacecraft was flown to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, on an Antonov cargo plane that departed Moffett Air Force Base, California on November 8th. The load was massive, with a cumulative weight of two tons. Once the spacecraft was unpacked, a team of AMERICOM, Lockheed Martin and ILS engineers and launch specialists began a sequence of final preparations leading to the mid-December launch. These preparations include launch site testing, spacecraft fueling, integrating the satellite into the fairing, mating the fairing with the ATLAS V, a final set of tests, and roll-out of the rocket to the launch pad.
Dozens of SES AMERICOM customers are scheduled to gather at Cape Canaveral to view the December 16th launch along with SES AMERICOM, ASTRA and GLOBAL staff, insurers, press and other invited guests, for what is expected to be a spectacular pre-dawn lift-off. The 115-minute launch window opens at 4:41 a.m. EST, with broadcast of the launch beginning about 20 minutes before that. The video will be available via satellite in C-band via AMC-9 located at 85 degrees West. In addition, a webcast will be available at www.ilslaunch.com.
About International Launch Services
ILS is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. in the United States, manufacturer of the Atlas rocket, and Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center of Russia, builder of the Proton rocket. ILS provides launch services on the Atlas and Proton vehicles to customers worldwide.
About Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems
Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems markets, designs and builds geostationary and non-geostationary telecommunications and remote sensing satellites for customers worldwide. LMCSS is an operating unit of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, one of the core business areas of the Lockheed Martin Corporation . Lockheed Martin has a 41-year heritage of building reliable spacecraft for commercial and military customers, having launched more than 875 spacecraft and clocking over 1500 years of on-orbit performance experience.
About SES AMERICOM
The largest supplier of satellite services in the U.S., SES AMERICOM, Inc. is recognized as a pioneer of global satellite communications services. Established in 1973 with its first satellite circuit for the U.S. Department of Defense, the company currently operates a fleet of 16 spacecraft in orbital positions predominantly providing service throughout the Americas. As a member of the SES GLOBAL family, SES AMERICOM is able to provide end-to-end telecommunications solutions to any region in the world. In 2001, the company established AMERICOM Government Services, a wholly owned subsidiary dedicated to providing satellite-based communications solutions to both civilian and defense agencies of the U.S. government. In 2003, SES AMERICOM formed WORLDSAT, a wholly owned subsidiary that markets capacity on four satellites covering Asia and the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean regions, and connecting premier regional satellite fleets. With its combined operations, SES AMERICOM serves broadcasters, cable programmers, aeronautical and maritime communications integrators, Internet service providers, mobile communications networks, government agencies, educational institutions, carriers and secure global data networks with efficient communication and content distribution solutions.
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