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By | September 6, 2000

      Loral Space & Communications is to expand its fixed satellite services (FSS) fleet by adding the new Estrela do Sul satellite in 2002, currently under construction by Space Systems/Loral. Loral Skynet do Brasil will offer customers coverage throughout Latin America with connectivity into North America from its orbital slot at 63 degrees West.

      The high-powered 1300 satellite will carry 36 Ku-band transponders, with two spot beams, providing a dedicated Ku-band solution for the Brazilian marketplace. Estrela do Sul is scheduled to be launched in mid 2002. In order to commence service to Brazil and surrounding areas, Loral Skynet do Brasil has acquired the Anik-C1 satellite from Telesat Canada. This satellite, which has been renamed Brasil 1(T), is now being moved from 106.8 degrees West and arrived at the 63 degrees West slot late last month, where it will provide limited service until the launch of Estrela do Sul.

      Brasil 1(T) is an HS376 that was launched in 1985 and has 8 Ku-band transponders available for service. In its new location, the satellite will provide coverage of the middle region of Brazil, including Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Sao Paolo. The satellite will be used for a variety of full-time and part-time applications, including satellite news gathering and backup for terrestrial fibre applications.

      “This continues Loral’s global strategy to build its fixed satellite services business both in Latin America and around the world,” said Terry Hart, president of Loral Skynet.

      Estrela do Sol will be a version of SS/L’s three-axis, body-stabilised 1300 bus. The 1300’s modular design is flight-proven and has an excellent record of reliable operation, said Loral Skynet. SS/L’s 1300 buses are designed to achieve long useful orbital life through use of bi-propellant propulsion and momentum-bias systems for excellent station- keeping and orbital stability. A system of high-efficiency solar arrays and lightweight batteries provide uninterrupted electrical power. Overall, SS/L satellites have accumulated nearly 800 years of reliable on-orbit service.

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