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Japanese Satellite Launched; New Contract Signed

By | April 17, 2006

      The JCSAT-9 telecommunications satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin for JSAT Corp. of Japan was successfully launched aboard a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL launch vehicle from the Pacific Equator. Lift-off occurred at 7:30 p.m. EDT and initial contact with the satellite, called acquisition of signal, was confirmed at 9:16 p.m. EDT from the Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS) satellite tracking station in Uralla, Australia.

      JCSAT-9 is the second in a series of seven satellite launches planned this year for LMCSS and the first of three satellites Lockheed Martin will deliver to JSAT over the next two years. Based on Lockheed Martin’s high-power A2100AX platform, JCSAT-9 will operate from 132 degrees east and is designed for a minimum service life of 12 years. JCSAT-9 is the 28th of Lockheed Martin’s award-winning A2100 series of spacecraft delivered to satellite operators around the world.

      The satellite launched today will join the nine satellites currently in the JSAT fleet. In addition to providing coverage for domestic and mobile communications customer bases, JCSAT-9 will cover an extensive area ranging from Hawaii and Oceania to countries across Southeast Asia.

      JCSAT-9 features 20 Ku-band channels covering Japan and 20 C-band channels covering Japan, Southeast Asia and Hawaii. JCSAT-9 is also equipped with a mobile service communications subsystem.

      Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Electric has chosen Arianespace to launch the Superbird-7 satellite for Japanese operator Space Communications Corp. (SCC).

      The Superbird-7 contract is the 270th contract won by Arianespace since its founding in March 1980, and the 23rd won in Japan out of 32 open contracts in the commercial market.

      Superbird-7 will be launched by an Ariane 5 in the first quarter of 2008 from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, South America.

      The satellite will be built by Mitsubishi Electric, Japan’s first satellite builder to enter the commercial market, at its Kamakura Works, using a DS2000 platform. Weighing about 5,000 kilograms (11,020 pound) at launch, it will be positioned at 144 degrees East.

      The Superbird-7 satellite will be fitted with 28 Ku-band transponders. From geostationary orbit, it will provide various communications services, including video and audio broadcast to home, CATV and mobile terminals, for the Asia-Pacific region with fixed and steerable spot beams.

      Superbird-7 will be the seventh SCC satellite to be launched by Ariane.

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