Headlines > News > Orbital Awarded New Contract for IS-23 Communications Satellite by Intelsat

Orbital Awarded New Contract for IS-23 Communications Satellite by Intelsat

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:34 am via: Orbital
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Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced that it has been selected by Intelsat, S.A., the leading provider of fixed satellite services, to design, build and deliver the 23 (IS-23) commercial communications satellite. The satellite will be based on Orbital’s flight-proven STAR-2 platform.

The IS-23 satellite will generate 4.8 kilowatts of payload power and carry 15 active Ku-band and 24 active C-band transponders. The IS-23 satellite will be located in orbit at 53 degrees West longitude following its launch in late 2011. The spacecraft will provide communications services for the Americas, Europe and Africa. The IS-23 satellite is expected to have a useful life of at least 15 years. It is the 28th Orbital-built geosynchronous communications satellite ordered by customers throughout the world since 2001 and will be the 10th in the Intelsat fleet.

Intelsat 15 in Orbit. Credit: Orbital Sciences

Intelsat 23 in Orbit. Credit: Orbital Sciences

“We are very appreciative of Intelsat’s order for the IS-23 satellite and for the continued business from one of our most valued customers,” said Mr. Michael Larkin, Orbital’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Space Systems Group. “Our entire satellite design, manufacturing and testing team is dedicated to producing highly reliable satellites on the industry’s shortest delivery schedule each and every time. Intelsat’s selection of Orbital for the IS-23 program affirms their long-standing confidence in the smaller-sized STAR platform.”

The IS-23 satellite is one of 10 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 15, currently in orbit following its launch on November 30, 2009 with a high power Ku-band payload to provide video and data services for the Middle East and Indian Ocean regions, as well as Russia.
  • Intelsat 16, a high power Ku-band satellite to provide direct-to-home TV services to Latin and South America. The construction of the satellite has been completed and is now scheduled to be shipped to the launch site in early 2010.
  • 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 STAR spacecraft platform, which is able to accommodate all types of commercial communications payloads and is compatible with all major commercial launchers. The company’s STAR product line includes the STAR 2.4 design, which is optimized for smaller satellite missions that can support 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.

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