Press Release

Newly Formed Boeing Satellite Systems Ends Record-breaking Year

By SpaceRef Editor
December 3, 2000
Filed under ,

Boeing Satellite
Systems (BSS), the world’s largest satellite manufacturer, will end
the year 2000 with an all-time record delivery of 15 satellites and a
number of breakthrough achievements.

BSS ends the year with more than 34 spacecraft in its backlog,
valued at about $6 billion. At least seven new commercial spacecraft
have been ordered, and on the government side of the business, the
company was selected to be a member of the $2.5 billion National Team
for Advanced EHF program and is also a major contender for the $700
million Wideband Gapfiller System.

“Our operations tempo is at an unprecedented level,” said Tig H.
Krekel, president of Boeing Satellite Systems. “We have enacted a
number of initiatives to enable us to meet cost and schedule while
supplying best-value products to our customers, and I believe that our
performance this year is a strong indicator of our commitment to this

“Beyond the sheer numbers, our `degree of difficulty’ has been
very high,” Krekel added. “The last 12 months have seen a number of
company firsts with industry-leading technological innovations.”

Galaxy XI, the very first Boeing 702 model spacecraft, was
launched on Dec. 21, 1999. The satellite was then the largest ever
built, with 64 transponders and 10 kW of spacecraft power. Galaxy XI
was also the first commercial spacecraft to carry an on-board camera
that captured the deployment of the state-of-the-art solar wings in
orbit more than 22,000 miles above Earth.

This innovative design features solar wings with solar
concentrators running the entire length of the wing, concentrating
more of the sun’s power onto the solar cells in order to generate
higher power. Fully extended, the 111-foot spacecraft’s wingspan
approximates that of a Boeing 737 jetliner.

In June 2000, the first of NASA’s next generation of
communications satellites which link astronauts and Earth, as well as
orbiting satellites to their ground stations, was launched. Called the
Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS), it is based on the proven
Boeing 601 satellite bus. Boeing is under contract for three of these
specialized relay satellites.

In October 2000, the first Boeing GEM (for geomobile) satellite
was launched for Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company.
Thuraya-1, the heaviest commercial satellite ever built, weighed 5250
kg (11,576 lbs.) at launch. The Thuraya system, which consists of two
satellites, ground facilities and user handsets, is a true turnkey
system and will serve about 100 countries in the Middle East, Southern
Europe and Northern Africa.

Thuraya will offer GSM-compatible mobile telephone services,
transmitting and receiving calls through a single 12.25-meter-aperture
reflector. The Thuraya communications payload design was one of the
most powerful ever undertaken by Hughes, now Boeing, and uses an
enhanced active phased-array antenna design in combination with a
company-developed state-of-the-art, digital signal processor for beam
forming, channel formation and switching.

The more than 200 spot beams can be redirected on-orbit, wherever
needed from big cities to rural areas and even at sea. Thuraya has the
capacity for 13,750 simultaneous calls. The Thuraya-1 satellite has
completed in-orbit testing and the first satellite telephone call has
been placed.

Last month, Boeing Satellite Systems launched the second and third
Boeing 702 satellites. The first, PAS-1R for PanAmSat Corporation,
launched on Nov. 15 and was followed just six days later by Anik F1,
currently the highest power satellite built, with more than 17 kW of
power and 84 operational transponders. Anik F1, when fully deployed,
measures 132.5 feet in length and is 15 times more capable than the
satellite it replaces.

November 2000 was also the month that Boeing announced the
development of a satellite-based service, Cinema Connexion by
Boeing(SM). For the first time ever a major motion picture was
delivered via satellite to the silver screen.

The system features the best in communication technology —
integrating satellite, fiber, software and hardware in an open
systems environment — into a seamless network offering customers
complete connectivity and control. It delivers secure content with
100 percent reliability.

Boeing Satellite Systems has rounded out the year with the award
of ASTRA 3A, the 10th satellite in as many years ordered by long-time
customer Societe Europeenne des Satellites (SES) of Luxembourg, and
will launch ASTRA 2D, a Boeing 376 model spacecraft, for SES on Dec.

BSS is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial
communications satellites and a major provider of space systems,
satellites and payloads for national defense, science and
environmental applications.

The company was formed in October 2000 when Boeing acquired the
Hughes Electronics satellite manufacturing businesses, which included
Hughes Space and Communications Company, Hughes Electron Dynamics,
Spectrolab Inc., and Hughes Electronics’ 50 percent share of HRL

The Boeing Company, with headquarters in Seattle, is the
largest aerospace company in the world and the United States’ leading
exporter. It is the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial
jetliners and military aircraft, and the largest NASA contractor.

The company’s capabilities in aerospace also include rotorcraft,
electronic and defense systems, missiles, rocket engines, launch
vehicles, and advanced information and communication systems. The
company has an extensive global reach with customers in 145 countries
and manufacturing operations throughout the United States, Canada and
Australia. At year-end 1999, Boeing and its subsidiaries employed
197,100 people.

SpaceRef staff editor.