Press Release

Orbital Receives Contract For Horizons-2 Commercial Communications Satellite

By SpaceRef Editor
August 31, 2005
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Orbital Receives Contract For Horizons-2 Commercial Communications Satellite

Joint Venture Between PanAmSat and JSAT to Utilize Company’s STARTM Small Geosynchronous Satellite Platform

Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that Horizons-2 Satellite, LLC, a 50/50 joint venture between PanAmSat Corporation (NYSE: PA) and JSAT Corporation (Tokyo: JSAT), has ordered one geosynchronous (GEO) communications satellite, which will be based on Orbital’s industry-leading STARTM small satellite platform. The spacecraft will carry the name Horizons-2 and will be launched into a PanAmSat-licensed orbital slot at 74 degrees West Longitude over the United States. The new order calls for a 22-month on-ground delivery schedule. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“Once again, our smaller-sized STARTM GEO satellite platform has proved to be the ideal choice for satellite operators that seek an optimal balance between satellite capacity and customer demand,” said Dr. Ali Atia, head of Orbital’s commercial GEO satellite business unit. “We are delighted to add JSAT to the list of blue-chip customers who have adopted the ‘STAR small satellite solution,’ an industry trend of which PanAmSat has been the leading proponent.”

The new satellite is the fifth that has been ordered through the company’s association with PanAmSat, which originally became a customer in 2001. Prior to the Horizons-2 joint venture order with JSAT, PanAmSat had previously purchased from Orbital three C-band satellites for U.S. domestic communications services, and a hybrid (C and Ku bands) satellite for international services.

“We are pleased to announce the purchase of the Horizons-2 satellite which extends two significant partnerships that PanAmSat has developed over the past five years,” said Joe Wright, CEO PanAmSat. “First, PanAmSat and JSAT will double capacity in our Horizons joint venture, which has already proven to be a highly successful for both companies. This satellite will provide Ku-band growth capacity in North America for PanAmSat in 2007 through the next decade. And secondly, we are extending our relationship with Orbital Sciences as our primary supplier of small satellites which have become a critical part of our business strategy going forward.”

The first C-band satellite, Galaxy 12, was launched in 2003 and the second, Galaxy 14, was launched earlier this month. The last of the original three-satellite order, Galaxy 15, was recently shipped to the launch site in preparation for a launch in September. A fourth satellite was ordered earlier this year, the hybrid PAS-11, which is currently in the design and manufacturing phase.

The Horizons-2 satellite will carry 20 active high-power Ku-band transponders. The satellite will generate approximately 3.5 kilowatts of payload power and will weigh about 2,300 kg at launch.

About Orbital

Orbital develops and manufactures small space systems for commercial, civil government and military customers. The company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-orbit, geostationary and planetary spacecraft for communications, remote sensing and scientific missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense boosters that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also offers space-related technical services to government agencies and develops and builds satellite-based transportation management systems for public transit agencies and private vehicle fleet operators.

More information about Orbital can be found at

SpaceRef staff editor.