Press Release

Orbital Ships PanAmSat’s Galaxy XII Satellite to Launch Site

By SpaceRef Editor
February 6, 2003
Filed under , ,

First of Three GEO Communications Spacecraft for PanAmSat in Final Preparations for March Launch Aboard Ariane Rocket

Orbital Sciences Corporation
announced today that Galaxy XII, the first of three geostationary
(GEO) satellites the company is manufacturing for PanAmSat Corporation, has arrived at its launch site in Kourou, French Guiana.
Earlier this week, the spacecraft was shipped from Orbital’s Dulles, VA
satellite manufacturing facility to the Kourou space launch complex, where it
is scheduled to be launched aboard an Ariane 5 rocket in March.

Over the next several weeks, a team of engineers from PanAmSat,
Arianespace and Orbital will work together to integrate the satellite with the
launch vehicle and perform an extensive series of tests to ensure that the
combined systems of the satellite and rocket are working properly.

“We are very excited to be in the final stages of completing and
delivering the first of three satellites for PanAmSat, one of the world’s
premier satellite services companies,” said Dr. Ali Atia, head of Orbital’s
communications satellite division. “We expect 2003 to be a very busy year for
our GEO satellite manufacturing operations. We are scheduled to complete and
deliver two other GEO spacecraft, including the second satellite for PanAmSat
in late 2003.”

In the past several years, Orbital has developed a strong niche position
in the world market for GEO communications satellites. With its ramp-up in
the production of small, lighter-weight satellites, the company is on track to
replicate its decade-long success of its small-sized Pegasus® and Taurus®
rockets that were introduced to the world launch vehicle market in the early

Orbital’s GEO satellites are based on the company’s STAR family of smaller
GEO satellite platforms, which are able to accommodate most types of
commercial communications payloads. For many applications, the STAR design is
an attractive alternative to the larger, more costly GEO satellites offered by
the industry’s traditional suppliers. The STAR satellites are smaller and are
significantly less expensive to manufacture and launch. They are a perfect
fit for customers in the early stages of building their business or
established companies that wish to replace or add capacity to their network.

Orbital is one of the world’s leading developers and manufacturers of
small space systems for commercial, civil government and military customers.
The company’s primary products are spacecraft 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

Note to Editors:

A high-resolution image of PanAmSat’s Galaxy XII satellite is available on
Orbital’s web site at:

SpaceRef staff editor.