Status Report

Panamsat’s PAS-9 Spacecraft Successfully Orbits Earth Following Perfect Liftoff from Sea Launch Ocean Platform

By SpaceRef Editor
July 28, 2000
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New High-Power Satellite is PanAmSat’s Seventh Atlantic Ocean Region Spacecraft, Boosting Broadcast, Internet and Data Services Throughout Americas, Caribbean and Europe
GREENWICH, Conn., July 28, 2000 — PanAmSat Corporation (NASDAQ: SPOT) today announced that the PAS-9 Atlantic Ocean Region satellite, the company’s fourth new high-power spacecraft in eight months, is successfully orbiting the Earth after blasting off from Sea Launch’s Pacific Ocean platform. With coverage spanning from Napa Valley to the Falkland Islands and across the Atlantic to Berlin, PAS-9 will deliver premium broadcast, Internet and data services throughout the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe. The new spacecraft is PanAmSat’s seventh Atlantic Ocean Region satellite and eighth serving Latin America.
A Zenit-3SL rocket successfully lofted the 3,650-kilogram PAS-9 into space at 6:42 p.m. EDT (10:42 p.m. GMT) from the Sea Launch Odyssey platform, located on the equator in the Pacific Ocean. Approximately an hour and 45 minutes later, PanAmSat achieved acquisition of the spacecraft, confirming a flawless launch.
"Today, PAS-9 commenced its 15-year mission to deliver cutting-edge communications services for the world’s leading international broadcasters, programmers, Internet service providers and corporations," said R. Douglas Kahn, PanAmSat’s president and chief executive officer. "PAS-9’s successful deployment sets in motion PanAmSat’s billion-dollar international launch campaign, which will deploy four new satellites for international markets around the world over the next 12 months."
PAS-9, a Hughes 601 HP model satellite employing 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders, will operate at 58 degrees west longitude. PAS-9 will succeed the PAS-5 Atlantic Ocean Region satellite, serving as the premier video neighborhood in the region. In addition, Sky Mexico’s direct-to-home (DTH) platform will migrate to PAS-9, employing a dozen Ku-band transponders on the new spacecraft for the digital delivery of more than 160 DTH television channels directly to consumer’s homes. PanAmSat will use PAS-5 to provide additional services in the Atlantic Ocean Region until its end of life in 2010.
Among PAS-9’s highlights:
? The high-power platform from which more than a dozen of the world’s most prominent international broadcasters and programmers deliver their content throughout the Americas, including the United Kingdom’s BBC; China’s CCTV; Germany’s Deutsche Welle; Japan’s NHK; Venezuela’s Cisneros Television Group; Portugal’s RTP; and the United States’ Eternal Word Television Network, ESPN and HBO OlÈ Partners.
? The permanent platform for Sky Mexico’s DTH television service, offered through a partnership formed by Grupo Televisa, The News Corporation and Tele-Communications International, Inc. PAS-9 will deliver more than 160 digital DTH channels throughout Mexico, Northern Central America and parts of the Caribbean.
? A transmission pipeline for satellite-based telecommunications services, including private business networks and international Internet access. ? Comprehensive coverage enabling PanAmSat’s Napa, Calif., teleport facility to access the satellite, permitting signal turnaround between the Asia-Pacific and the Americas as well as Europe.
? PanAmSat’s seventh Atlantic Ocean Region satellite and eighth serving Latin America, representing an investment of nearly $2 billion in advanced satellite services for the region.
? The fourth satellite in PanAmSat’s seven-satellite launch campaign intended to expand the company’s global network to 24 spacecraft by mid-2001.
? PanAmSat’s sixth Hughes-built HS 601 HP model spacecraft.
? PanAmSat’s first satellite to deploy from Sea Launch.
PanAmSat’s current and planned satellites for Latin America consist of PAS-1, PAS-3, PAS-5, PAS-6, PAS-6B, PAS-9, Galaxy VIII-I as well as PAS-1R and Galaxy IIIC (now under construction and scheduled for launch in the fourth quarter 2000 and second quarter 2001 respectively).

SpaceRef staff editor.