NEW YORK - August 8, 2003 - EchoStar IX/Telstar 13, a powerful multi-band satellite built for EchoStar Communications Corporation and Loral Skynet by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), was successfully launched yesterday at 11:31 pm EDT. The satellite, to be positioned at 121 degrees West longitude, was sent into space from the Odyssey Launch Platform, positioned on the Equator in the Pacific Ocean, on a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket.
In a unique satellite sharing arrangement, EchoStar will operate the Ku- and Ka-band payloads as EchoStar IX; Loral Skynet, a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications, will initially own and operate the C-band payload as Telstar 13. In July, Loral reached a definitive agreement to sell Telstar 13, along with five other North American telecommunications satellites to Intelsat, Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda.
The spacecraft's Ku-band fixed satellite services (FSS) transponders are designed to enhance EchoStar's current U.S. DISH Network satellite TV service. EchoStar IX will join EchoStar's current fleet of eight satellites that provide DISH Network customers with hundreds of all-digital television channels, including interactive TV services, sports programming, high definition television and international programming.
The spacecraft is also equipped with the first U.S. commercial Ka-band spot-beam payloads. The successful launch of EchoStar IX brings EchoStar's fleet to nine satellites, including three satellites previously built by SS/L.
Telstar 13's 24 C-band FSS transponders operating at 36 MHz will provide Skynet's cable programming customers with coverage throughout North America, including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Skynet's current satellite serving cable programmers, Telstar 7, is operating nearby at 129 degrees West longitude. Together the satellites form a very attractive platform to cable programmers looking for the benefits of a strong neighborhood and restoration solutions.
"Building this satellite has been a tremendous success for all parties involved," said Patrick DeWitt, SS/L's president and chief operating officer. "Our close relationships with EchoStar and Skynet have been an important part of SS/L's success, and our shared commitment to quality remains our top priority."
Built at Space Systems/Loral's Palo Alto, Calif., facility, EchoStar IX/Telstar 13 is based on SS/L's space-proven 1300 geostationary satellite platform, which has an excellent record of reliable operation. The 1300 is designed to achieve a long life, in this case 15 years, excellent station-keeping and orbital stability by using bipropellant propulsion and momentum-bias attitude control systems. A system of high-efficiency solar arrays and batteries provide uninterrupted electrical power. In all, SS/L satellites have amassed nearly 1,000 years of on-orbit service.
On July 15, 2003, Loral announced that it had reached a definitive agreement to sell its North American telecommunications satellites to Intelsat, Ltd. In conjunction with this sale, Loral and certain of its subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The transaction with Intelsat is expected to close within four to six months, pending Bankruptcy Court and regulatory approval.
After this transaction, Loral Skynet will continue to operate an integrated fixed satellite and network services business using its fleet of five telecommunications satellites and its established VSAT/fiber global network infrastructure.
EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH), through its DISH Network™, is a leading U.S. provider of satellite television entertainment services with 8.53 million customers. DISH Network provides advanced digital satellite television services to the home, including hundreds of video, audio and data channels, personal video recording, HDTV, sports and international programming, professional installation and 24-hour customer service. For more information, visit DISH Network at www.dishnetwork.com.
A pioneer in the satellite industry, Loral Skynet continues to deliver the superior service quality and range of satellite solutions that have made it an industry leader for more than 40 years. With its fleet of satellites and its established hybrid VSAT/fiber global network infrastructure, Skynet offers a unique, single source for all broadcast, data network, Internet access and IP needs. Headquartered in Bedminster, New Jersey, Skynet is dedicated to providing secure, high-quality connectivity and communications. For more information, visit www.loralskynet.com.
Space Systems/Loral, a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications (OTC BB:LRLSQ), is a premier designer, manufacturer, and integrator of powerful satellites and satellite systems. SS/L also provides a range of related services that include mission control operations and procurement of launch services. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., the company has an international base of commercial and governmental customers whose applications include broadband digital communications, direct-to-home broadcast, defense communications, environmental monitoring, and air traffic control. For more information, visit www.ssloral.com.
Loral Space & Communications is a high technology company that concentrates primarily on satellite manufacturing and satellite-based services.
This document contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. In addition, Loral Space & Communications Ltd. or its representatives have made or may make forward-looking statements, orally or in writing, which may be included in, but are not limited to, various filings made by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, press releases or oral statements made with the approval of an authorized executive officer of the company. Actual results could differ materially from those projected or suggested in any forward-looking statements as a result of a wide variety of factors and conditions, which have been described in the section of the company's annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2002, entitled "Certain Factors That May Affect Future Results," and the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The reader is specifically referred to these documents.