NEW YORK - June 29, 2004 - Loral Space & Communications today announced that Telstar 18, a powerful and flexible satellite designed to provide communications services across Asia, was launched last night at 11:59 pm EDT. The satellite was sent into space on a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket from the Odyssey Launch Platform, positioned on the equator in the Pacific Ocean.
According to Sea Launch, the spacecraft separated from the rocket's upper stage prematurely and was placed into a lower than expected transfer orbit. However, current data indicates the satellite has sufficient on-board fuel to bring it to its final orbital position and exceed its 13-year specified life. Telstar 18 has deployed its solar arrays and all systems on the spacecraft are operating normally.
Built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) and operated by Loral Skynet - both subsidiaries of Loral Space & Communications - Telstar 18 will be located at 138 degrees East longitude and carry a total of 54 active transponders, sixteen high-power Ku-band transponders and thirty-eight C-band transponders. Over the next month, SS/L engineers will put Telstar 18 through a comprehensive series of in-orbit tests in preparation for the satellite's service start in August.
In consideration for funding a portion of the satellite project's cost, APT Satellite Company Limited, Hong Kong, will initially acquire use of 68.5 percent of Telstar 18's capacity for Apstar V services. The number of transponders used by APT will be reduced over time, ultimately to 54 percent of the satellite's capacity. For more information on APT, visit www.apstar.com.
Loral's other Asia satellite, Telstar 10/Apstar IIR, hosts one of the largest video communities in Asia at 76.5 degrees East longitude. Telstar 10, also built by SS/L, together with Telstar 18 will offer cable, broadcast video and IP-enabled data service coverage to a vast geographic area that stretches from Europe across Asia to Australia and Hawaii for satellite or fiber connectivity to the U.S through Skynet's Kapolei teleport.
Building on the success of Telstar 10, the new Telstar 18 satellite has pre-launch lease agreements from a number of regional and international companies, including:
- Smart Digital Communications Bhd, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which provides direct access Internet services to customers throughout Malaysia;
- PSVN, Inc., based at Hawaii Pacific Teleport, a provider of new public switched videophone network (PSVN) services that uses a demand assigned multiple access (DAMA) platform to provide low cost videoconferencing services between dozens of countries in the Asia region with interconnection to the US ISDN network.
In addition to transmitting innovative new applications, cable programming and direct-to-home broadcasting services, Telstar 18 is scheduled to begin hosting Skynet's SkyReach(SM) in 2005. SkyReach is Skynet's two-way IP-based networking solution. SkyReach, which is already available and in use by several customers throughout the Americas, allows organizations to create an instant infrastructure using a VSAT network, connecting offices within a city or around the globe.
Telstar 18 is a version of SS/L's space-proven 1300 satellite platform, which has an excellent record of reliable operation. The geostationary 1300 has a specified service life of 13 years and maintains station-keeping and orbital stability by using bipropellant propulsion and momentum-bias systems. In all, SS/L satellites have amassed more than 1,000 years of on-orbit service.
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. Through the broad coverage of the Telstar satellite fleet in combination with its hybrid VSAT/fiber global network infrastructure, Skynet is a source for all broadcast, data network, Internet access, IP and systems integration needs. Headquartered in Bedminster, New Jersey, Loral Skynet is dedicated to providing secure, high-quality connectivity and communications. For more information, visit the Loral Skynet web site.
Space Systems/Loral 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 government customers whose applications include broadband digital communications, direct-to-home broadcast, defense communications, environmental monitoring, and air traffic control. SS/L is ISO 9001:2000 certified. For more information, visit the Space Systems/Loral web site.
Loral Skynet and Space Systems/Loral are both subsidiaries of Loral Space & Communications (OTCBB: LRLSQ).
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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. These factors include those related to the filing, on July 15, 2003 by Loral and certain of its subsidiaries, of voluntary petitions for reorganization under chapter 11 of title 11 of the United States Code in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and parallel insolvency proceedings in the Supreme Court of Bermuda in which certain partners of KPMG were appointed as joint provisional liquidators. Additional factors and conditions are also described in the section of the company's annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2003, entitled "Commitments and Contingencies," and the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The reader is specifically referred to these documents.
Loral Space & Communications