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Launch companies announce contracts
Posted: Wed, Sep 7, 2005, 9:35 PM ET (0135 GMT)
The three major commercial launch vehicle companies — Arianespace, International Launch Services (ILS), and Sea Launch — each announced new launch contracts on Tuesday. Arianespace announced it had won a contract from Thai satellite operator Shin Satellite to launch the Thaicom 5 satellite on an Ariane 5 in 2006. Thaicom 5 is a 2,800-kg satellite built by Alcatel with 24 C-band and 14 Ku-band transponders. ILS announced it will launch a large satellite for DirecTV in the second quarter of 2007. The unnamed satellite is one of two Ka-band Boeing 702 satellites being built for DirecTV to provide high-definition TV services. The contract includes an option for an additional launch. The Boeing-led Sea Launch venture announced Tuesday that it will launch the Horizons-2 satellite for Horizons, a joint venture of PanAmSat and JSAT. The 2,300-kilogram satellite will be built by Orbital Sciences Corporation under a contract announced last week. Sea Launch will use the land-based Zenit-3SLB, known as the Land Launch system, from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. All three contracts were announced in conjunction with the World Satellite Business Week 2005 conference in Paris.
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