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DirecTV to buy three Boeing satellites
Posted: Wed, Sep 8, 2004, 9:02 PM ET (0102 GMT)
Boeing 702 updated satellite illustration (Boeing) DirecTV announced Wednesday afternoon that it plans to buy three large satellites from Boeing Satellite Systems as part of an initiative to increase its high-definition programming. DirecTV will buy two Boeing 702 satellites, named DirecTV 10 and 11, for launch in 2007. In addition, DirecTV will buy a third Boeing 702 as an unnamed ground spare. The contract is a major show of confidence in Boeing, which has had problems selling satellites because of technical problems experienced by its 702 and 601 series of commercial communications satellites. DirecTV said it plans to use those satellites to expand its offerings of local and national high definition television (HDTV) programming. DirecTV said that two other Boeing 702 satellites previously ordered by the company, Spaceway 1 and 2, will also be used to provide HDTV programming; those satellites were originally intended to provide high-speed Internet access. Spaceway 1 is scheduled for launch early next year on a Sea Launch Zenit 3SL; Space News reported Wednesday that the launch of Spaceway 2 will be transferred from Sea Launch to an Ariane 5 in order to permit its launch early next year as well.
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