The NSS-6 telecommunications satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS) for New Skies Satellites N.V., was successfully launched today from Kourou, French Guiana. Lift-off occurred at 3:04 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) aboard an Ariane 4 launch vehicle provided by Arianespace of Evry, France. Initial contact with the satellite, called acquisition of signal, was confirmed at 4:06 p.m. PST from the Lockheed Martin satellite tracking station in Uralla, Australia.
The successful launch of NSS-6 represents the 20th straight launch of an A2100 spacecraft for customers worldwide. The first A2100 was launched in 1996 and are all currently operational. The A2100 geosynchronous spacecraft is designed to meet a wide variety of telecommunications needs ranging from Ka band/broadband services, fixed satellite services in a Ku-band payload configuration, to high-power direct broadcast services using the Ku-band frequency spectrum. The A2100's modular design features a reduction in parts, simplifying construction, increasing on-orbit reliability and reducing weight and cost.
A Ku-band satellite with Ka-band uplink capabilities, NSS-6 is designed to provide fully interactive access to high-speed Internet and other multimedia communications. Additionally, it can provide direct-to-home broadcasting services as well as the full complement of traditional enterprise telecommunications services across a large coverage area stretching from the eastern Mediterranean and Southern Africa to Australia, Japan and Korea.
"We are extremely pleased with today's successful launch of the NSS-6 spacecraft, and we are especially proud of the impressive reliability track record of our A2100 satellite," said Ted Gavrilis, president of Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems. "I congratulate our entire team for their relentless focus on achieving 100 percent mission success and we look forward to delivering another excellent satellite to our customer, New Skies, following our on-orbit checkout of all spacecraft systems."
NSS-6 is uniquely configured to accommodate evolving market conditions and to satisfy the varied demands of New Skies customers, including Internet Service Providers (ISPs), broadcasters, direct-to-home services providers, telecommunications carriers and private corporations. The special features of the satellite will enable New Skies' customers to operate fully interactive, high-speed networks that incorporate small terminals capable of carrying Internet and other bandwidth-intensive services throughout the coverage area of NSS-6. NSS-6 is also equipped with extra on-board redundancy for critical units, minimizing risk of single-point failure throughout the projected 14-year operational life of the satellite.
Unique features of the satellite include 60 high-power 36 MHz-equivalent Ku-band transponders that can be flexibly allocated, in-orbit, to any of six broad beams covering India, China, the Middle East (with Southern African spot coverage), Australia, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia. Additionally, up to 15 highly linearized transponders can be assigned to each of the six beams to respond to changing market demand. Each Ku-band beam is formed by an independent high-gain antenna system, offering 51-53 dBW in key markets.
The NSS-6 satellite also has 12 super-high-gain Ka-band uplink spot beams, facilitating data rates of at least 1 Mbps from antennas as small as 75 - 90 cm located at customer sites. These high-speed, high-performance Ka- band uplinks are cross-strapped to the broad Ku-band downlink beams, efficiently handling the asymmetric levels of traffic that characterize Internet networks. This design has the added advantage of maximizing efficient use of spectrum and satellite capacity.
About New Skies Satellites
New Skies Satellites
Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems markets, designs and builds geostationary and non-geostationary telecommunications and remote sensing satellites for customers worldwide. LMCSS is an operating unit of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, one of the core business areas of the Lockheed Martin Corporation
For images of the NSS-6 satellite, please visit: http://lmms.external.lmco.com/photos/commercial_space/ and click on New Skies.
Contact: Steve Tatum 408-742-7531 Pager: 888-926-2912
SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems
CONTACT: Steve Tatum of Lockheed Martin, +1-408-742-7531, or pager,
Web site: http://www.newskies.com/