Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE:ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, announced today that the KOREASAT 6 (K6) satellite, built by the company in partnership with Thales Alenia Space for KT Corporation of the Republic of Korea, was successfully launched into geosynchronous transfer orbit aboard an Ariane 5 rocket originating from Kourou, French Guiana. The mission began yesterday, December 29, with the lift-off of the Ariane 5 space launch vehicle at approximately [4:26 p.m. (ET)]. The satellite successfully separated from the Ariane rocket’s final stage approximately [34 minutes] after launch.
For the K6 satellite program, Orbital was responsible for the spacecraft design, manufacture, integration and test. Spacecraft assembly and testing took place at Orbital’s satellite production and test facility in Dulles, VA. Thales Alenia Space served as the prime contractor for the project, providing the communications payload and delivering the K6 satellite to the customer. In addition, both Thales Alenia Space and Orbital contributed to the design and delivery of an associated ground segment.
Mr. Christopher Richmond, Orbital’s Senior Vice President and head of its commercial satellite unit, said, “Along with our Thales Alenia Space partners on the KOREASAT 6 program, we are very pleased with the early results of the mission following another successful launch by Arianespace. The K6 satellite is the second joint satellite program on which we have collaborated with Thales Alenia Space, following the successful partnership on the AMC-21 spacecraft for SES World Skies. The relationship has proven to be successful not only for our two companies, but also for our customers as well, with the timely delivery and reliable operation of our spacecraft.”
Following a several week in-orbit check-out period, the K6 satellite will be transitioned to its orbital slot at 116 degrees East Longitude. Based on Orbital’s STAR-2 platform, the spacecraft carries 30 active Ku-Band channels to provide Direct Broadcast Services (DBS) and Fixed Satellite Services (FSS) to the people of Korea. The spacecraft will provide 3.4 kilowatts of payload power and is designed for a 15-year on-orbit mission life.