Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced that the SES-8, a communications satellite built by the company for SES S.A. of Luxembourg, was successfully launched into orbit yesterday aboard a Falcon 9 rocket operated by Space Exploration Technologies from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Lift-off took place at 5:41 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday, 3 December, and the satellite successfully separated from the rocket’s final stage approximately 31 minutes into the mission, placing it into a super-synchronous transfer orbit.
Over the next several weeks, SES and Orbital engineers will conduct a comprehensive series of in-orbit tests to verify all spacecraft systems are functioning properly before it is officially turned over to SES for full operational control and commencement of commercial service. SES-8 is the sixth Orbital-built GEOStar satellite ordered by SES, a leading global satellite operator providing a broad range of communications services.
“Early in the initial check-out and testing process, the SES-8 mission is proceeding smoothly,” said Mr. Christopher Richmond, Orbital’s Senior Vice President of Communications Satellite Programs. “We are proud to continue to be a part of the SES team, helping increase communications capacity to meet the rapidly growing demand for telecommunications services in South Asia and Indo-China.”
Orbital designed, built and tested SES-8 at its satellite manufacturing facility in Dulles, Virginia. The 3,200-kg satellite features 33 Ku-band transponders of 36 MHz capacity. In addition, SES-8 carries a Ka-band payload that together with the Ku-band payload consumes approximately five kilowatts of electrical power. Designed for an anticipated service life of 15 years, SES-8 will be co-located with NSS-6 at an orbit location of 95° East Longitude. Upon full activation, the satellite will provide expanded communications support for South Asia and Indo-China and additional capacity for Direct to Home (DTH), Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT), and government applications.