Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced that it is in final preparations for the launch of the THAICOM 6 communications satellite, a hybrid Ku-band and C-band satellite built for THAICOM Plc., that will provide coverage for Southeast Asia and Africa. Designed, manufactured and tested at Orbital’s Dulles, VA satellite production facilities, THAICOM 6 is scheduled to be launched aboard a Space Exploration Technologies Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at approximately 5:00 p.m. EST on Monday, January 6, 2014.
Following its launch, the satellite will undergo several weeks of in-orbit testing and verification that all subsystems are operating as planned. Once testing is complete and the spacecraft is positioned at its final orbital location of 78.5 degrees East Longitude, day-to-day control of THAICOM 6 will be handed over to THAICOM’s satellite operations staff.
“We are ready to begin 2014 in the best way possible, by providing our THAICOM customer with a great beginning for the next satellite in their network,” said Mr. Christopher Richmond, Orbital’s Senior Vice President of Communications Satellites. “We are looking forward to a successful launch and are eager to begin our in-orbit activation and testing operations in the first few days of the new year.”
At launch, THAICOM 6 will weigh approximately 3,330 Kg. It carries a hybrid Ku- and C-band payload that will operate on approximately 3.5 kilowatts of payload power. The Ku-band payload is comprised of eight active transponders (9x36-MHz Transponder Equivalent) providing services to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar. The C-band payload features 12 active C-band transponders providing services via a regional beam to Southeast Asia and six active C-band transponders (12x36-MHz TPE) providing services to Africa.The THAICOM 6 communications satellite is based on Orbital’s highly successful GEOStar spacecraft platform, which is able to accommodate all types of commercial communications payloads and is compatible with all major commercial launchers. The GEOStar design is optimized for satellite missions requiring up to 7.5 kilowatts of payload power. In many instances, the affordable GEOStar satellites can be built and delivered in 24 months or less.