Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced the THAICOM 6 communications satellite, built by the company for THAICOM Plc., was successfully launched into orbit yesterday aboard a Space Exploration Technologies Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Lift off occurred at approximately 5:06 p.m. (EST) on January 6 and the satellite was successfully separated from the rocket and deployed into a super-synchronous transfer orbit approximately 31 minutes later.
Over the next several weeks, Orbital’s satellite engineering and operations team will work with their THAICOM counterparts to conduct orbit-raising maneuvers and in-orbit testing to verify all the spacecraft systems are functioning properly before it is officially turned over to THAICOM for full operational control and commencement of commercial service.
“Early in the initial check-out and testing process, the THAICOM 6 satellite is performing very well,” said Mr. Christopher Richmond, Orbital’s Senior Vice President of communications satellites. “This is the first GEOStar communications satellite we have built for THAICOM and we are proud to be a part of their team, helping to address an increase in demand for telecommunications services across Southeast Asia and Africa.”
Orbital designed, built and tested the THAICOM 6 satellite at its satellite manufacturing and test facility in Dulles, VA. The satellite carries a hybrid Ku- and C-band payload that operates with 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 Transponder Equivalent) providing services to Africa. THAICOM 6 will be located in orbit at 78.5 degrees East Longitude.With this launch, 149 Orbital-built satellites have been produced and delivered to commercial, civil government and national security customers during the last 30 years. Of these, 32 have been GEOStar-class geosynchronous communications and broadcasting spacecraft for commercial customers around the world, while another 45 have been LEOStar-class low-orbit commercial communications and imaging satellites. Seventy two additional satellites have been built for various government agencies and scientific organizations.