Busy Sat-2012 kicks off with slew of news

Satellite operators and launch contractors save their big news for the giant Washington DC satellite show, and this year’s event is no different.

Sea Launch, that only a year ago was exiting bankruptcy, said it had signed up a launch contract for Intelsat-27, due for launch early next year. Sea Launch will use its Zenith 3SL rocket launched from the floating ‘Odyssey’ ship, and will place the Boeing-built 702 satellite to 154 degrees West. The craft will be the heaviest-ever (at 6241 kgs) launched by Sea Launch.

Not to be outdone, Arianespace say that they have won the launch contract for the Eutelsat/Es’hail joint-venture satellite (between Eutelsat and Qatar). Dubbed Eutelsat 25B the satellite will be placed at 25.5 deg East, adjacent to the hot spot created by Arabsat (at 26 degrees East).Launch schedule is Q2/2013. Eutelsat 25B adds Ka-band capacity to the orbital.

International Launch Services (ILS), which operates the Russian-built Proton rockets from Baikonur, has been contracted to launch Mexsat-1, late next year or early 2014.

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