KOUROU, French Guiana, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The BSAT-3b broadcasting satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) for Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT) of Japan, was successfully launched today from Kourou, French Guiana. Lift-off occurred at 5:51 p.m. EDT aboard an Ariane 5-ECA launch vehicle provided by Arianespace of Evry, France. Initial contact with the satellite was confirmed at 6:52 p.m. EDT from Lockheed Martin's satellite tracking station in Uralla, Australia.
BSAT-3b features 12 130 W Ku-band channels, eight operating simultaneously, and will be located at 110 degrees East longitude following in-orbit check out of all systems. BSAT-3b is expected to be handed over to B-SAT for operation by the end of 2010.
With a design life of 15 years, BSAT-3b is based on the A2100A platform manufactured by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS), Newtown, Pa. The satellite is comprised entirely of equipment based on proven A2100 designs and flight heritage, enhancing reliability on orbit. Lockheed Martin successfully built and launched BSAT-3a for B-SAT in August 2007 and is currently constructing BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R, which is scheduled for launch in the second quarter of 2011.
"We are extremely proud of our partnership with B-SAT," said LMCSS president Joseph Rickers. "The B-SAT and Lockheed Martin team put forth their best effort to achieve this milestone. We also thank Arianespace once again for a great launch. We look forward to adding a second A2100 satellite to B-SAT's fleet and we are confident that this high-performance satellite will be a tremendous asset when it becomes operational later this year," Rickers added.
BSAT-3b is the 37th commercial communications satellite based on the A2100 platform delivered to customers world-wide. All 36 A2100 spacecraft successfully launched are operational.
The Lockheed Martin A2100 geosynchronous spacecraft series is designed to meet a wide variety of telecommunications needs including Ka-band broadband and broadcast services, fixed satellite services in C-band and Ku-band, high-power direct broadcast services using the Ku-band frequency spectrum and mobile satellite services using UHF, L-band, and S-band payloads. The A2100's modular design features simplified construction, increased on-orbit reliability and reduced weight and cost. The A2100 design accommodates a large range of communication payloads and serves as the platform for critical government communications programs, including the Advanced Extremely High Frequency and Mobile User Objective System satellites.
The A2100 spacecraft can also be configured for missions other than communication. It has been adapted for Lockheed Martin's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Series-R earth observing mission and serves as the spacecraft platform for Lockheed Martin's GPS III program.
B-SAT is a unique operator of broadcasting satellites in 12GHz BSS band in Japan. The company was established in April 1993 and is located in Tokyo, Japan. Since then, B-SAT has worked toward providing stable satellite operations and continuity of broadcast services. B-SAT currently owns and manages four satellites: BSAT-3a for both analogue and digital services, BSAT-2a for analog services, BSAT-2c for digital services, and BSAT-1b for a backup satellite.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 133,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's 2009 sales from continuing operations were $44.0 billion.
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SOURCE Lockheed Martin