The upcoming
lift-off of two Boeing-built satellites on the same rocket will be the
first dual launch in six years for the satellite manufacturing arm of
Boeing Space and Communications, a unit of The Boeing Co. .

The satellites — a Boeing 601 model called JCSAT-8 and a Boeing
376HP model named ASTRA 3A — are scheduled to be launched on March 28
by Arianespace aboard an Ariane 4 rocket from the Guiana Space Center
on the northeast coast of South America. The 45-minute launch window
opens at 10:29 p.m. at the launch site (5:29 p.m. PST; 1:29 a.m. March
29 GMT).

Both satellites were built in El Segundo, Calif., by Boeing
Satellite Systems. JCSAT-8 was built for JSAT Corp. of Tokyo. It is
the fifth Boeing 601 and the seventh Boeing satellite for the JSAT
fleet. ASTRA 3A was built for SES ASTRA of Luxembourg and is the
second Boeing 376 to be launched for SES ASTRA. Including ASTRA 3A, a
total of 10 Boeing satellites have been built for SES ASTRA.

“Both JSAT and SES ASTRA are long-time customers whose business
and trust we greatly value,” said Randy Brinkley, president of Boeing
Satellite Systems. “We delivered our first JSAT satellite in 1989, and
our first ASTRA spacecraft in 1993. The fact that both companies have
relied on Boeing to provide multiple satellites over the past 12 years
is a tremendous endorsement of our technology and customer focus.”

JCSAT-8 will provide coverage to Japan, East Asia, Oceania and
Hawaii from the orbital slot of 154 degrees East longitude.

ASTRA 3A will augment the existing SES ASTRA fleet of 12
spacecraft to help meet growing demand for digital satellite services
to the German-speaking markets of Germany, Austria and Switzerland
from the 23.5 degrees East orbital slot

JSAT is a leading satellite operator in the Asia Pacific region.
The company owns and operates eight satellites in seven orbital slots.
JSAT provides communications and broadcasting services that offer a
range of unique features made possible by satellite communications,
which is well suited to support the high-volume, wide-distribution,
high-speed networks.

The ASTRA Satellite System is Europe’s leading analogue and
digital satellite television broadcast system. At the end of 2000,
ASTRA served approximately 86% of all European satellite and cable
homes. ASTRA is owned and operated by SES ASTRA, a wholly owned
subsidiary of SES GLOBAL, the world’s premier satellite operator.

Boeing Space and Communications (S&C), with headquarters in Seal
Beach, is the world’s largest space and communications company. A unit
of The Boeing Co., S&C provides integrated solutions in launch
services, human space flight and exploration, missile defense, and
information and communications.

It is NASA’s largest contractor; a leading provider of space-based
communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile
defense; and a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance. The global enterprise has customers worldwide and
manufacturing operations throughout the United States and Australia.

Photos of the ASTRA 3A and JCSAT-8 spacecraft
are available upon request or can be downloaded from or the Boeing Satellite Systems Web site at:

Live video of the launch will be carried on the Telstar 5
satellite, transponder #16, C-band. You are welcome to use the feed in
your news broadcasts.

Quicktime video clips of spacecraft deployment animations and
other taped construction milestones are available for download at: