PARIS — Spanish satellite fleet operator Hispasat has contracted with Space Systems/Loral to build the Amazonas 3 telecommunications satellite to be launched in late 2012 into Hispasat’s 61 degrees west orbital slot for broadcasts in the Americas and Europe, Loral announced July 6. It is the second consecutive Hispasat satellite to be built by Loral.
Amazonas 3, a Loral 1300 platform, will carry 33 Ku- and 19 C-band transponders and is scheduled to replace the Amazonas 1 satellite at the 61-degree slot. It is designed to deliver 14 kilowatts of power to its payload at the end of its service life.
Amazonas 1 was launched in 2004, but its scheduled 15-year service life was reduced by several years because of a defect in its on-board fuel system. Hispasat also operates the Amazonas 2 satellite at that location and expects that satellite, launched in October 2009, to operate for 15 years. Amazonas 1 and Amazonas 2 were both built by Astrium Satellites of Europe.
Madrid-based Hispasat in 2008 contracted with Palo Alto, Calif.-based Space Systems/Loral for the Hispasat 1E satellite, to be launched in 2010 or 2011 into Hispasat’s 30 degrees west orbital slot.
Hispasat Chairwoman Petra Mateos-Aparicio said in a statement that the Loral contracts permit Hispasat “to maximize the value of our satellite investment.”
Space Systems/Loral President John Celli said in a statement that the manufacturer is now entering final testing of Hispasat 1E, and that “there is no better endorsement than that of a satisfied customer placing a repeat order.”
Loral Space and Communications of New York, which owns Space Systems/Loral, has begun preparations to spin off up to 19.9 percent of the satellite builder in an initial stock offering this year.