Loral to Build Telstar 14R Satellite

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PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Telesat’s Telstar 14R telecommunications satellite will be built by Space Systems/Loral and launched in mid-2011 aboard an International Launch Services Proton rocket under contracts Telesat announced July 16.

Ottawa-based Telesat said Telstar 14R, expected to weigh 5,000 kilograms at launch, will be in orbit at 63 degrees west in time to replace the Telstar 14/Estrela do Sul satellite currently there.

Telesat said the new satellite will generate 11 kilowatts of total power and carry the equivalent of 58 transponders with power of 36 megahertz per transponder.

In a separate announcement, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Space Systems/Loral said the spacecraft would carry 46 active transponders, 19 of which would be configurable in orbit, with the remaining 27 operating in fixed mode. Telesat said it will be able to switch power to different regions in North and South America and the Atlantic Ocean, depending on the level of demand.

The Atlantic Ocean beam will permit Telesat to extend maritime and aeronautical communications service now provided by Telstar 14 and by the recently launched Telstar 11N.

Telstar 14R is the second consecutive satellite that Telesat has ordered from Loral, whose parent company owns a majority economic stake in Telesat. Telesat officials could not immediately be reached for comment on whether the contract was put out for bids or was a direct award to Loral.