PALO ALTO, Calif. – February 23, 2005 – Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) announced today that it has successfully completed all assembly, integration and tests of the DIRECTV 8 satellite, more than two months ahead of the contracted schedule. This progress was capped recently by the successful completion of the pre-shipment readiness reviews held in Palo Alto, Calif. The accompanying photo shows the satellite in the SS/L antenna test range.

The DIRECTV 8 satellite, built for The DIRECTV Group, Inc. of El Segundo, Calif., is a high power Ku/Ka-band hybrid satellite. The satellite’s primary mission is to maintain high quality, high power DBS service to existing DIRECTV customers. The Ka-band payload will improve DIRECTV’s ability to collect and deliver high quality television programming. “I am impressed by the ability of SS/L to complete this satellite so far ahead of schedule,” said Jim Butterworth, senior vice president, communication systems, DIRECTV, Inc. “This is almost unheard of in the satellite industry and is emblematic of SS/L’s demonstrably improved manufacturing processes.”

C. Patrick DeWitt, president, Space Systems/Loral, said, “We are proud to contribute to the success of DIRECTV. SS/L understands the importance of meeting our commitments to customers, which is why we have made a considerable investment in recent years to improve our industry-leading high power satellites. The DIRECTV 8 program was the first to fully benefit from the process improvements SS/L has developed and put in place. I could not be happier with the efforts of SS/L’s employees to deliver this satellite more than two months early.”

The DIRECTV 8 satellite will provide selectable medium and high power Ku-band broadcast services to the U.S. on up to 32 transponders. The service is optimized to support the current and next generation higher coding rate services that DIRECTV provides. The Ka-band payload will use the full 1,000 MHz of Ka-band communications bandwidth available to link DIRECTV facilities as part of DIRECTV’s dramatic infrastructure development for the upcoming launch of local digital and high definition services in the Ka-band. The satellite is designed to provide almost 8,500 watts of DC power at the end of its 15-year mission life and will weigh less than 3,800 kilograms at separation from the Proton launch vehicle. The satellite will remain in Palo Alto until it is time to ship the satellite to the launch site for integration with the Proton launch vehicle.

DIRECTV is the nation’s leading and fastest growing digital multichannel television service provider with more than 13.9 million customers. DIRECTV and the Cyclone Design logo are registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc., a unit of The DIRECTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV). The DIRECTV Group is a world-leading provider of digital multichannel television entertainment and broadband satellite networks and services. The DIRECTV Group is 34 percent owned by Fox Entertainment Group, which is approximately 82 percent owned by News Corporation. For more information visit

Space Systems/Loral, a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications (OTCBB: LRLSQ), is a premier designer, manufacturer, and integrator of powerful satellites and satellite systems. SS/L also provides a range of related services that include mission control operations and procurement of launch services. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., the company has an international base of commercial and governmental customers whose applications include broadband digital communications, direct-to-home broadcast, defense communications, environmental monitoring, and air traffic control. SS/L satellites have amassed more than 1,100 years of reliable on-orbit service. SS/L is ISO 9001:2000 certified. For more information, visit

Loral Space & Communications is a satellite communications company. In addition to Space Systems/Loral, through its Skynet subsidiary Loral owns and operates a fleet of telecommunications satellites used to broadcast video entertainment programming, and for broadband data transmission, Internet services and other value-added communications services.