e-BIRD, the first satellite
built by Boeing for Eutelsat, S.A. of France, was successfully
launched to geosynchronous transfer orbit today from the Guiana Space Center
in Kourou, French Guiana on the northeast coast of South America. e-BIRD, a
Boeing 376HP model satellite, was built by Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS) in
El Segundo, Calif.

The launch occurred at 4:15 p.m. PDT (23:15 GMT) with spacecraft
separation from the launch vehicle occurring approximately 35 minutes
afterward. Approximately 32 minutes later, e-BIRD’s first signals were
received at a Telemetry, Tracking and Control Station at Hartebeesthoek, South
Africa, confirming normal operation.

“Forty years ago, Boeing started a communications revolution with the
launch of Syncom, the world’s first geosynchronous communications satellite,”
said Dave Ryan, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International. “e-BIRD
is the latest in that long line of reliable Boeing spin-stabilized spacecraft.
A thorough check-out on orbit lies ahead for the satellite, and we are
confident that e-BIRD will soon take its place as a vital long-term asset
supporting Eutelsat’s future growth.”

Destined for the 33 degrees East orbital slot, the all-Ku-band satellite
is the first spacecraft optimized for two-way broadband Internet connectivity
for users across a broad region of Europe and Turkey. The satellite carries 20
active transponders and is designed to generate a minimum of 1,600 watts of
power through the end of its 10-year service life.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of
the world’s largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis,
Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $25 billion business that provides
systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers.
It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the
world’s largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world’s largest satellite
manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary
systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA’s largest contractor; and a
global leader in launch services.

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