Telesat Eyes New Satellite as Nimiq 5 is Successfully Launched

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PARIS — Telesat will order a new television-broadcast satellite early in 2010 for customer Bell TV of Canada following an agreement between Bell and U.S. satellite operator EchoStar Corp. on the use of Telesat’s Nimiq 5 satellite, which was successfully launched Sept. 18 aboard an International Launch Services (ILS) Proton M rocket, Telesat and EchoStar announced Sept. 17.

Englewood, Colo.-based EchoStar, which previously had contracted to lease half of Nimiq 5’s capacity, will now lease all 32 Ku-band transponders for Nimiq 5’s expected 15-year service life. EchoStar plans to make the capacity available to its sister company, satellite-television provider Dish Network.

Nimiq 5 will operate at 72.7 degrees west.

In the place of Nimiq 5, Bell TV will use the Telesat satellite to be ordered in 2010 to augment its capacity at 82 degrees and 91 degrees west, Telesat said.

The 4,750-kilogram Nimiq 5, built by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif., was placed into geostationary transfer orbit some nine hours and 15 minutes after liftoff from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome, ILS said. It was the fifth ILS commercial launch of 2009 and the seventh overall launch of the Proton rocket, which also is used for Russian government missions. The Reston, Va.-based company says it will conduct two or three more launch campaigns before the end of the year.