PanAmSat Corporation (NASDAQ:SPOT) is the premier provider of global video and data broadcasting services via satellite. JSAT is a leading satellite operator in the Asia-Pacific region. The alternative designation of HORIZONS 1 as GALAXY 13 is adopted from the fact that the C-band component is a legacy of the GALAXY series and its co-owner PanAmSat who would control it, not JSAT.
HORIZONS 1 (GALAXY 13) is a joint American-Japanese (i.e, PanAmSat- JSAT corporations) geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched by a Zenit 3 rocket from the floating platform Odessey in equatorial Pacific ocean on 1 October 2003. The 2.6 tonne (4.06, including the fuel), 9.9 kW satellite carries 24 transponders each in the C- and Ku-bands to provide digital video, internet, and data services to the countries on either side of the Pacific ocean after parking over 127 deg-W longitude. The satellite will provide coverage over North America, Central America, Alaska and Hawaii from an orbital slot between the Hawaiian Islands and the U.S. west coast.
The 4,090 kg (8,998 lbs) satellite rocketed to geosynchronous transfer orbit aboard a Zenit-3SL provided by Sea Launch Company, LLC. Lift-off occurred at 9:03 p.m. PDT (4:03 a.m. GMT) from the Sea Launch Odyssey Launch Platform positioned on the equator in the Pacific Ocean. The spacecraft received its first signals at about 10:03 p.m. PDT at a ground station at Fucino, Italy, confirming normal operation.
Sea Launch successfully launched Boeing-built Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 satellite from the equator in the Pacific Ocean. A Zenit-3SL rocket carried the dual purpose satellite into orbit. A ground tracking station received signals from the satellite about an hour after launch, indicating that it was functioning normally and in the right trajectory to make its journey to geosynchronous orbit. It will eventually provide a variety of telecommunication services to North America.
Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 is a Boeing 601HP satellite built by Boeing [NYSE:BA] for PanAmSat Corporation, Wilton, Conn., and JSAT Corporation of Japan. Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 with a final orbit slot at 127 degrees west longitude is the 207th Boeing-built commercial communications satellite launched to date. Forty years ago this year, the Boeing-built Syncom ushered in a revolution as the world’s first geosynchronous communications satellite.
Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 will support PanAmSat’s domestic cable program distribution services as well as the Horizons international joint venture of PanAmSat and JSAT. The spacecraft will carry a total of 48 active transponders, 24 each in Ku-band and C-band. The Horizons partnership will use the spacecraft's Ku-band payload, known as Horizons-1, to offer a variety of digital video, Internet and data services. In addition, the Ku-band payload on Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 will be able to deliver content and services between the United States and Asia, using a teleport in Hawaii.
The C-band portion of the new spacecraft, known as Galaxy XIII, will be operated separately as part of PanAmSat's Galaxy cable neighborhood, which serves the domestic U.S. cable industry. Galaxy XIII will be used to replace capacity on Galaxy IX, a Boeing 376 model that will move to a new orbital position and continue to provide services.
Orbital Sciences Corporation announced August 30, 2005 that Horizons-2 Satellite, LLC, a 50/50 joint venture between PanAmSat Corporation and JSAT Corporation, had ordered one geosynchronous (GEO) communications satellite, which would be based on Orbital's industry-leading STAR small satellite platform. The spacecraft would carry the name Horizons-2 and will be launched into a PanAmSat-licensed orbital slot at 74 degrees West Longitude over the United States. The new order called for a 22-month on-ground delivery schedule. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"Once again, our smaller-sized STAR GEO satellite platform has proved to be the ideal choice for satellite operators that seek an optimal balance between satellite capacity and customer demand," said Dr. Ali Atia, head of Orbital's commercial GEO satellite business unit. "We are delighted to add JSAT to the list of blue-chip customers who have adopted the 'STAR small satellite solution,' an industry trend of which PanAmSat has been the leading proponent."
The new satellite is the fifth that has been ordered through the company's association with PanAmSat, which originally became a customer in 2001. Prior to the Horizons-2 joint venture order with JSAT, PanAmSat had previously purchased from Orbital three C-band satellites for U.S. domestic communications services, and a hybrid (C and Ku bands) satellite for international services.
"We are pleased to announce the purchase of the Horizons-2 satellite which extends two significant partnerships that PanAmSat has developed over the past five years," said Joe Wright, CEO PanAmSat. "First, PanAmSat and JSAT will double capacity in our Horizons joint venture, which has already proven to be a highly successful for both companies. This satellite will provide Ku-band growth capacity in North America for PanAmSat in 2007 through the next decade. And secondly, we are extending our relationship with Orbital Sciences as our primary supplier of small satellites which have become a critical part of our business strategy going forward."
The first C-band satellite, Galaxy 12, was launched in 2003 and the second, Galaxy 14, was launched earlier this month. The last of the original three-satellite order, Galaxy 15, was recently shipped to the launch site in preparation for a launch in September. A fourth satellite was ordered earlier this year, the hybrid PAS-11, which is currently in the design and manufacturing phase.
Horizons 2 was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou at 21:42 UT on 21 December 2007. The satellite will generate approximately 3.5 kilowatts of payload power and will weigh about 2,300 kg (with fuel) at launch. The craft is jointly owned and operated by INTELSAT and the Japanese JSAT Corporation, and carries 20 Ku-band transponders to provide HDTV and broadband internet services to the US, Canada, and Japan after parking over 74° W longitude. It replaced the 17-year-old SBS 6. Horizons 2 replaced Galaxy 17 at 74 degrees West. Galaxy 17 then moved to 91 degrees West and replaced Galaxy 11.
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