SES New Skies set to launch new bird

SES NEW SKIES, an SES company and Sea Launch are initiating the final preparations for the launch of the NSS-8 communications satellite. Liftoff of the sixth satellite in the SES NEW SKIES fleet is planned at the opening of a 37-minute launch window beginning at 3:22 pm Pacific Standard Time (23:22 GMT) on January 25th, 2007.

The satellite will provide coverage to two-thirds of the world’s
population, serving countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the
Indian subcontinent and Asia. Designed for a 15-year lifespan, NSS-8
will have 18 kilowatts of total power at the beginning of life on orbit.

The Odyssey Launch Platform and the Sea Launch Commander are currently sailing to the launch site at 154 degrees West Longitude on the Equator to begin launch operations. Upon arrival, the launch team will initiate a 72-hour countdown and ballast the Launch Platform 65 feet, to launch depth, performing final tests on the launch system and the satellite. On launch day, a Zenit-3SL rocket will lift the 5,920 kg (13,051 lb) spacecraft to geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital location of 57 degrees East Longitude.

The high-power, state-of-the-art NSS-8 satellite is a Boeing 702 spacecraft that carries 56 C-band and 36 Ku-band transponders designed to replace the existing NSS-703 satellite as the centerpiece of NEW SKIES’ strategic Indian Ocean contribution to SES’ global communications network. The successful launch of NSS-8 will subsequently also allow for NSS-703 to be re-deployed to the Atlantic Ocean region at 340 East, further boosting the global coverage and connectivity provided by the 40 plus strong fleet of satellites in the SES Group. NSS-8 will support a wide range of functions, including corporate communications, government and military operations, Broadband Internet services and broadcast applications.

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