DirecTV 9S and Optus D1 Satellites Launched

October 19, 2006
An Ariane 5 ECA launcher successfully placed the DirecTV 9S and Optus D1 satellites into orbit after an Oct. 13 launch from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. DirecTV 9S was built by Space Systems/Loral and will be located at 101 degrees west longitude. DirecTV 9S includes 52 high power Ku-band transponders and 2 Ka-band transponders and will provide backup to existing DirecTV satellites, including high power spot-beam satellites, in all 50 U.S. states.

Optus D1, which was built by Orbital Sciences Corp., has 24 Ku-band transponders and will be located at 160 degrees east longitude where it will provide fixed communications and satellite broadcast services to Australia and New Zealand.

In addition to the satellites, the Ariane 5 rocket included the Japanese Space Agency's LDREX-2, a 1/25th scale version of the large deployable antenna that will be used on the ETS-8 technology satellite, which is scheduled to be launched in December 2006.

Additional information on the Ariane 5 rocket and the launch may be found online.

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