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Space Systems/Loral Launches ProtoStar I Satellite

The ProtoStar I satellite was successfully launched Monday afternoon from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guyana. The satellite deployed its solar arrays Monday evening, and Tuesday it was scheduled to begin thruster firings to place it into geosynchronous orbit. The satellite will provide high-power direct-to-home (DTH) satellite service for Dish TV India Ltd., the largest DTH TV operator in India.

The orbit-raising operations are being conducted from Space Systems Loral’s mission control center in Palo Alto, Calif. After in-orbit testing, the satellite’s tracking, telemetry and command will be managed by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel), which is also a C-band customer on the satellite. The satellite is based on SS/Loral’s 1300 spacecraft bus and will operate in both C and Ku-bands with an expected life of more than 15 years.

ProtoStar is a Bermuda corporation with subsidiary operations in San Francisco and Singapore. It was formed to acquire and operate high-power geostationary satellites optimized for DTH satellite television in the Asia-Pacific region.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.