Hughes is to build two Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES). The craft will be launched aboard Boeing Delta III boosters in 2001 and 2003 under a $423 million contract agreed with NASA. Options on two further satellites are also included in the deal, at a price of $375 million.

The satellites, the GOES N and O, will be based on the Hughes HS-601 spacecraft model. Hughes will also integrate three US Government supplied instruments: an imager and sounder, built by ITT, and a solar X-ray imager, provided by Lockheed Martin. The company also built the GOES D-H series, launched in 1980-7 before Space Systems/ Loral took over the contract for subsequent satellites. Including the Brasilsat B3, launched on an Ariane 105 on 4 February, 16 Hughes satellites are scheduled to be launched in 1998.

nThe Hughes Anik C2 satellite launched on the Space Shuttle STS7/Challenger in June 1983 from Telesat of Canada, has been retired after achieving a design life 1.8 times longer than planned.

Source: Flight International