Euro launcher company Arianespace kicked off a week of anticipated multi-launch orders at the Show with the announcement of a contract from PanAmSat (PAS) for three satellites. This brings to 49 the number of spacecraft on the company's orderbook.

All three satellites - each fitted with 20 C-band transponders - are being built by the US company Orbital Sciences which is also attending the Show.

Galaxy 12 will be launched aboard an Ariane 4 or 5 from the Kourou spaceport in South America in late 2002. PAS Light 2 and 3 are scheduled for Ariane 5 launches during the second half of 2003 and 2004 respectively during shared launches with a larger satellite.


The 1,700kg (3,700lb) communications satellites will be positioned at 99, 125 and 133deg in geostationary orbit respectively. The contract brings to 20 the number awarded to Arianespace by PAS.

With the anticipated receipt of further contracts this week, Arianespace says that the orderbook will reach a level never before achieved.

With 1,700kg being the geostationary transfer orbit capability of the Euro-Russian Soyuz/ST booster operated by the associate Starsem company, it is a surprise that the payloads are flying Ariane. However, Starsem said that the negotiations for the launches began before the company had been established.

Source: Flight Daily News