The Boeing-led international Sea Launch operation has received four confirmed launch orders, valued at about $350 million, from Hughes Space & Communications. This brings to 14 the number of Hughes satellites on the company's manifest. Space Systems/Loral also has five launches booked.

The four new firm orders, for launches in 2001-3, are for one ICO Global Communications satellite, the Thuraya satellite for the United Arab Emirates and two XM Satellite Radio satellites.

The first commercial satellite to ride a Sea Launch booster will be the Hughes DirecTV-1R. The launch is scheduled for August.

Source: Flight International