US manufacturers booked orders for five geostationary commercial satellites last week. Lockheed Martin led with a contract to supply three next-generation cable TV satellites to GE Americom. Hughes Electronics selected Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) to build a high-power spot beam satellite for its DirecTV subsidiary and Boeing was picked to provide the spacecraft for the Horizons joint venture between PanAmSat and Japan's JSAT. The three GE Americom satellites will each carry 24 C-band transponders to provide cable TV services in North America. SS/L's 1300-series spacecraft, designated DirecTV-7S, is scheduled for launch by the end of 2003. The Horizons satellite, to be placed into a 127°W orbital slot by Sea Launch in 2002, will be a Boeing 601HP with two payloads, providing internet, data and video services in the USA and Asia, and US cable services.

Source: Flight International