During July 2003, we entered into a contract for the construction of EchoStar X, a Lockheed Martin A2100 class DBS satellite. Construction is expected to be completed during 2005. EchoStar X will enable better bandwidth utilization, provide back-up protection for our existing local channel offerings, allow us to offer local channels by satellite in additional markets; and could allow DISH Network to offer other value-added services.
As previously discussed in Item 1. — Business, during March 2003 we entered into a satellite service agreement with SES Americom for all of the capacity on a new FSS satellite, which may be located at the 105 degree orbital location or certain other orbital locations. We also agreed to lease all of the capacity on an existing in-orbit FSS satellite at the 105 degree orbital location beginning August 1, 2003 and continuing at least until the new satellite is launched. In connection with this agreement, we prepaid $50.0 million to SES Americom to partially fund construction of the new satellite. The ten-year satellite service agreement for the new satellite is renewable by us on a year to year basis following the initial term, and provides us with certain rights to replacement satellites. We are required to make monthly payments to SES Americom for both the existing in-orbit FSS satellite and also for the new satellite for the ten-year period following its launch. During August 2003, we exercised our option under the SES Americom agreement to also lease for an initial ten-year term all of the capacity on a new DBS satellite at an orbital location to be determined at a future date. We anticipate that this satellite will be launched during the fourth quarter of 2005.
During February 2004, we entered into two additional satellite service agreements for capacity on FSS satellites. Pending the successful launch and entry into service of the previously described new FSS satellite, the satellite under the first of these agreements is scheduled for launch during the first half of 2005. This agreement is a ten-year satellite service agreement that is renewable by us on a year to year basis following the initial term, and provides us with certain rights to replacement satellites. We are required to make monthly payments for this satellite for the ten-year period following its launch. The satellite under the second of these agreements is planned for launch during the second half of 2006 and is contingent upon, among other things, obtaining necessary regulatory approvals. There can be no assurance that we will obtain these approvals or that the satellite will ultimately be launched. It is our intent to use the capacity on this satellite to offer additional value-added services. Future commitments related to this contingent satellite are included in the table above.