ARIANESPACE NEWS RELEASE
Posted: October 30, 2003
Arianespace announced today that it has secured a first quarter 2004 launch slot with Sea Launch for the DIRECTV 7S satellite. Arianespace was able to provide DIRECTV with total mission assurance for the DIRECTV 7S launch through a cooperative agreement with Boeing Launch Services and Sea Launch Company, LLC, under the newly formed launch services alliance. Announced in July 2003, the launch services alliance utilizes launch systems from three leading service providers - Arianespace, Boeing Launch Services and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries - to provide customers with on-time launches and total mission assurance.
Delays in the satellite manufacturing process created a scheduling conflict with a dedicated scientific mission on the Arianespace launch manifest. The DIRECTV 7S satellite is a high priority launch for DIRECTV as the spot-beam spacecraft is slated to serve 60 local television markets across the United States. The creation of the launch services alliance allowed Arianespace to negotiate a seamless transfer of the satellite to Sea Launch, and for DIRECTV to secure a guaranteed launch slot for this important mission.
"The smooth transition to the Sea Launch platform, assured by Arianespace and its launch services partners, will enable DIRECTV to launch DIRECTV 7S in the mid-to-late first quarter of next year, which is critical to our roll out of additional local channel markets," said Jim Butterworth, senior vice president, Communications Systems, DIRECTV, Inc.
"The DIRECTV 7S situation demonstrates our complete commitment to customer service and the added benefit to our customers of the launch services alliance," said Arianespace CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall.
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