Boeing Spacecraft With Govt. Payload Sends First On-Orbit Signals

Photo courtesy International Launch Services

Photo courtesy International Launch Services

Boeing Co. received the first on-orbit signals from a medium-power satellite recently launched from Kazakhstan, the company announced Monday. 

The Intelsat 22 satellite launched Sunday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

The Seattle-based aerospace firm said the spacecraft sent initial contact 15 hours and 40 minutes after its launch.

Controllers at the Mission Control Center in El Segundo, Calif. confirmed it is functioning normally.

The Intelsat 22’s on-orbit signals indicate the satellite is ready for geostationary orbit and operational testing, the company said.

The satellite will be positioned 72 degrees east longitude over the Indian Ocean after completing the tests.

The company said the 702MP spacecraft, carrying a government-hosted payload, is its first and demonstrates that the company will expand into the medium-sized satellite market.

Thierry Guillemin, Intelsat’s chief technical officer, said the payload on Intelsat 22 was specifically designed for the Australian military.

Guillemin said the satellite includes custom-talored Ku-band mobility beams for use in the maritime and aeronautical sectors.

Boeing is building additional satellites for Intelsat including Intelsat 21, scheduled to launch in the third quarter of this year.

Intelsat 27 will be launched in the first quarter of 2013.

That satellite will carry a ultra-high frequency hosted payload and offer 20 25-KHz UHF channels for the U.S. government and other Intelsat clients, Boeing said.

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