In response to concerns about the PAS-6 luanch delay, SS/L has authorized its employees to direct the public to the following press release. Please see Attachment #2, specifically. I hope this relieves some concerns about this awesome new company.|
Contact: Dan Marcus, 203/622-6664 PanAmSat
PANAMSAT RESCHEDULES PAS-6 LAUNCH FOR MARCH/APRIL 1997
GREENWICH, Conn., November 15, 1996 -- PanAmSat Corporation (NASDAQ: SPOT)
announced today that the launch of its PAS-6 Atlantic Ocean Region satellite has been rescheduled and is expected to occur in March/April 1997. The delay will enable Space System/Loral, which is building PAS-6, to replace the power control units (PCUs) on the spacecraft. Arianespace, which originally was scheduled to launch PAS-6 in December 1996, has indicated its ability to accommodate the revised timetable.
_PanAmSat fully supports every effort by Space Systems/Loral to deliver spacecraft that have improved reliability,> said Frederick Landman, PanAmSatSs president and chief executive officer. _We expect minimal impact on our business due to the PAS-6 delay, and launches of future PanAmSat satellites are expected to proceed on schedule.>
PAS-6 is an FS 1300 spacecraft with 36 Ku-band transponders. The PAS-6 PCUs, which distribute power from the satelliteSs solar arrays to various spacecraft components, successfully passed their tests. However, Space System/Loral has identified certain design improvements to the PCUs that it determined are necessary and has decided to replace the PAS-6 units with the improved design.
Design changes to these units will also be integrated into two additional PanAmSat satellites under construction by Space Systems/Loral: the PAS-7 Pacific Ocean Region satellite, scheduled for launch on an Ariane vehicle in late 1997; and the PAS-8 Indian Ocean Region satellite, scheduled for launch on a Proton vehicle in early 1998.
PanAmSat is the worldSs first private-sector company to provide global
satellite services. It offers satellite-based video and data communications services to hundreds of customers worldwide by operating a four-satellite global system: PAS-1 and PAS-3 over the Atlantic Ocean Region; PAS-2 over the Pacific Ocean Region; and PAS-4 over the Indian Ocean Region. In September 1996, PanAmSat and Hughes Electronics Corporation announced an agreement to merge their respective satellite services operations into a new publicly held
Q1: Why did SS/L consider it _necessary> to replace the PCUs with an improved design?
A1: Because we have developed an improved version of the PCU, we wanted to give all of our customers the benefit of the improved design.
Q2: Is this PCU used on other programs?
A2: Yes, this PCU was specifically designed for our current series of
high-power satellites. All programs using the high-power FS-1300 bus will receive the benefit of the improved version PCU.
Q3: What is the primary difference between the original and the improved versions of the PCU?
A3: Although the exact design details are proprietary, the improved version PCU will have higher reliability and longer design life, well beyond the minimum requirements of the mission.
Q4: Would the original design PCU have met the requirements of the mission?
A4: The orignial PCUs on PAS-6 passed all unit-level tests and all
satellite-level tests, including hundreds of hours of thermal-vacuum
operation with no failures. We believe these original units could operate successfully for the 15-year mission lifetime. However, because an improved version PCU became available, with higher reliability and longer design life, SS/L wanted to make it available to our customers to provide maximum assurance of mission success.