[SatNews] Orbital ATK, Inc. announces that the SKY MEXICO-1 (SKYM-1) satellite, built by the company for DIRECTV, successfully completed on-orbit testing and checkout of all spacecraft systems. The satellite was handed over to DIRECTV for full operational control after several weeks of orbit-raising activities that were conducted after the launch.
Launched May 27, 2015 from Kourou, French Guiana, SKYM-1 will provide direct-to-home television broadcast services to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean for DIRECTV. The satellite is based on Orbital ATK’s flight-proven GEOStar-2™ platform and marks the 35th GEOStar spacecraft launched for customers around the world.
“We are proud to be a part of our customer’s mission success by delivering a high-quality, reliable satellite that will provide DIRECTV and its customers with state of the art broadcasting and communications services for years to come,” said Chris Richmond, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s commercial satellite division. “Our ability to produce affordable technology and unprecedented rapid execution from design to launch demonstrates our commitment to build strong and lasting partnerships with our customers.”
“Orbital ATK not only delivered the satellite four months early, but the satellite mission and in-orbit testing proceeded flawlessly,” said Phil Goswitz, Senior Vice President of Space & Communications at DIRECTV. “We were able to begin service 22 months after the contractual program start enabling our partners at SKY MEXICO to expand their HDTV services earlier than scheduled. DIRECTV and SKY MEXICO are grateful to Orbital ATK for this exceptional performance.”
Orbital ATK produced the SKYM-1 satellite in just 20 months and delivered it to the launch site four months ahead of the original baseline schedule.
Built and manufactured at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Dulles, Virginia, SKYM-1 is equipped with 24 active Ku-band transponders and two active R-band transponders to provide DIRECTV’s premium video broadcast services to millions of users. The commercial communications satellite uses reflectors, solar arrays and structural components produced by Orbital ATK’s Space Components Division in California and Utah. At launch, the spacecraft weighed 2,962 kg (6,530 pounds) and carried sufficient fuel on board to provide an anticipated 20-year mission life.
SKYM-1 is the first satellite built by Orbital ATK for DIRECTV. The company is currently producing the following satellites that will be delivered and launched for customers over the next several years: Thaicom-8, Al Yah 3, HYLAS 4 and SES-16/GovSat.