[SatNews] “It takes more than a million man hours of dedication and hard work to build a complex satellite such as DIRECTV 14.”
Space Systems/Loral (SSL), a leading provider of commercial satellites, announced that a satellite designed and built for DIRECTV, was launched on Saturday and is successfully performing post-launch maneuvers according to plan. The satellite, DIRECTV 14, deployed its solar arrays on schedule following its launch aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. It began firing its main thruster early this morning in order to start maneuvering into geosynchronous orbit.
“It takes more than a million man hours of dedication and hard work to build a complex satellite such as DIRECTV 14,” said John Celli, president of SSL. “We would like to thank DIRECTV, Arianespace, and the many SSL employees whose dedicated efforts helped achieve the goal of a satellite that will advance the future of Ultra HD.”
DIRECTV 14 is a powerful 20-kilowatt class Ka-band and reverse-band digital broadcast satellite that will be used to provide Ultra HD and other new consumer services. It was designed with a very advanced beam forming network to provide service across the U.S. including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The satellite will be positioned at 99 degrees West longitude.
DIRECTV 14 is SSL’s twelfth 20-kilowatt satellite to be placed into orbit and the sixth SSL-built satellite in DIRECTV’s fleet. It is based on the highly reliable SSL1300 platform, which provides high-power and the flexibility to support a broad range of applications and technology advances. The satellite is designed to provide service for 15 years or more. With this launch, there are 78 SSL-built GEO satellites currently on orbit.