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Orion 3

Loral's First Satellite for Asia-Pacific Region

Orion 3 satellite animation (Neg#: 96-17699)

Customer Loral Space & Communications
New York, NY
Spacecraft Hughes 601HP
Launch
   Date
   Vehicle
   Site

May 4, 1999
Delta III
Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Orbital Slot 139 Degrees E Longitude
Contract life 15 years

Hughes Space and Communications International, Inc., (HSCI) signed a contract Jan. 15, 1997, to provide Orion 3, a Hughes 601HP satellite, as well as ground station support and launch services. Loral Space and Communications Ltd. would own the spacecraft.

Orion 3 was to be delivered on-orbit via a Boeing Delta III rocket. The launch on May 4, 1999 was unsuccessful due to underperformance by the rocket booster and the satellite was left in a useless orbit. Hughes was to provide hardware and software to the Loral Skynet satellite control centers in Hawley, Pa. and Three Peaks, Calif.; to the primary telemetry tracking and control station in Kapolei, Hawaii; and to the backup control station near Seoul, South Korea.

Artist rendering of Orion 3 satellite shown stowed and deployed.
Stowed (left); In Orbit (right)

The new satellite, Orion 3, was to expand Loral's fleet and was the company's first satellite to serve the Asia-Pacific region. It would have provided business communications services to users in all major Asia-Pacific markets, including Korea, China, India, Japan, Australia, Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Hawaii.

With 10 kilowatts at begining of life, Orion 3 was one of the most powerful satellites Hughes built, employing such innovations as gallium arsenide solar cells and advanced battery technology. The payload consisted of 10 C-band transponders for broad distribution services, such as television programming, plus 33 Ku-band transponders with three different power levels. These were to be used primarily for private business network applications and direct-to-home video services.

HSCI was the international marketing arm of Hughes Space and Communications Company, the world's largest manufacturer of commercial communications satellites. In October 2000, The Boeing Company acquired three units within Hughes Electronics Corporation: Hughes Space and Communications Company, Hughes Electron Dynamics, and Spectrolab, Inc., in addition to Hughes Electronics' interest in HRL, the company's primary research laboratory. The four are now part of Boeing's newest subsidiary, Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc.

Boeing Satellite Systems is also a major supplier of spacecraft for communications and space exploration to the U.S. government, and builds weather satellites for the United States and Japan.

ORION 3 SPECIFICATIONS

PAYLOAD
C-band 10 active (4 spare)
55 w TWTAs
Ku-band 8 active (3 spare)
50 w TWTAs
8 active (3 spare)
80 w TWTAs
17 active (7 spare)
140 w TWTAs
POWER
Solar
   Beginning of life

   Panels

10 kw

2 wings, each w/4 panels
of dual-junction gallium
arsenide cells
Batteries 29-cell NiH, 350-Ahr
PROPULSION
Liquid apogee motor 110 lbf (490N)
Stationkeeping thrusters
   N-S Primary (xenon ion)
   N-S Backup (bipropellant)
   E-W (bipropellant)
   Aft (bipropellant)

13 cm (0.017 N)
4 x 2 lbf (10 N)
4 x 5 lbf (22 N)
4 x 2 lbf (10 N)
DIMENSIONS
In orbit L, solar arrays: 88 ft (26 m)
W, antennas: 30.6 ft (9.3 m)
Stowed H: 19.1 ft (5.9 m)
W: 8.8 ft x 11.8 ft
(2.7 m x 3.6 m)
Mass
   Launch

9485 lb (4300 kg)
HSC 980035/1000/5-99