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Orion 3

Orion 3 [Boeing BSS]

Hughes Space and Communications International, Inc., (HSCI) signed a contract Jan. 15, 1997, to provide Orion 3, a Hughes HS-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-8930 rocket. The launch on 4 May 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.

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.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Communication
Operator: Orion Network Systems
Contractors: Hughes
Equipment: 10 C-band transponders, 33 Ku-band transponders
Configuration: HS-601HP
Propulsion: R-4D, 4 × XIPS-13 ion engines
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 15 years
Mass: 4300 kg
Orbit: GEO (planned); 421 km × 1317 km, 29.06 (achieved)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Orion 3 1999-024A 05.05.1999 CC SLC-17B f Delta-8930


Further Orion missions:

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