HUGHES SPACE AND COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY
Communications and Customer Relations
P.O. Box 92919 (S10/S323)
Los Angeles, CA 90009
Media Relations (310) 364-6363
Investor Relations (310) 662-9688
Like Telenor's Thor I and II spacecraft, the satellite is an HS 376 model built by Hughes Space and Communications Company in El Segundo, Calif. Launch time aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket is scheduled between 6:33 and 6:54 p.m. EDT, with a second opportunity between 8:35 and 9:20 p.m. EDT (3:33 p.m. PDT/22:33 GMT), from Cape Canaveral Air Station.
Thor III will be collocated with the other Thor satellites at Telenor's Nordic Hot-Bird position at 1 degree West longitude, serving the Nordic countries and central and eastern Europe. Thor III has the capacity to provide more than 70 channels of television programming, plus radio and other telecommunications services as required. Thor III is a high-power version of the HS 376, operating with 14 active 47-watt transponders in Ku-band, and using gallium arsenide solar cells to generate 1400 watts of spacecraft power. Service life is a minimum of 11.5 years.
Not only did Hughes build the spacecraft, it also arranged for launch services, upgraded the satellite control facilities in Norway, and trained Telenor's controllers. This is the 43rd satellite delivery-on-orbit for Hughes. Thor II, a similar HS 376HP model, was delivered in orbit one year ago. Hughes also built Telenor's first satellite, Thor I, which was purchased in orbit in 1992 from British Sky Broadcasting.
The reliable and versatile HS 376 model is one of the world's most purchased commercial communications satellites. Thor III will be the 51st HS 376 model to be launched. The ever-dependable HS 376 model has never had an in-orbit failure.
HSC is the world's largest manufacturer of commercial communications satellites, having built nearly 40 percent of those in operation today. It also is a major supplier of spacecraft for communications and space exploration to the U.S. government, and has built weather satellites for the United States and Japan. HSC is a unit of Hughes Electronics Corporation. The earnings of Hughes Electronics are used to calculate the earnings per share attributable to GMH (NYSE symbol) common stock.
TV Editors: Live coverage of the launch will be carried on Galaxy VI, transponder 24, in C-band, between 6 and 11 p.m. EDT.