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AMOS-3 Communications Satellite Launched

Fiel image of a Zenit launch.
by Staff Writers
Tel Aviv, Israel (SPX) Apr 29, 2008
Spacecom has announced that its newest satellite, AMOS-3, has been successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site in Kazakhstan. AMOS-3 roared into the atmosphere onboard a Zenit-3SLB launcher this morning at 08.00 Israel local time (05.00 GMT). The launcher's first and second stages have already been successfully separated.

The last stage will be separated a few hours after the launch, and AMOS-3 will unfold its solar panels and main antenna and begin communicating with its ground-control station. Within the following weeks, AMOS-3 will undergo a series of comprehensive in-orbit tests, after which Israel Aerospace Industries will deliver it in its final orbital position to Spacecom.

"The successful launch of AMOS-3 is a significant milestone for Spacecom and for our partners who have contributed to this multi-year effort," said Spacecom President and CEO David Pollack. "The satellite will offer customers extended coverage and services over its target regions and will enhance operations and drive revenue."

AMOS-3 will be co-located at the 4degreesW orbital slot, where it will join AMOS-1 and AMOS-2. This satellite constellation will enable a more powerful communications, broadcast and broadband services for Central Eastern Europe and the Middle East as well as providing a communications bridge between the Middle East and the Eastern U.S.

AMOS-3 will offer additional capacity, expanded coverage areas, and advanced capabilities, such as two wideband Ka-band beams of up to 500 MHz each and 12 Ku band 72 MHz transponders with steerable beams for global coverage. The new satellite's steerable beams will provide global coverage and the flexibility to meet the changing needs of Spacecom customers.

Israel Aerospace Industries, through its MBT Space Division, led the AMOS-3 design and production, which was completed in only two and a half years.

related report
Zenit rocket puts Israeli satellite into orbit
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Apr 29, 2008 - A Ukrainian-Russian carrier rocket has successfully put an Israeli communications satellite into orbit, Russia's Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said on Monday.

The Zenit-3SLB rocket was launched earlier on Monday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan for the first time under the Land Launch program and after a number of delays.

"The separation of the foreign spacecraft from a Russian DM booster occurred successfully and on schedule," a Roscosmos spokesman said. "Control over Amos-3 was passed to the Israeli customer."

All previous launches of this type of Zenit rocket were conducted through the Sea Launch program from the Pacific Ocean.

The $170-mln Israeli satellite is to join the AMOS-2 satellite, replacing AMOS-1. It will increase capacity, expand coverage, and enhance direct cross-Atlantic links connecting the Mideast to Europe and the U.S. East Coast, according to the fleet's operator, Space Communications Ltd.

The Sea Launch and the Land Launch projects are both operated by the Sea Launch consortium, established in 1995. The company is owned by Boeing, Norway's Kvaerner ASA, Ukraine's Yuzhnoye design bureau and the Yuzhmash production association, as well as Russia's RSC-Energia.

Sea Launch has performed a total of 26 commercial launches for a range of companies, including EchoStar, DirecTV, XM Satellite Radio, and PanAmSat.

Source: RIA Novosti

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Israeli communications satellite launched
Moscow (AFP) April 28, 2008
A rocket carrying an Israeli communications satellite was successfully launched Monday from a Russian base in Kazakhstan, television footage showed.

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