Hughes Network Systems will launch a satellite designed to beam broadband communications to Earth in early 2007.
Sea Launch says it received the contract to send the SPACEWAY 3 into geosynchronous orbit from the California-based seagoing launch platform Odyssey, where it will serve the North America market.
The launch will take place from a position in the ocean on the Equator, which will give the 6,000-pound bird a longer operational life than it would have if it was launched from land.
The SPACEWAY family of satellites is the first designed to switch and route Ka-band broadband traffic on board, which eliminates the need for the data to be transmitted to a central hub on the ground.
"With the launch of SPACEWAY 3, Hughes will enter a new era as a satellite system operator in addition to being a broadband services provider and satellite terminal manufacturer," Hughes Network CEO Pradman Kaul said in a news release.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International
Explore further: The latest observations of interstellar particles