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BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan , Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The SIRIUS 4 communications satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin(NYSE: LMT) for SES SIRIUS, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), was successfully launched today from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Republic of Kazakhstan . Liftoff occurred at 4:39 a.m. ( 5:39p.m. EST on Nov. 17 ) aboard a Proton/Breeze M launch vehicle provided byInternational Launch Services (ILS). Initial contact with the satellite wasconfirmed at 3:58 a.m. EST from the Lockheed Martin satellite tracking stationin Uralla, Australia .
Built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS), Newtown, Pa.,SIRIUS 4 marks the 35th A2100 spacecraft designed and built by Lockheed Martin. The space craft will be located at orbital location 5 degrees East andis expected to provide more than 15 years of service.
Based on Lockheed Martin's A2100AX platform, SIRIUS 4 will providedistribution of direct-to-home broadcast and interactive services acrossScandinavia, Europe and Africa . SIRIUS 4 features 46 active Ku-band high-powertransponders in the BSS and FSS frequency band. In addition, it is equippedwith an active Ka-band transponder for interactive applications in the Nordicand Baltic regions. The spacecraft is equipped with a sub-Sahara African beamto complement existing coverage of Africa , which is accomplished using sixadditional active Ku-band FSS transponders. Additionally, there is aninterconnect payload that connects Africa and Europe with a second Ka-bandtransponder.
"SIRIUS 4 is the 16th Lockheed Martin-built A2100 series spacecraftdesigned, built and launched for SES companies," said LMCSS Vice-President andGeneral Manager Marshall Byrd . "This is a testament to the long termcommitment to mission success and the tremendous teamwork of SES and LockheedMartin. Congratulations to all on a great job."
Lockheed Martin is currently building AMC-14 for SES AMERICOM, which isscheduled to be launched in the first quarter of 2008. Lockheed Martinsuccessfully launched ASTRA-1L this year for SES ASTRA.