United States: Space Business Review - November 2012

SES and ESA to Collaborate on Electra

On November 30, SES S.A. (SES) announced that it will be working with the European Space Agency (ESA) on the Electra program, a public-private partnership dedicated to the development of a European all-electric propulsion small/medium-sized satellite platform. SES, which will lead the program, and particularly the satellite design definition phase, has selected OHB-System AG to serve as its prime contractor.

MDA Closes Space Systems/Loral Acquisition

On November 2, MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) announced that it has completed the acquisition of Space Systems/Loral, Inc., which was a wholly owned subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications Inc. (Loral). Upon closing, Loral received approximately $968m in cash and a bank-guaranteed 3-year promissory note in the principal amount of $101m. Bank of America Merrill Lynch served as lead financial adviser to MDA for the acquisition.

Ex-Im Bank Approves $461m ABS Financing

On November 19, the Export-Import Ban of the United States authorized two direct loans totalling $461m for the export of three satellites to Asia Broadcast Satellite Holdings Ltd. of Hong Kong. Specifically, one of the loans will provide $171.3m for the manufacturing by Space Systems/Loral, Inc. and the insuring of the ABS-2 satellite while the other loan will provide $289.7m for the manufacturing by Boeing Satellite Systems International, Inc., the launching by Space Exploration Technologies Corporation and the insuring of two additional satellites.

Iridium and NAV CANADA Joint Venture

On November 19, Iridium Communications Inc. (Iridium) and NAV CANADA announced an agreement to establish Aireon LLC (Aireon), a joint venture that will make it possible for air traffic management agencies to track continuously aircraft anywhere on earth. By providing greater radar visibility through receivers installed on Iridium's NEXT satellite constellation, Aireon will enable fuel savings, reduce carbon emissions and promote flight safety. NAV CANADA will invest $150m in Aireon, comprising five installments through 2017, for a 51% stake in the joint venture.

November Launch Services

November 10Arianespace S.A. successfully launched the EUTELSAT 21B and Star One C3 satellites for Eutelsat Communications S.A. and Star One S.A. respectively on an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana. EUTELSAT 21B, which was manufactured by Thales Alenia Space,carries 40 Ku-band transponders and will provide increased capacity for data, professional video and government services to customers in Europe, North Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. Star One C3,manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporation, carries 28 C- and 16 Ku-band transponders and will provide TV, data and voice transmission services to users throughout South America.

November 21ILS International Launch Services Inc. successfully launched the EchoStar XVI satellite for EchoStar Corporation on an ILS Proton Breeze M launch vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Manufactured by Space Systems/Loral, Inc. based on its SS/L 1300 platform and fully leased to DISH Network L.L.C., EchoStar XVI will provide DTH services in the United States from the61.5°W orbital location.

November 27China Great Wall Industry

Corporation successfully launched the Chinasat 12/SupremeSAT 1 satellite, jointly owned by China Satellite Communications Co. Ltd. and SupremeSAT (Pvt) Ltd., on a Long March 3B launch vehicle. Manufactured by Thales Alenia Space, Chinasat 12/SupremeSat 1 carries 23 Ku and 24 C band transponders and will provide broadband and telecommunications services from China's 81.5°E orbital slot. SupremeSAT 1 is the first satellite payload owned by SupremeSAT (Pvt) Ltd., Sri Lanka's first satellite operator.

November Launch Services Orders

On November 26, EchoStar Corporation (EchoStar) and Arianespace S.A. announced an agreement for the launch of multiple EchoStar satellites over a multi-year period from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana. The agreement is designed to provide EchoStar with launch capacity and flexibility for its expanding satellite program.

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