Bird Is the Word for Loral, DirecTV

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Loral Space & Communications’ Space Systems/Loral unit received authorization to design and build two satellites for DirecTV Inc.

"DirecTV 8" and "DirecTV 9S" should bring the company $220 million, Loral said in a release.

DirecTV 8, to be delivered in the late first quarter of 2005, will provide national coverage from the 101 degrees west longitude orbital slot, DirecTV’s primary orbital slot.

The satellite will also be able to operate from DirecTV’s orbital slots at 110 and 119 degrees west. The bird will carry 16 high-power transponders for high-quality national digital-video services.

DirecTV 9S, scheduled for delivery in the late second quarter of 2005, is designed to operate from orbital locations at 101 degrees or 119 degrees west longitude.

As a backup for "DirecTV 4S" and "DirecTV 7S," it will be capable of providing up to 54 transponders for high-quality local and national digital-video service broadcast into 27 beams. In an alternate configuration, the satellite will be capable of providing up to 44 transponders broadcast into 30 beams.

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