Isat 903, the latest in a line of advanced communications satellites built for Intelsat by Space Systems/ Loral (SS/L), a subsidiary of Loral Space and Communications, was successfully launched on March 30, 2002. The satellite was sent into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, aboard an ILS Proton K/DM3 launch vehicle.
Intelsat 903 is the fourth satellite launched in the IX series, and the 28th satellite SS/L has delivered to the international satellite operator since 1980. Two more satellites, Intelsat 905 and Intelsat 906, are scheduled for launch later this year, with the final satellite in the series, Intelsat 907, set to launch early in 2003.
With the delivery of all seven spacecrafts in the Intelsat IX series, SS/L will have built 31 spacecrafts for Intelsat, nearly half of its historical fleet and significantly more than any other manufacturers.
Intelsat 903 will provide fixed satellite services to North and South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East from its 325.5° East longitude orbital position. Each of the new Intelsat IX series satellites carries 76 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders (in 36 MHz equivalents), and solar arrays that generate more than 8.6 kW of power (beginning of life). Each spacecraft in the Intelsat IX series carries a much greater percentage of high power amplifiers and generates more solar array power than its predecessors with only a small increase in dry mass.
The increased power and efficiency of the Intelsat IX spacecraft will provide better coverage and stronger signals to help satisfy the burgeoning global appetite for digital services, smaller earth stations and specialized communication services. Many of the IX series satellites will serve as replacements for the Intelsat VI satellites now in orbit, and will provide enhanced voice, video and data transmission services across the globe.