Thaicom-8 satellite under construction with Orbital ATK.

Thaicom-8 satellite under construction with Orbital ATK

The Thaicom-8 satellite was under construction with Orbital ATK, now part of Northrop Grumman. The Thaicom-8 satellite is operated by Thaicom from Thailand.

Thaicom satellite operator (formerly Shin Satellite) is the Thailand based company that owns and operates the Thaicom satellite fleet and other telecommunication businesses in Thailand and throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The satellite projects were named Thaicom by the King of Thailand, His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej, as a symbol of the linkage between Thailand and modern communications technology.

Thaicom currently operates 4 satellites (Thaicom-4, Thaicom-6, Thiacom-7 and Thaicom-8), while 4 satellites (Thaicom-1, Thaicom-2, Thaicom-3 and Thaicom-5) were EOL and have been de-orbited.

Orbital ATK Inc. was an American company specialized in the design, manufacture and launch of small- and medium- class space and rocket systems for commercial, military and other government customers. It was headquartered in Dullus, USA.

On September 18th 2017 global aerospace and defense technology company Northrop Grumman acquired Orbital ATK Inc. for approximately 9.2 billion USD. The deal was finalized mid 2018. Northrop Grumman absorbed Orbital ATK Inc. and created a new, fourth business division; Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (NGIS). In January 2020, NGIS was split, with most of the sector merging with other Northrop Grumman businesses into a new Space Systems sector.

Orbital’s primary products were satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles; and human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions. Orbital also provided satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to government agencies and laboratories.

On April 29th, 2014, Orbital Sciences announced that it would merge with Alliant Techsystems to create a new company called Orbital ATK, Inc. The merger was completed on February 9th, 2015 and Orbital Sciences ceased to exist as an independent entity.

Orbital Sciences was best known for launching the Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). ATK was best known for creating solid rocket boosters for the space shuttles. Since the February 2015 merger, Orbital ATK works on flight systems, defense- and satellite systems. The 1.9 billion USD deal with the space agency requires the company to fly eight unmanned cargo missions to the ISS using its Antares rocket and the Cygnus capsule.

Orbital Sciences had a setback when one of its spacecraft exploded just after the launch on Oct. 28th, 2014, likely due to suspect Russian engines in Orbital’s Antares rocket. The flights resumed on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket in December 2015. A March 2016 cargo delivery marked the final launch on a ULA rocket.

Orbital ATK was one of two private companies that hold  a contract with NASA to fly unmanned cargo missions to the International Space Station.