Intelsat-25 (IS-25, ProtoStar-1, ChinaSat-8, ZX-8) at 98.5° East
|Space Systems/Loral (SS/L)
China Telecommunications Broadcast Satellite Corporation (ChinaSat) ordered a new satellite with USA-based Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications Inc, for the ChinaSat-8 (ZX-8, Zhongxing-8), a high-powered satellite that would provide video, data, and digital voice communications for China.
SS/L was responsible for the design and construction, launch and delivery into orbit on a Long March 3B (CZ-3B) rocket, operated by CGWIC in mid-1999. However, the export regulations delayed the launch. Eventually the satellite might be launched on a non-Chinese launch vehicle to avoid the export regulations or the satellite had to be sold.
In February 2005, Loral settled with ChinaSat had the right to sell the SS/L built satellite to a third party if the required export licenses could not be obtained in time. Also, SS/L had no obligation to deliver the ChinaSat-8 satellite until all required export licenses are received.
In 2006 start-up ProtoStar satellite company purchased the completed but un-launched satellite with SS/L, to tailor the satellite’s components for the proposed footprint over Asia. ProtoStar expected to complete construction and launch the satellite, renamed ProtoStar-1, in early 2008. ProtoStar-1 carried 16 Ku-band channels at 125W per channel, and 36 C-band channels at 37W each. ProtoStar-1 was a high-powered version of SS/L’s three-axis, body-stabilized SSL-1300 platform.
ProtoStar-1 satellite was successfully launched in a dual launch with BADR-6 for satellite operator Arabsat, on July 7th, 2008 on an Ariane 5ECA rocket booster operated by launch operator Arianespace from the Kourou Space Port in French Guyana.
In 2009 ProtoStar filed for backruptcy and both satellites were sold in an auction. In October 2009 the ProtoStar-1 satellite was sold to satellite operator Intelsat and renamed Intelsat-25. The ProtoStar-2 satellite was sold to satellite operator SES World Skies (SES) from Luxembourg and renamed SES-7.