Arianespace secure deal to launch Hughes communications satellite

Arianespace will shuttle a communications satellite for broadband satellite equipment provider Hughes Network Systems into space from its launch pad in French Guiana, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the launch from Arianespace's hub in the French South American department was projected for August 2007.

Hughes' Spaceway 3 satellite will join the company's broadband satellite network that will provide multimedia services throughout North America, the report said.

The report said the  satellite will be the world's first to switch and route broadband traffic on board, 'eliminating the requirement for traffic to be routed through a central hub Earth station,' the US -based Hughes said in a statement.

The satellite was built by Boeing Satellites Systems, and it will weigh about 6,000 kilograms at liftoff, the report said.

Arianespace, the commercial arm of the 13-country European Space Agency, has shuttled 242 satellites into orbit since the space consortium was created in 1980.