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EchoStar President Olmstead, 55, Dies

Dean Olmstead, 55, president of EchoStar Satellite Services, has died of cancer at a New Jersey hospital, according to the company.

Olmstead joined EchoStar January 2008 after the satellite services company was spun off from the Dish DBS service. "Dean will be remembered as a true legend in the satellite industry and will remain an eternal inspiration for our employees," said Mike Dugan, CEO and president of EchoStar Corp., in a statement.

Before joining EchoStar, Olmstead was an adviser with Loral Space & Communications. His resume also included stints with DirecTV in Japan, NASA and the State Department. His firsts include installing an all-digital satellite center (in Japan) and developing the first U.S. Ka-band Spot beam satellite at NASA. He was a member of the Space Technology Hall of Fame. Survivors include his wife, Mara.

The family has requested that donations be sent to the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation (Olmstead was a patron of the foundation) or the Society of Satellite Professionals International. A family service will be held in Washington State, with a memorial service in Washington DC to follow. A date has not yet been announced.