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Sea Launch Countdown Underway For The Galaxy 19 Mission

The Galaxy 19 satellite will provide Intelsat customers valuable 50-state coverage, in addition to reaching the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico.
by Staff Writers
Long Beach CA (SPX) Sep 24, 2008
The Sea Launch team has initiated a 72-hour countdown at the equatorial launch site, in preparation for the launch of Intelsat's Galaxy 19 satellite on September 24. Liftoff is planned at 2:28am PDT (9:28 GMT), at the opening of a two-hour launch window.

The team arrived at the launch site, at 154 degrees West Longitude, on September 20 and began ballasting operations to bring the platform to launch depth. A final series of tests on the launch system and the spacecraft are now underway.

Prior to fueling operations, the platform will be evacuated, with all personnel safely positioned on the ship, now in launch position about four miles from the platform.

An hour after liftoff, the Zenit-3SL vehicle will insert the 4,690 kg (10,340 lb) Galaxy 19 satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital location of 97 degrees West Longitude.

Built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), the 1300-series hybrid spacecraft carries a total of 52 physical transponders. The Galaxy 19 satellite will provide Intelsat customers valuable 50-state coverage, in addition to reaching the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico.

related report
Sea Launch Signs Launch Agreement with O3b Networks
Sea Launch Company has signed a launch services agreement with O3b Networks Limited for up to two launches in support of their Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) telecommunications satellite constellation, with the first launch set for late 2010.

Built by Thales Alenia Space, the O3b Networks satellites will be deployed by Sea Launch's Zenit-3SL system in groups of eight per launch, to an equatorial injection orbit of 7,825 kilometers above the Earth.

The satellites, each weighing approximately 700 kg (1,540 lb.), are designed to provide high-speed, ultra-low-latency Internet Protocol (IP) connectivity between emerging and developed markets worldwide.

O3b Networks' new global communications backbone will fundamentally change the way IP, 3G Cellular and WiMAX networks interconnect. This will reduce the costs of backhaul for Mobile Operators and Internet Service Providers, enabling them to provide more cost-effective services in underserved and emerging markets.

Sea Launch is developing a new multi-spacecraft dispenser for these missions, which will accommodate O3b Networks' specific orbital insertion requirements. Upon successful sequential deployment, the satellites are expected to have an on-orbit maneuvering lifetime of ten years.

"We selected Sea Launch because of its knowledge, expertise and successful track record of moving payloads into orbit," said Greg Wyler, O3b Networks Founder and CEO.

"With the placement of our first eight satellites, we will provide emerging-market network operators with a low-cost, high-speed alternative to connect their 3G, WiMAX and fixed-line networks to the rest of the world. This will allow consumers and businesses in emerging markets to benefit from high-speed Internet connectivity for educational, medical and commercial applications."

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to launch these innovative spacecraft for O3b Networks and to have a significant role in this dynamic new communications system," said Kjell Karlsen, President and General Manager of Sea Launch.

"We are grateful for O3b Networks' confidence in our reliable launch system and the team behind it. We are proud of our ability to not only launch satellites, but to help launch O3b Networks' new communications system, which will bridge the digital divide substantially."

Related Links
live coverage of the Galaxy 19
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Sea Launch Delivers Echostar 11 To Orbit
Long Beach, CA (SPX) Jul 17, 2008
Sea Launch Company has successfully launched the EchoStar XI broadcast satellite from its ocean-based platform on the Equator, marking its fourth successful mission of 2008 and its third mission for DISH Network.

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