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Sea Launch Initiates Countdown For Launch Of Galaxy 18

File image of preparations for a previous Sea Launch Galaxy launch.
by Staff Writers
Long Beach CA (SPX) May 21, 2008
The Sea Launch team arrived at the launch site in the Equatorial Pacific over the weekend and initiated a 72-hour countdown, in preparation for the launch of Intelsat"s Galaxy 18 satellite on Wednesday, May 21. Liftoff is planned at 2:43am PDT (9:43 GMT), at the opening of a two-hour launch window.

Upon arrival at the launch site, at 154 degrees West Longitude, the team 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, four miles from the platform. An hour after liftoff, a Zenit-3SL vehicle will insert the 4,642 kg (10,234 lb) Galaxy 18 satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital location of 123 degrees West Longitude.

Built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), the 1300-series hybrid spacecraft, carries 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders, to provide advanced television, data and telecommunications services to Intelsat customers in North America, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. This spacecraft is designed for a 15-year service life on orbit. It is the 6th mission Sea Launch will execute for Intelsat and the 7th mission with a spacecraft built by SS/L.

Sea Launch will provide live coverage of the Galaxy 18 mission via satellite and on its website, beginning at 2:30am PDT (9:30 GMT) on May 21.

Related Links
Live streaming video
Transponder coordinates for the satellite
Sea Launch
Launch Pad at

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Sweden Launches MASER 11 Sounding Rocket
Esrange, Sweden (SPX) May 16, 2008
Today at 04.00 UTC the microgravity rocket MASER 11 was successfully launched Thursday from Swedish Space Corporation's launching facility Esrange Space Center.

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