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Sea Launch To Put US Telecom Satellite In Orbit Next Week

The EchoStar XI satellite
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (RIA Novosti) Jul 11, 2008
Sea Launch is preparing for the launch of the EchoStar XI satellite next week, with lift off planned for 5:21 GMT on July 16, the consortium said Thursday.

It said a Zenit-3SL vehicle will lift the 5,511 kg (12,150 lb) spacecraft to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit from the Odyssey Launch Platform, positioned on the Equator in the Pacific Ocean.

The EchoStar XI will expand DISH Network's capacity to its direct broadcast satellite TV customers throughout the United States.

The Sea Launch consortium, established in 1995, is owned by Boeing, Norway's Kvaerner ASA, Ukraine's Yuzhnoye design bureau and Yuzhmash production association, as well as Russia's RSC-Energia.

It is the only company that launches its vehicles from the Equator, which allows rockets to carry heavier payloads than from other latitudes.

Sea Launch has performed a total of 27 commercial launches for a range of companies, including EchoStar, DirecTV, XM Satellite Radio and PanAmSat.

The Zenit-3SLB is a modernized version of the Zenit-3SL, which was the rocket previously in use at Sea Launch's floating platform in the Pacific Ocean.

Source: RIA Novosti

related report
Sea Launch Prepares for the Launch of the EchoStar XI Satellite
The Sea Launch vessels have departed Sea Launch Home Port and are en route to the Equator, in preparation for the launch of the EchoStar XI broadcast satellite for DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) on July 15.

Liftoff is planned for 10:21pm Pacific Daylight Time (5:21 GMT, July 16), at the opening of a two-hour launch window.

Upon arrival at the launch site, at 154 degrees West Longitude, the Sea Launch team will initiate a 72-hour countdown, during which the Odyssey Launch Platform will ballast to launch depth and erect a Zenit-3SL rocket on the launch pad.

After successfully completing a final series of tests, the team will proceed with fueling operations and launch.

Prior to fueling, all personnel on the Launch Platform will transfer to the Sea Launch Commander for the duration of the mission. The team monitors both marine and launch operations remotely, from a position at about four miles uprange of the platform.

The Zenit-3SL vehicle will lift the 5,511 kg (12,150 lb) EchoStar XI spacecraft to geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital location of 110 degrees West Longitude.

Built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), the powerful 20-kW spacecraft carries a Ku-band payload for direct broadcast television service. EchoStar XI will complement the existing DISH Network fleet and will provide uninterrupted service and additional capacity and capabilities to DISH customers throughout the United States.

Designed for a 15-year service life on orbit, EchoStar XI is the 3rd satellite Sea Launch will deliver to orbit for EchoStar and the 8th mission with a spacecraft built by SS/L.

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Inmarsat And ILS Set August 14 For Proton Flight With Inmarsat Satellite
London, UK (SPX) Jul 03, 2008
International Launch Services (ILS) has scheduled its next Proton Breeze M commercial mission for August 14 (August 13 GMT) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, with the launch of the Inmarsat-4 F3 satellite.

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