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Zenit Rocket Powers A Successful Sea Launch Campaign

File image.
by Staff Writers
Washington (RIA Novosti) May 22, 2008
A Zenit rocket successfully delivered a U.S. communications satellite into orbit as part of the Sea Launch project, the company said on Wednesday.

The 4.6 ton (10,000 lb) Galaxy 18 satellite was built for Intelsat, Ltd. to enhance the company's ability to provide advanced television, data and other communications services in North America, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico.

"Galaxy 18 will provide our customers valuable 50-state coverage and reach Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico, operating in a powerhouse role, delivering some of the most popular programming to millions of American homes," Intelsat CEO David McGlade was quoted by NASA as saying.

Sea Launch was established in 1995 as a consortium comprising Boeing, Norway's Kvaerner Group, leading Russian spacecraft-maker Energia, and Ukraine's Yuzhnoye design bureau and Yuzhmash production association.

It is the only company to operate launches from a sea platform in the Pacific's equatorial waters, a location that makes it possible to launch heavier payloads than from elsewhere.

The Loral Space and Communications built Galaxy 18 satellite achieved solar array deployment several hours after separation and will begin firing its main thruster tomorrow in order to maneuver into geosynchronous orbit.

"Galaxy 18 is the 42nd Space Systems/Loral satellite to join our fleet. Many of these SS/L satellites have critical roles in our global infrastructure and their reliability continues to enable Intelsat to provide high value services to our customers," commented Thierry Guillemin, Intelsat's Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer.

"We are very pleased with our successful and long-standing relationship with Space Systems/Loral."

Space Systems/Loral has been providing satellites to Intelsat since the early 1980s and has provided more spacecraft for the Intelsat fleet than any other manufacturer.

The Galaxy 18 spacecraft was completed in just 22 months, which was three months ahead of schedule; however launch was delayed as a result of launch vehicle availability.

"Teamwork and open communications are key to the success of our longstanding relationship with Intelsat," said John Celli, president and chief operating officer of Space Systems/Loral.

"As leaders in our respective industries we are always pleased to work together to advance the world's ability to communicate. Galaxy 18 marks another step in our ongoing collaboration."

The satellite will be used for Fixed Satellite Services (FSS) providing advanced cable television, data and telecommunications services to customers throughout North America, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Weighing approximately 4,650 kilograms at launch, Galaxy 18 has a hybrid communications payload with a total of 48 operating transponders, 24 high-power Ku-band and 24 C-band.

Space Systems/Loral will begin maneuvering the spacecraft into its operational slot by managing main satellite thruster firings from its Mission Control Center in Palo Alto, Calif.

Within the next few weeks, following its final placement into geostationary orbit at 123 degrees West longitude and routine in-orbit testing, SS/L will hand control of the satellite over to Intelsat.

The spacecraft has a planned mission life of 15 years, and is designed based on SS/L's 1300 space-proven platform, which provides the flexibility to support a broad range of applications and technology advances.

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Sea Launch Prepares For The Launch Of DirecTV 11
Long Beach CA (SPX) Mar 09, 2008
The Odyssey Launch Platform and the Sea Launch Commander have departed Sea Launch Home Port for the equatorial Pacific, in preparation for the launch of the DirecTV 11 broadcast satellite, planned for Monday, March 17. Liftoff is expected at the opening of a 58-minute launch window, at 3:49 pm Pacific Daylight Time (22:49 GMT).







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