Headlines > News > Sea Launch Prepares to Launch DIRECTV 11 on March 17

Sea Launch Prepares to Launch DIRECTV 11 on March 17

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:56 pm
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Long Beach, Calif., (Sea Launch) – The Sea Launch team has arrived at the launch site on the equator and will initiate a 72-hour countdown today, in preparation for the launch of the DIRECTV 11 broadcast satellite on Monday, March 17. Liftoff is planned at 3:49 pm PDT (22:39 GMT), at the opening of a 58-minute launch window. All systems are proceeding on schedule.

With operations at the launch site now underway, the marine crew has ballasted the Odyssey Launch Platform to its launch depth for stability. The Sea Launch Commander will be stationed near the Odyssey throughout the weekend, occasionally connected by a link bridge that enables foot traffic between the two vessels.

On the day before launch, the rocket will be rolled out of its environmentally-protected hangar on the platform and automatically erected on the launch pad. Before fueling begins, all personnel will evacuate the platform and transfer to the ship, which will be stationed about four miles uprange, throughout launch operations. At launch, the Zenit-3SL vehicle will lift the 5,923 kg (13,058 lb) DIRECTV 11 satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital location of 99.2 degrees West Longitude.

DIRECTV 11 is one of three recent Boeing 702-model spacecraft built for DIRECTV and is among the largest and most powerful Ka-band satellites built to date. The on-board technology of this direct-to-home satellite will enable DIRECTV to continue to expand its massive capacity expansion and further strengthen its position as the leading provider of High Definition programming in the United States. This is the fourth satellite Sea Launch will deploy for DIRECTV. Previous satellites include Spaceway 1 (April 26, 2005), DIRECTV 7S (May 4, 2004) and DIRECTV 1R (October 9, 1999).

Sea Launch will provide live coverage of the DIRECTV 11 mission via satellite and on the company website, beginning at 3:30 pm PDT (22:30 GMT) on March 17. The webcast will be posted at: www.sea-launch.com/current_index_webcast.html. Transponder coordinates for the satellite feed are posted at: www.boeing.com/nosearch/sealaunch/broadcast.html.

About Sea Launch Company
Sea Launch Company, LLC, headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., offers the most direct and cost-effective route to geostationary orbit for commercial communications satellites. With the advantage of a launch site on the Equator, the robust Zenit-3SL rocket can lift a heavier mass or provide longer life on orbit, offering best value plus optimized spacecraft orbital delivery.

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