Boeing [NYSE: BA] successfully launched a Hughes-built Russian television satellite from here today at 6:54 p.m. EST.
The three-stage Boeing Delta II rocket placed the Hughes HS 376 HP satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit approximately 75 minutes after liftoff. Using on-board propellant, the satellite will place itself into a geostationary orbit at 36 degrees East longitude, where it will provide direct-to-home, digital television services for Western Russia.
The satellite, BONUM-1, is the first western-built and launched satellite purchased for use in Russia. The satellite will provide direct-to-home television services for NTV-Plus, the largest Russian DTH network.
"Hughes and Delta have shared an extremely successful relationship for more than 35 years and 46 launches," said Jay Witzling, vice president of Delta II and Titan programs. "The vast majority of satellites we have launched for Hughes have supported communications systems around the world, like Intelsat, Palapa, Thor, and now BONUM."
More than half of the Delta launches in 1999 will support international commercial communications systems. The next Delta II launch scheduled from Cape Canaveral will carry the Mars Orbiter probe for NASA. That launch is expected to take place on Dec. 10 at 1:57 p.m. EST.