The Odyssey Launch Platform and the Sea Launch Commander have embarked on their transit to the Equator for the launch of the Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 satellite for PanAmSat Corporation and JSAT Corporation. Liftoff is scheduled for September 30, during a 39-minute launch window that opens at 9:03 pm PDT (4:03:00 GMT, October 1).
The Sea Launch vessels are sailing from Sea Launch Home Port, in the Port of Long Beach, Calif., to the launch site on the Equator at 154° West Longitude. Upon arrival, the launch team will initiate a 72-hour countdown, ballasting the Launch Platform to launch depth and performing final tests on the rocket and spacecraft. The three-stage Zenit-3SL rocket will lift the 4090 kg (9,081 lb) Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit. This is the third mission Sea Launch is executing for PanAmSat, having previously launched PAS-9 in July 2000 and Galaxy IIIC in June 2002.
The Boeing-built 601 HP spacecraft is designed to offer a variety of digital video, Internet and data services to North America, Central America, Alaska and Hawaii. The spacecraft's Ku-band payload, designated Horizons-1, supports the Horizons joint venture of PanAmSat and JSAT. This venture provides expanded Ku-band services in North America and extended services to Japan and Asia via a Hawaii-based relay station. The C-band portion is known as Galaxy XIII and will be operated separately as part of PanAmSat's Galaxy cable neighborhood, which serves the U.S. cable industry.
Sea Launch Company, LLC, headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., is a world leader in providing heavy-lift commercial launch services. This multinational partnership offers the most direct and cost-effective route to geostationary orbit. With the advantage of a launch site on the Equator, the reliable Zenit-3SL rocket can lift a heavier spacecraft mass or provide longer life on orbit, offering best value plus schedule assurance. Sea Launch has a current backlog of 15 firm launch contracts. For additional information and live coverage of this mission, visit the Sea Launch website.