Sea Launch Company, marking its tenth successful mission, deployed the Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 communications satellite into orbit tonight for PanAmSat Corporation, of Wilton, Conn., and JSAT Corporation, of Tokyo, Japan. All systems aboard the Boeing 601 HP spacecraft are sending healthy data back to ground controllers.
The Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket lifted off at 9:03 pm PDT (4:03 GMT, October 1) from the Odyssey Launch Platform, positioned at 154° West Longitude, on the Equator. All systems performed nominally throughout the flight. The Block DM-SL upper stage inserted the 4,090 kg (9,081 lb) Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 satellite into a high perigee geosynchronous transfer orbit on time and on target. As planned, a ground station in Fucino, Italy, picked up the spacecraft's first signal, shortly after spacecraft separation. The spacecraft's final orbital position will be 127° West Longitude.
Upon completion of the mission, Jim Maser, president and general manager of Sea Launch, said, "This 10th successful launch is a major milestone for Sea Launch. We can only go forward from here. In fact, we are already preparing for our next mission in November. Our success is the result of the tenacious spirit and focus of everyone on the Sea Launch team and they deserve recognition for their dedication to the job of meeting our customers' needs".
"Of course, I also want to congratulate PanAmSat Corporation, JSAT Corporation and Boeing Satellite Systems for this great accomplishment. At Sea Launch, our customers are our partners in every mission. Without them, without their confidence in our system and our team, we would never get off the pad. This is our third mission with PanAmSat, and we look forward to growing this valued relationship."
The new Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 satellite will bring a variety of digital video, Internet and data services to North America, Central America, Alaska and Hawaii. The Boeing-built 601 HP spacecraft carries 48 active transponders, 24 in Ku-band and 24 in C-band. Horizons-1 is jointly owned by PanAmSat and JSAT, and supports their Horizons venture, providing expanded Ku-band services in North America and extended services to Japan and Asia via a Hawaii-based relay station. The C-band payload, Galaxy XIII, which will be operated independently by PanAmSat, will offer the first high-definition neighborhood in the U.S. cable arc.
Sea Launch Company, LLC, headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., is a world leader in providing heavy-lift commercial launch services. This international 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 14 firm launch contracts. For additional information and images of this successfully completed mission, visit the Sea Launch website.