The Odyssey Launch Platform and the Sea Launch Commander departed Sea Launch Home Port last week for Sea Launch's second mission of the year. The Sea Launch team is preparing to launch the Spaceway F1 broadcast satellite for DIRECTV, Inc., on April 26, at the opening of a half-hour launch window, at 12:31:30 am PDT ( 07:31:30 GMT).
The Sea Launch vessels are now sailing from Long Beach, Calif., to the launch site at 154 degrees 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 launch system and spacecraft. A Zenit-3SL vehicle will lift the 6,080 kg (13,376 lbs.) Spaceway F1 satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) on its way to a final orbital position at 102.8 degrees West Longitude.
The Boeing 702 model spacecraft, with a design life of 12 years, was manufactured at Boeing's Satellite Development Center in El Segundo, Calif. It includes a flexible payload with a fully steerable downlink antenna that can be reconfigured on orbit to seamlessly address market conditions. It is the most complex commercial satellite system that Boeing has ever built.
Spaceway F1, Sea Launch's third mission for DIRECTV, is one of four Boeing-built Ka-band satellites that DIRECTV has scheduled for launch over the next three years as part of an historic expansion of programming capacity that will enable DIRECTV to deliver more than 1,500 local and national High Definition channels and other advanced programming services to consumers nationwide by 2007.
Sea Launch Company, LLC, headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., and marketed through Boeing Launch Services, is the world's most reliable commercial launch services provider. With the advantage of the only launch site on the Equator, the proven Zenit-3SL rocket can lift a heavier spacecraft mass or provide longer life on orbit, offering best value plus schedule assurance. Sea Launch offers the most direct and cost-effective route to geostationary orbit. For additional information, visit the Sea Launch website.