The Odyssey Launch Platform and the Sea Launch Commander have departed Home Port in Long Beach, Calif., for Sea Launch's first mission of the year. The Sea Launch team is preparing to launch the EchoStar X broadcast satellite on Feb. 8, at the opening of a 49-minute launch window, at 3:35 pm Pacific Time (23:35 GMT).
The Sea Launch vessels are now on their way to the launch site in international waters of the Pacific Ocean, at 154 degrees West Longitude. Upon arrival, the launch team will initiate a 72-hour countdown, ballasting the Launch Platform 65 feet, to launch depth, and performing final tests on the launch system and the spacecraft. A Zenit-3SL vehicle will lift the 4,333 kg (9,532 lb.) spacecraft, to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) on its way to a final orbital position of 110 degrees West Longitude.
Built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, the high-power Ku Band A2100-AX spacecraft is designed with a minimum service life of 15 years on orbit. Optimized with additional bandwidth for direct broadcast applications, EchoStar X is a new-generation satellite that will enable DISH Network to deliver expanded television services and channel offerings to its customers throughout the United States. This is Sea Launch's second mission for EchoStar and its first mission with a Lockheed Martin spacecraft.
Sea Launch Company, LLC, headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., is the world's most reliable commercial launch services provider. With the advantage of a launch site on the Equator, the robust 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 at : www.sea-launch.com