Sea Launch Company today successfully delivered the EchoStar X communications satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). Early data indicate the spacecraft is in excellent condition.
A Zenit-3SL vehicle lifted off at 3:35pm PT (23:35 GMT), from the Odyssey Launch Platform, positioned at 154 degrees West Longitude. All systems performed nominally throughout the flight. The Block DM-SL upper stage inserted the 4,333 kg (9,553 lb.) EchoStar X satellite to GTO, on its way to a final orbital position of 110 degrees West Longitude. A ground station in Uralla, Australia, acquired the first signal from the satellite, as planned.
The EchoStar X satellite was built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems in Pennsylvania and then assembled in Sunnyvale, California. The high-power Ku band A2100-AX spacecraft is designed to deliver direct-to-home broadcast services to DISH Network customers throughout the United States. This direct broadcast system is optimized to provide additional bandwidth and, used in conjunction with other EchoStar satellites, EchoStar X will enable the DISH Network to expand its customer services and channel offerings.
Following acquisition of the spacecraft's signal, Jim Maser, president and general manager of Sea Launch, congratulated EchoStar and Lockheed Martin. "This is our second mission with EchoStar and we're very happy to have achieved another mission success for DISH Network with EchoStar X. We want to congratulate EchoStar in their 25 th Anniversary Year and their 10 th year of DISH Network, providing outstanding satellite TV service to households across the United States. We're proud to be a part of these achievements and we look forward to future opportunities to contribute to your success."
"Congratulations also to Lockheed Martin and welcome to the Sea Launch family. This is the first of what we hope will be many launches with a Lockheed Martin spacecraft. I also want to thank the entire Sea Launch team for successfully executing another Sea Launch mission for yet another new spacecraft."
"We are pleased with the success of the launch mission and want to thank Sea Launch and Lockheed Martin for their efforts for launching our satellite," said Rohan Zaveri, vice president of Space Programs for EchoStar. "We look forward to testing and use of the satellite within the next few months."
EchoStar X now joins EchoStar's current fleet of nine satellites that provide DISH Network customers with hundreds of all-digital television channels, including interactive TV services, sports programming, high definition television and international programming. EchoStar Communications Corporation, based in Englewood, Colorado, serves more than 12 million satellite TV customers through its DISH Network, the fastest growing U.S. provider of advanced digital television services in the past five years.