The Odyssey Launch Platform and the Sea Launch Commander have departed Home Port in Long Beach, Calif., in preparation for Sea Launch's third mission of the year, the launch of PanAmSat's Galaxy 16 communications satellite. The Sea Launch team is working toward liftoff at the opening of a two-hour launch window, at 12:50 am Pacific Daylight Time (07:50 GMT) on June 17.
The Sea Launch vessels are now en route to the launch site at 154 degrees West Longitude, in international waters of the Pacific Ocean, south of Hawaii. 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 4,640 kg (10,229 lb) Loral 1300-series spacecraft, to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) on its way to a final orbital position of 99 degrees West Longitude.
Built by Space Systems/Loral, Galaxy 16 carries 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders, designed to meet the needs of a variety of broadcast customers in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico and Canada. As the replacement for Galaxy 4R, Galaxy 16 will be the newest member of PanAmSat's North American Galaxy fleet, located at 99 degrees West Longitude. It is the fourth spacecraft Sea Launch will orbit for PanAmSat, and the sixth Loral-built spacecraft. While it is designed for a 15-year lifespan, Sea Launch's direct insertion into equatorial orbit is expected to yield additional years of fuel life.
Sea Launch will carry live coverage of the Galaxy 16 mission via satellite and also streaming video on the company website. Specifics about accessing this coverage will be announced when launch operations begin at the launch site.
About Sea Launch
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. Sea Launch is building a legacy, with one successful launch, one satisfied customer, at a time. For additional information and images about this mission, please visit the Sea Launch website at: www.sea-launch.com