The Sea Launch team has initiated a 72-hour countdown in preparation for the launch of the Galaxy 16 communications satellite, scheduled for Saturday, June 17, at the opening of a two-hour launch window, at 12:50 am Pacific Daylight Time (07:50 GMT).
With launch site operations underway at 154 degrees West Longitude on the Equator, the Odyssey Launch Platform is ballasted to launch depth, stationed alongside the Sea Launch Commander (Assembly and Command Ship). A Zenit-3SL rocket will be rolled out of its environmentally protected hangar and automatically erected onto the launch pad. The Sea Launch team will be performing final tests on the launch system and the spacecraft, leading up to the terminal count for liftoff.
The platform will be evacuated, with all personnel positioned on the ship, three miles uprange from the platform, during final preparations for liftoff. On launch day, the rocket 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. Sea Launch has successfully launched three satellites for PanAmSat, including Galaxy 13/Horizons-1 in 2003, Galaxy 3C in 2002 and PAS-9 in 2000. This is Sea Launch's sixth mission with a spacecraft built by Space Systems/Loral.
Sea Launch will carry a live satellite feed and streaming video of the Galaxy 16 mission, beginning at 12:35 am PDT (07:35 GMT). Transponder coordinates for downlinking this feed are posted at: www.boeing.com/nosearch/sealaunch/broadcast.html. A simultaneous webcast may be viewed at: www.sea-launch.com/current_index_webcast.html
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