DISH Network EchoStar XI Satellite Delivered In Orbit By Sea Launch » read source
Sea Launch Company has successfully launched the EchoStar XI broadcast satellite from its ocean-based platform on the Equator, marking its fourth successful mission of 2008 and its third mission for DISH Network. Sea Launch receives customer satellites at Home Port in Long Beach, Calif. Following completion of fueling and encapsulation in the state-of-the-art Payload Processing Facility, the payload unit is transferred to the Assembly and Command Ship for integration with the launch vehicle. The horizontally integrated rocket is then transferred to the Launch Platform, where it is stored in an environmentally controlled hangar during transit to the launch site at the Equator.
A Zenit-3SL rocket lifted off at 10:21pm PDT on July 15 (5:21 GMT, July 16) from the Odyssey Launch Platform, positioned at 154 degrees West Longitude. One hour later, the Block DM-SL upper stage inserted the 5,511 kg (12,150 lb) EchoStar XI satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital position at 110 degrees West Longitude.
"Congratulations to DISH Network, and to Space Systems/Loral for tonight's outstanding success. We're proud of our role in DISH Network's continued success. We thank you for your continued trust and confidence in our system and our team. I also want to thank the Sea Launch team, the Sea Launch partners, and all the suppliers and contractors around the world who support us," commented Kjell Karlsen, president and general manager of Sea Launch.
Operators at the Gnangara ground station in Perth, Australia, acquired the spacecraft's first signals from orbit shortly after spacecraft separation. All systems performed nominally throughout the mission. Built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), the EchoStar XI spacecraft is designed for an orbital service life of 15 years, with 20kW of power to support the expansion of DISH Network's capacity and capabilities to customers throughout the United States.
"For the third mission in a row, Sea Launch has successfully launched a satellite for DISH Network, and we are thrilled to add our eleventh high-power satellite to our fleet. We look forward to beginning testing and ultimately enhancing our already extensive, high quality programming lineup," noted Rohan Zaveri, vice president of Space Programs for DISH Network.
At the launch site, the Launch Platform is positioned at 154 degrees West Longitude. With the Platform ballasted to its launch depth, the rocket is rolled out of its environmentally protected hangar and automatically erected on the launch pad at L-27 hours. Propellant chill-down begins at about L-4 hours, with loading at L-2.5 hours. The transporter/erector arm is lowered away from the rocket at L-17 minutes, signaling all parameters are "go" for launch.