Long Beach, Calif., July 9, 2008 – The Sea Launch vessels have departed Sea Launch Home Port and are en route to the Equator, in preparation for the launch of the EchoStar XI broadcast satellite for DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) on July 15. Liftoff is planned for 10:21pm Pacific Daylight Time (5:21 GMT, July 16), at the opening of a two-hour launch window.
Upon arrival at the launch site, at 154 degrees West Longitude, the Sea Launch team will initiate a 72-hour countdown, during which the Odyssey Launch Platform will ballast to launch depth and erect a Zenit-3SL rocket on the launch pad. After successfully completing a final series of tests, the team will proceed with fueling operations and launch. Prior to fueling, all personnel on the Launch Platform will transfer to the Sea Launch Commander for the duration of the mission. The team monitors both marine and launch operations remotely, from a position at about four miles uprange of the platform.
The Zenit-3SL vehicle will lift the 5,511 kg (12,150 lb) EchoStar XI spacecraft to geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital location of 110 degrees West Longitude. Built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), the powerful 20-kW spacecraft carries a Ku-band payload for direct broadcast television service. EchoStar XI will complement the existing DISH Network fleet and will provide uninterrupted service and additional capacity and capabilities to DISH customers throughout the United States. Designed for a 15-year service life on orbit, EchoStar XI is the 3rd satellite Sea Launch will deliver to orbit for EchoStar and the 8th mission with a spacecraft built by SS/L.
About Sea Launch Company
Sea Launch Company, LLC, headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., offers the most direct and cost-effective route to geostationary orbit for commercial communications satellites. With the advantage of a launch site on the Equator, the robust Zenit-3SL rocket can lift a heavier mass or provide longer life on orbit, offering best value plus optimized spacecraft orbital delivery. Sea Launch also offers launch services for medium weight satellites, Land Launch, which initiates missions from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan. For more information, please visit the Sea Launch website at: www.sea-launch.com