Press Release

Injection into orbit of Echostar IX Spacecraft from the sea-based Sea Launch Complex

By SpaceRef Editor
August 8, 2003
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The 3-stage Integrated Launch Vehicle (ILV) Zenit-3SL with
Echostar IX Spacecraft (SC) was launched at 7 hours 31 minutes
Moscow Time (3:31 Greenwich mean time) from the sea-based
Odyssey Launch Platform located in equatorial area of the
Pacific Ocean, 154°W, in the vicinity of Christmas Island.


The launch objective has been met. The Spacecraft of 4.74
t by mass has been delivered to target orbit which is geosynchronous
transfer orbit with the design parameters: the perigee altitude
is 760 km, the apogee altitude is 35786 km, inclination
is 0°.


SC injection into this orbit from the intermediate orbit
generated by two-stage launch vehicle (LV) Zenit-2S was
carried out by space Upper Stage (US) DM-SL by the flight
profile with two main engine firings. The first firing carried
out some 10 seconds after the separation of Orbital Module
(OM) containing US and SC, from the LV, provided OM reboost
to reference near-circular earth orbit with the following
design parameters: perigee altitude of 180 km, apogee altitude
of 911 km, inclination of 0°. The second firing carried
out 35.5 minutes after completion of the first one provided
SC delivery to target geotransfer orbit.


The time of the Block DM-SL/SC flight from the launch till
their separation was about 1 hour 5 minutes.


SC transfer from the target orbit to a subsatellite operating
point at geosynchronous orbit of 121°W was conducted
autonomously.


Echostar IX SC operating as part of Echostar telecommunication
system is designed to broadcast TV programs for the regions
of North and Central America, including Alaska, Hawaii,
Puerto Rico, Mexico, as well as to provide commercial communication.


Spacecraft are launched from the sea-based cosmodrome by
international joint stock company Sea Launch, whose stockholders
involve the US Boeing company, the Russian Rocket and Space
Corporation Energia after S.P. Korolev, Norwegian company
Kvaerner Invest Norge AS and aerospace enterprises of the
Ukraine (Production Association (PA) Yuzhmashzavod and State
Design Office (SDO) Yuzhnoye after M.K. Yangel.


Under the Project, RSC Energia after S.P. Korolev is the
Primary Manufacturer within the whole Rocket Segment. The
Corporation is responsible for outfitting and integration
of the Rocket Segment into the Sea Launch Rocket and Space
Complex and provides within the framework of the cooperation
established among more than 30 Russian and Ukrainian enterprises,
development, manufacture and operation of Block DM-SL as
the 3rd Stage of ILV Zenit-3SL, as well as the Complex of
Automated Systems of Processing and Launch Control, System
of US Flight Control, Measurement Complex, Systems of Filling
with High-Boiling Propellant Components and Gases, US Testing
and Mechanical-Technological Equipment.


Prelaunch processing and launch were commanded from the
Control Center located on Assembly and Command Ship’ Sea
Launch Commander’. An automatic prelaunch processing started
5 hours prior to launch. The last team of the specialists
involved in launch support and the Launch Platform crew
had been evacuated by helicopter to the Assembly and Command
Ship 3 hours before the launch.


ILV prelaunch and launch operations from the Odyssey Platform
were performed in the launch area under the lead of the
Sea Launch Director of Mission D. Dubbs and the Director
of Rocket Segment Operations, Deputy General Designer at
RSC Energia V.G. Aliev.


Analysis of the US/SC flight was performed by RSC Energia’s
specialists involved in the specially established Lead Operational
Control Team working at the Mission Control Center (MCC-M),
the city of Korolev, Moscow Region. The Flight Director
is Pilot-Cosmonaut V.A. Solovyov.


At the control room of MCC-M the prelaunch processing and
launch were witnessed by the President of RSC Energia after
S.P. Korolev, General Designer, RAS academician Yu.P. Semenov,
the managers and specialists of the Corporation, the Russian
subcontracting enterprises.


This launch was the tenth one performed under the Sea Launch
Program. The first launch was on March 27, 1999. The next
launch, the eleventh one, is slated for late September 2003.

SpaceRef staff editor.