Press Release

Sea Launch Begins Countdown for Intelsat Americas-8 Launch

By SpaceRef Editor
June 20, 2005
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Sea Launch Begins Countdown for Intelsat Americas-8 Launch
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The Sea Launch team has initiated a 72-hour countdown in preparation for the launch of the Intelsat Americas(TM)-8 (IA-8) satellite on Thursday, June 23, at the opening of a two- hour launch window at 5:58:00 am PDT (12:58:00 GMT). All systems are proceeding on schedule.

With launch site operations now underway at 154 degrees West Longitude on the Equator, the Odyssey Launch Platform is ballasted to its launch depth and stationed alongside the Sea Launch Commander (Assembly and Command Ship), periodically connected by a link-bridge that enables foot traffic between the two vessels.

A Zenit-3SL rocket will be rolled out of its environmentally protected hangar and automatically erected on the launch pad at L-27 hours. The platform will be evacuated, with all personnel safely stationed on the ship, three miles uprange from the platform, for the remainder of launch operations. On launch day, the rocket will lift the 5,500 kg (12,125 lbs.) IA-8 satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO), on its way to a final orbital position of 89 degrees West Longitude.

This will be Sea Launch’s fifth launch for Loral and the first for Intelsat. The Space Systems/Loral-built IA-8 satellite is designed to provide expanded coverage over the Americas, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Alaska during its 15-year service life. IA-8 will host voice, video and data transmission and distribution services. It carries 28 C-band and 36 Ku-band transponders, as well as 24 Ka-band spot beams. Built on Space System/Loral’s highly reliable 1300 bus, the spacecraft is one of the most powerful satellites ever built, with total end-of-life power of 16 Kw. IA-8 will be the fifth Intelsat satellite in the North American arc and the 28th satellite in Intelsat’s global fleet.

Sea Launch will carry a live satellite feed and streaming video of the entire mission, beginning at 5:30 am PDT (12:30 GMT). Transponder coordinates for downlink will be posted at: www.boeing.com/nosearch/sealaunch/broadcast.html. A simultaneous webcast may be accessed at: www.sea-launch.com/current_index_webcast.html

Sea Launch Company, LLC, headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., and marketed through Boeing Launch Services ( www.boeing.com/launch ), is the world’s most reliable commercial launch services provider. With the advantage of a launch site on the Equator, the proven Zenit-3SL rocket can lift a heavier spacecraft mass or provide longer life on orbit, yielding best value plus schedule assurance. Sea Launch offers the most direct and cost-effective route to geostationary orbit. For additional information, please visit the Sea Launch website at: www.sea-launch.com

SpaceRef staff editor.