Press Release

Sea Launch Prepares for Liftoff of DIRECTV 7S Satellite on May 4

By SpaceRef Editor
April 30, 2004
Filed under , ,

The Sea Launch team arrived
at the launch site on the equator yesterday in preparation for the launch of
the DIRECTV 7S broadcast satellite for DIRECTV Inc. on Tuesday, May 4, at
5:22am PDT (12:22:00 GMT), at the opening of a two-hour launch window. All
systems are proceeding on schedule.

With launch site operations now underway, the marine crew has ballasted
the Odyssey Launch Platform about 65 feet to ensure stability. The Sea Launch
Commander (Assembly and Command Ship), will be stationed alongside the
Odyssey, throughout the weekend, frequently connected by a link bridge that
enables foot traffic between the two vessels.

The team will initiate a 72-hour launch countdown on Saturday, May 1. On
the day before launch, the platform will be evacuated, with all personnel
safely stationed on the ship, three miles from the platform, throughout launch
operations. The rocket will be rolled out of its environmentally-protected
hangar and automatically erected on the launch pad at L-27 hours.

Sea Launch’s Zenit-3SL vehicle will lift the 5,483 kg (12,063 lb.) DIRECTV
7S satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital
position at 119 degrees West Longitude. DIRECTV 7S, the second spot beam
satellite in the DIRECTV fleet, will use highly focused spot beam technology
to provide DIRECTV with the capacity to deliver local channels to 42
additional markets, expanding local channel coverage to a total of 106
markets. The satellite is also capable of operating from 101 degrees West
Longitude, the primary orbital slot for DIRECTV. Built by Space Systems/Loral
(SS/L) at their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, Calif.,
the 1300-series spacecraft is one of several high capacity direct-to-home
(DTH) broadcast satellites SS/L has produced for DIRECTV, the leading U.S.
digital television provider.

Sea Launch will carry a live satellite feed and streaming video of the
entire mission, beginning at 5:00 am PDT (12:00:00 GMT). To downlink the
broadcast, transponder coordinates are posted at:
A simultaneous webcast will be posted at:

Sea Launch Company, LLC, headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., and marketed
through Boeing Launch Services ( ), 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, visit the Sea Launch website

SpaceRef staff editor.