Press Release

Sea Launch Sails to Equator to Launch EchoStar IX/Telstar 13 Satellite

By SpaceRef Editor
July 31, 2003
Filed under , ,

The Odyssey Launch Platform and
the Sea Launch Commander have departed Sea Launch Home Port for the launch of
the EchoStar IX/Telstar 13 satellite for EchoStar Communications Corporation
and Loral Skynet. Liftoff is scheduled for August 7, in a two-hour launch
window that will open at 8:31 pm PDT (3:31:00 GMT).

The Sea Launch vessels are sailing from Sea Launch Home Port, in the Port
of Long Beach, Calif., to the launch site on the Equator at 154 degrees West
Longitude. Upon arrival, a 72-hour countdown will begin and the platform will
be ballasted to launch depth. Over the course of the three-day countdown, the
launch team will perform final tests on the rocket and spacecraft, and prepare
for launch operations. The three-stage Zenit-3SL rocket will loft the
4,737 kg (10,443 lb) EchoStar IX/Telstar 13 satellite to a high perigee of
760 km in geosynchronous transfer orbit.

This is the first of several launch contracts Sea Launch will execute for
Space Systems/Loral, the spacecraft manufacturer. The LS-1300-class satellite
will be operational in its final position in geostationary orbit at
121 degrees West Longitude. EchoStar’s Ku-band fixed satellite services (FSS)
transponders are designed to enhance its U.S. DISH Network service. The
spacecraft is also equipped with one of the first commercial Ka-band spot-beam
payloads in the United States as well as a C-band payload.

In a unique satellite-sharing arrangement, EchoStar will own the Ku- and
Ka-band payloads on this satellite. Loral Skynet, a subsidiary of Loral Space
& Communications based in Bedminster, N.J., will own and operate the C-band
capacity as Telstar 13. From its ideal orbital location and its 24 C-band
transponders operating at 36 MHz, Telstar 13 will provide programmers with
coverage of North America, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Mexico and
Central America.

Sea Launch Company, LLC, headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., is a world
leader in providing heavy-lift commercial launch services. This multinational
partnership offers the most direct and cost-effective route to geostationary
orbit. With the advantage of a launch site on the Equator, the reliable
Zenit-3SL rocket can lift a heavier spacecraft mass or provide longer life on
orbit, offering best value plus schedule assurance. Sea Launch has a current
backlog of 15 firm launch contracts. For additional information and live
coverage of this mission, visit the Sea Launch website at: www.sea-launch.com

SpaceRef staff editor.