Press Release

Sea Launch Starts Countdown for August 7 Launch

By SpaceRef Editor
August 5, 2003
Filed under , ,

The Sea Launch team has
initiated the countdown at the equatorial launch site at L-72 hours. All
systems are proceeding on schedule for the launch of the EchoStar IX/Telstar
13 communications satellite on Thursday, August 7, at 8:31 pm PDT
(3:31:00 GMT).

The Odyssey Launch Platform and its sister ship, the Sea Launch Commander,
arrived at the launch site at 154 degrees West Longitude on Sunday evening.
The marine crew immediately began the process of ballasting the Launch
Platform about 65 feet, to launch depth, in preparation for launch operations.
The vessels are now stationed alongside each other and will be connected by a
link bridge several times prior to the launch. On the day of launch, the ship
will move uprange to a distance of three miles. All marine and launch
personnel will be stationed on the ship throughout launch operations.

Sea Launch’s three-stage Zenit-3SL rocket will loft the 4,737 kg
(10,443 lb) EchoStar/Telstar 13 satellite to a high perigee geosynchronous
transfer orbit. Following the successfully completed mission, the spacecraft
will be located in geostationary orbit at 121 degrees West Longitude.

Built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) in Palo Alto, Calif., the satellite is
based on SS/L’s space-proven 1300 geostationary satellite platform. In a
unique multi-band, satellite-sharing arrangement, EchoStar Communications
Corporation will operate the Ku- and Ka-band payloads as EchoStar IX. Loral
Skynet, a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications, will own and operate the
C-band payload as Telstar 13.

Sea Launch will provide a live satellite broadcast and simultaneous
webcast of the EchoStar IX/Telstar 13 mission on August 7, beginning at
8:10pm PDT (3:10:00 GMT). The broadcast, featuring live video from the launch
site as well as commentary and interviews, may be downlinked from satellite
coordinates posted at the following site:
www.boeing.com/nosearch/sealaunch/broadcast.html
Streaming video of the mission will be posted live at:
www.sea-launch.com/special/sea-launch/current_index_webcast.html

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 images of
this mission, please visit the Sea Launch website at: www.sea-launch.com or
call the Sea Launch Hot Line at 562.797.1000.

SpaceRef staff editor.