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Sea Launch Launches Americas-8 Satellite.

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rocket blasting off with Intelsat Americas-8 satellite.
Zenit-3SL rocket blasting off with Intelsat Americas-8 satellite. Image credit: Boeing.

A Zenit-3SL rocket blasted off from the Sea Launch platform today, carrying the Intelsat Americas-8 communications satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. The rocket lifted off from the floating platform at 1403 UTC (10:03 am EDT), and the Block DM-SL upper stage separated without a hitch. The IA-8 satellite will provide broadcast and data services to the Americas, Caribbean, Hawaii and Alaska.

Sea Launch Company today successfully delivered the Intelsat Americas™-8 (IA-8) communications satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit. Early data indicate the spacecraft is in excellent condition.

A Zenit-3SL vehicle lifted off at 7:03 am PDT ( 14:03 GMT), from the Odyssey Launch Platform, positioned at 154 degrees West Longitude. All systems performed nominally throughout the flight. The Block DM-SL upper stage inserted the 5,500 kg (12,125 lbs.) satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital position of 89 degrees West Longitude. A ground station in Fucino, Italy, acquired the spacecraft’s first signal less than an hour after liftoff, as planned.

This mission is Sea Launch’s fifth launch for Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), the spacecraft’s manufacturer, and the first for Intelsat. The IA-8 satellite is designed to provide expanded coverage over the Americas, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Alaska with voice, video and data transmission and distribution services. SS/L’s 1300 bus carries 28 C-band and 36 Ku-band transponders, as well as 24 Ka-band spot beams and has a total end-of-life power of 16 Kw. IA-8 is the fifth Intelsat satellite in the North American arc and the 28 th satellite in Intelsat’s global fleet.

Following acquisition of the spacecraft’s signal, Jim Maser, president and general manager of Sea Launch, congratulated Space Systems/Loral and Intelsat. "We are thrilled to welcome Intelsat into our growing family of satisfied customers," Maser said. "We look forward to future missions with Intelsat as well as with our long-time colleagues at Space Systems/Loral. The Sea Launch team has successfully met our commitments once again and I want to personally thank them for their unwavering commitment and hard work."

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 heavy-lift commercial launch service. This international 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. For additional information and images of this successfully completed mission, visit the Sea Launch website at: www.sea-launch.com

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