Bern, Switzerland, Feb. 19, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The spacecraft for the EUTELSAT 3B mission has been delivered on February 19th to the Sea Launch "Home Port" launch complex in Long Beach, California in preparation for a mid-April launch. Following unloading, the satellite was delivered to the clean room area of the 16-acre payload processing facility, where mission operations and integration efforts are now underway.
After standalone spacecraft operations are completed, EUTELSAT 3B will be handed over to Sea Launch's prime contractor, Energia Logistics, Ltd., to be mated with the payload support structure and integrated with the Zenit-3SL launch vehicle before departure to the launch site located directly on the Equator in the Pacific Ocean in early April.
The EUTELSAT 3B communications satellite departed from the Toulouse, France manufacturing facilities of Airbus Defence and Space on February 17th and arrived at the Long Beach Airport (LGB) on-board an Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft yesterday. It was subsequently transferred via surface roads on an oversized transport vehicle with representatives from Eutelsat, Airbus Defence and Space and Energia Logistics Ltd. on hand to receive the spacecraft.
Based on the Eurostar E3000 platform of Airbus Defence and Space, the EUTELSAT 3B satellite has been designed to operate three commercial payloads in the C, Ku and Ka bands. This tri-band configuration will deliver exceptional levels of in-orbit flexibility and coverage from Eutelsat's expanding 3° East neighourhood. The satellite will enable Eutelsat to diversify its commercial response to Internet Service Providers, telcos, government agencies and broadcasters operating in Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. EUTELSAT 3B has a designed in-orbit lifetime exceeding 15 years.
About Sea Launch AG
Sea Launch AG provides launch solutions to the industry's satellite operator community based on the Zenit launch system. These services include the provision of all-inclusive launch services incorporating schedule assurance, financing, risk management; insurance and creative contracting solutions to meet the changing demands of the commercial launch market. Sea Launch owns or manages through affiliate agreements the primary technology, patent and other intellectual property and tangible assets required to perform its launch services business. These include the highly specialized vessels Odyssey Launch Platform and the Sea Launch Commander each located in the Home Port facility in Long Beach, California, as well as the unique know-how associated with launching satellites from an ocean-based launch platform located directly on the equator. The Sea Launch system offers the most direct and cost-effective route to geostationary orbit for commercial communications satellites, providing diversity of supply, affordability and flexibility for the industry's satellite operators. For more information, please visit the Sea Launch website at www.sea-launch.com
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Source: Sea Launch