Nyon, Switzerland, May 26, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sea Launch SA has successfully launched the EUTELSAT 3B satellite today from at its ocean-based Launch Platform Odyssey. This marks the completion of Sea Launch's first mission in 2014, its third for Eutelsat, one of the world's leading satellite operators, and its 36th mission overall.
The Zenit-3SL rocket carrying the spacecraft lifted off at 14:09:59 Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on Monday, May 26th (21:09:59 UTC, 23:09:59 CEST) from the launch platform, positioned at 154 degrees West longitude in the Pacific Ocean. One hour later, the Block DM-SL upper stage inserted the satellite, weighing 5,967 kilograms (13,155 lbs.) into geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital position at 3 degrees East longitude. Eutelsat acquired the spacecraft's first signals from orbit shortly after spacecraft separation. All systems performed nominally throughout the launch mission.
Following acquisition of the spacecraft's signal, Sergey Gugkaev, CEO of Sea Launch, congratulated Eutelsat and the satellite's prime contractor, Airbus Defence and Space. "I am very pleased to once again announce the successful launch for our valued Eutelsat customer, our third in a row for them." Gugkaev continued, "I wish to express my gratitude to all of our colleagues at the launch site, Home Port and production and maintenance facilities for their hard work and dedication to Sea Launch program."
Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat Chairman and CEO, added "We are delighted to see EUTELSAT 3B on its way to 3 degrees East and thank Sea Launch and Energia for this flawless launch. EUTELSAT 3B will be a powerful asset to our in-orbit resources, enabling us to increase the operational flexibility and reach we provide customers in a vast service area spanning Brazil, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. "
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 SA
Sea Launch SA 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