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Sea Launch deploys DirecTV satellite
Posted: Tue, May 4, 2004, 2:13 PM ET (1813 GMT)
Zenit 3SL launch of Galaxy 13 (Sea Launch) The multinational Sea Launch consortium successfully launched a new satellite for direct TV broadcasting company DirecTV early Tuesday. The Zenit 3SL lifted off from Sea Launch's Odyssey mobile launch platform on the Equator in the Pacific Ocean on schedule at 8:42 am EDT (1242 GMT) Tuesday. The rocketís payload, the DirecTV 7S satellite, separated from the upper stage 29 minutes later after entering a geosynchronous transfer orbit. The satellite, a Space Systems/Loral 1300-spacecraft, will operate from 119 degrees west, and will allow DirecTV to provide local channels to an additional 41 markets in the US. Weighing 5,483 kg at liftoff, the spacecraft is the heaviest commercial GEO satellite successfully launched. The spacecraft was originally to be launched by Arianespace on an Ariane 5, but was transferred to Sea Launch last year as the first use of a new Launch Services Alliance between Arianespace, Boeing (which owns a controlling stake in Sea Launch), and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which operates Japan's H-2A booster.
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