Sea Launch Signs Fourth PanAmSat Gig
Long Beach, Calif.-based Sea Launch has been selected to launch PanAmSat‘s Galaxy 16 communication satellite from a sea-based launch site on the Equator. The agreement calls for Sea Launch to lift the 4700-kg spacecraft to geosynchronous transfer orbit during 2006. Built by Palos Alto, Calif.-based Space Systems/Loral, the 1300- series hybrid satellite will carry 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders, covering the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico and Canada. It will be the fourth spacecraft Sea Launch will orbit for PanAmSat, a Wilton, Conn.-based satellite operator The satellite’s design life is for 15 years but Sea Launch’s direct insertion into equatorial orbit is expected to yield additional years of fuel life, according to Jim Maser, Sea Launch’s president and general manager.
Sea Launch has worked with PanAmSat on three different occasions, most recently with the launch of the Galaxy 13/Horizons-1 spacecraft in September 2003.