Telstar 18 Reaches Proper Orbital Position
Officials from Loral Space & Communications said Telstar 18 successfully reached its in-orbit testing position after its June 28 launch on a Sea Launch LLC Zenit-3SL rocket that had its upper stage shut down 54 seconds early during its second burn, leaving the satellite in a low orbit. Engineers at Space Systems/Loral raised the satellite to its proper in-orbit testing position at 142 degrees East longitude by using a series of planned satellite maneuvers and thruster burns. Loral officials said that, even with the unexpected maneuvering of the satellite, there would be enough fuel for the spacecraft to exceed its 13-year specified life.
Loral spokesman John McCarthy told Satellite Today the launch problems would have little impact on the date for the satellite to be placed in service, now on track for August as originally scheduled. However, McCarthy declined to comment on whether any additional costs were incurred due to the satellite being left in an initial low orbit the night of its launch.