Sea Launch Lofts Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1

Image credit: Boeing

Sea Launch successfully launched Boeing-built Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 satellite from the equator in the Pacific Ocean early this morning. A Zenit-3SL rocket lifted off from the launch platform at 0403 GMT (12:03am EDT) and carried the dual purpose satellite into orbit. A ground tracking station received signals from the satellite about an hour after launch, indicating that it was functioning normally and in the right trajectory to make its journey to geosynchronous orbit. It will eventually provide a variety of telecommunication services to North America.

Last night, a successful launch orbited Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1, a Boeing 601HP satellite built by Boeing [NYSE:BA] for PanAmSat Corporation, Wilton, Conn., and JSAT Corporation of Japan. The satellite will provide coverage over North America, Central America, Alaska and Hawaii from an orbital slot between the Hawaiian Islands and the U.S. west coast.

The 4,090 kg (8,998 lbs) satellite rocketed to geosynchronous transfer orbit aboard a Zenit-3SL provided by Sea Launch Company, LLC. Lift-off occurred at 9:03 p.m. PDT (4:03 a.m. GMT) from the Sea Launch Odyssey Launch Platform positioned on the equator in the Pacific Ocean. The spacecraft received its first signals at about 10:03 p.m. PDT at a ground station at Fucino, Italy, confirming normal operation.

?Communications satellites have erased the distance between the far corners of the globe,? said Dave Ryan, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing. ?Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 will continue that heritage as it also links the aspirations of PanAmSat and JSAT, who will use it to deliver trans-Pacific communications services. We are very proud to continue our legacy of teamwork with these two very important long time customers.?

Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 with a final orbit slot at 127 degrees west longitude is the 207th Boeing-built commercial communications satellite launched to date. Forty years ago this year, the Boeing-built Syncom ushered in a revolution as the world?s first geosynchronous communications satellite.

Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 will support PanAmSat?s domestic cable program distribution services as well as the Horizons international joint venture of PanAmSat and JSAT. The spacecraft will carry a total of 48 active transponders, 24 each in Ku-band and C-band. The Horizons partnership will use the spacecraft’s Ku-band payload, known as Horizons-1, to offer a variety of digital video, Internet and data services. In addition, the Ku-band payload on Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 will be able to deliver content and services between the United States and Asia, using a teleport in Hawaii.

The C-band portion of the new spacecraft, known as Galaxy XIII, will be operated separately as part of PanAmSat’s Galaxy cable neighborhood, which serves the domestic U.S. cable industry. Galaxy XIII will be used to replace capacity on Galaxy IX, a Boeing 376 model that will move to a new orbital position and continue to provide services.

PanAmSat Corporation (NASDAQ:SPOT) is the premier provider of global video and data broadcasting services via satellite. For more information on PanAmSat, visit the company’s web site at JSAT is a leading satellite operator in the Asia-Pacific region. For more information on JSAT, visit the company’s web site at

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world’s largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing IDS is a $25 billion business that provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world’s largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world’s largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA’s largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.

Original Source: Boeing News Release