Loral Bird Blasts Into Orbit


Sea Launch Co. said Sunday that it successfully deployed Space Systems/Loral's "Telstar 14/Estrela do Sul 1" communications satellite into orbit Saturday night and all systems aboard the spacecraft were reported in excellent condition.

A Sea Launch "Zenit-3SL" rocket lifted off at 8:13 p.m. PST from the Odyssey Launch Platform, a former oil-drilling platform positioned at 154 degrees west longitude on the Equator. The spacecraft's final orbital position will be 63 degrees west longitude.

It marks the first new satellite launch of 2004.

The satellite will be operated by Loral Skynet do Brasil, and it carries 41 high-powered Ku-band transponders, with five unique and interconnecting coverage beams. It will deliver broadcast-video and cable programming, Internet-backbone connectivity, VSAT data and other telecommunications services.

More than one-half of the satellite's power will be focused on Brazil, providing dedicated Ku-band solutions for that country’s marketplace. The satellite's other beams will cover the Americas and the North Atlantic Ocean, where Connexion by Boeing will use the satellite to support its Internet-to-aircraft service.