Sea Launch Agrees To Loft 3 EchoStar Sats

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Launch services provider Sea Launch Co. has signed an agreement with satellite fleet operator EchoStar for the launch of up to three satellites on Sea Launch’s Zenit-3SL rocket, Long Beach, Calif.-based Sea Launch announced July 22.

Sea Launch, which has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization since mid-2009, expects the Delaware Bankruptcy Court to approve a reorganization plan during a July 27 hearing.

Englewood, Colo.-based EchoStar, which operates satellites for its own use as well as on behalf of satellite-television provider Dish Network Corp., did not identify what satellites might be contracted for future launches with Sea Launch, whose rocket is operated from a floating platform in the Pacific Ocean and specializes in heavy telecommunications spacecraft.

“EchoStar is pleased to have completed successful launches with Sea Launch in the past, which give us confidence in Sea Launch’s ability to execute on future launches,” EchoStar Satellite Services President Dean Olmstead said in a statement.

Sea Launch hopes to return to flight in mid-2011 assuming it emerges from bankruptcy reorganization this summer.