Sea Launch Lofts Intelsat 19 Satellite

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PARIS — A Sea Launch AG rocket operated from a floating platform in the Pacific Ocean successfully launched May 31 the Intelsat 19 telecommunications satellite in Sea Launch’s second flight since emerging from bankruptcy reorganization in 2010, Intelsat and Sea Launch announced.

Intelsat 19, built by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif., is expected to begin commercial service in July at 166 degrees east in geostationary orbit. It will replace the Intelsat 8 satellite currently at that orbital slot.

Intelsat 19 weighed 5,600 kilograms at launch and carries 34 Ku- band and 24 C-band transponders. Luxembourg- and Washington-based Intelsat said the launch accuracy was such that the satellite, with a contracted service life of 15 years, likely will operate for more than 18 years. Intelsat 19 is designed to provide 15 kilowatts of power to its payload at the end of the satellite’s service life.

In addition to providing television and telecommunications services to the Pacific Ocean region, Intelsat 19 is equipped with Ku-band capacity for mobile broadband communications with ships in the Indian Ocean region.

Intelsat plans to offer uninterrupted coverage of ocean routes through several satellites in orbit and under construction as it seeks to capture a piece of the growing aeronautical and maritime broadband markets.

Bern, Switzerland-based Sea Launch, after going through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization leading to its purchase by affiliates of Russia’s RSC Energia space hardware manufacturer, returned to flight in September 2011 with the launch of Paris-based Eutelsat’s Atlantic Bird 7 telecommunications satellite.

Sea Launch has begun preparations for the scheduled August launch of the Intelsat 21 satellite. Manufacturer Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems of El Segundo, Calif., is expected to deliver Intelsat 21 to Sea Launch’s home port in Long Beach, Calif., by early July.

Sea Launch conducts its principal operations from a converted oil-production platform that is towed to an equatorial spot in the mid-Pacific Ocean at 154 degrees west.