A Zenit-3SL launch vehicle has blasted off on its third attempt to launch the EchoStar X spacecraft into geosynchronous transfer orbit today, following two scrubs.
Following scrubbed attempts on February 8 and 12, SeaLaunch had an on-time launch from their Odyssey Launch Platform at 23:35 UK time tonight (6:35pm Eastern).
Click here for live update thread with images and info.
Problems with the ground support systems stopped the first attempt to launch the Zenit-3SL on Feb 8, while an unspecified technical issue put pay to their next window of opportunity two days later.
The 4333 kg (9,553 lb) EchoStar X spacecraft, built by Lockheed Martin, is a high-power KU Band A2100-AX satellite with a service life of 15 years on orbit. Optimized for direct broadcast applications, EchoStar X is a new-generation satellite that will enable DISH Network to deliver expanded services for distribution of direct-to-home broadcast services to its US customers.
From its equatorial launch site at 154 degrees West Longitude, a Zenit-3SL launch vehicle will lift the EchoStar X spacecraft to a high perigee geosynchronous transfer orbit for its ultimate orbital location at 110 degrees West Longitude.
Lifting off from the Odyssey Launch Platform, the Zenit-3SL rocket will begin its ascent phase of flight. The first stage of the vehicle will separate two-and-a-half minutes after liftoff, and then the protective payload fairing will be jettisoned a minute later.
Following a six-minute burn, the second stage will separate from the Block DM upper stage. The Block DM will then execute a five-minute burn and then shutdown for a 33-minute coast period. The Block DM will ignite a second time for a five-and-a-half minute burn. After another coast lasting nearly 10 minutes, the Block DM will separate from the spacecraft, above the East Coast of Africa.
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