Sea Launch – JCSat-9 success

by Chris Bergin

Sea Launch, in action for the second time this year, have launched their Zenit-3SL launch vehicle, carrying the JCSat-9 satellite uphill for a geostationary orbit, on time at 23:30 UTC.

Following a one hour journey, JCSat-9 seperated from the upper stage of the vehicle, completing a another successful mission for Sea Launch.

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‘This is our second JSAT mission and our second consecutive launch of a Lockheed Martin satellite,’ said  Rob Peckham, interim president and general manager of Sea Launch, congratulated JSAT and Lockheed Martin.

‘We’re delighted to have achieved another successful launch on behalf of both companies, and we look forward to future opportunities to contribute to your success.

‘I also want to take this opportunity to thank our partners and contractors and the entire Sea Launch team for executing another outstanding Sea Launch mission.’

Launch Preview

The JCSat-9 will be joining a family of nine other satellites that currently provide communications and broadcasting services to businesses throughout Asia. 


Built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS), the 4401 kg JCSat-9 spacecraft is a A2100-AX spacecraft, designed for a minimum service life of 12 years. It will be located at 132 degrees East Longitude. The high-power hybrid spacecraft carries C-band, Ku-band and S-band transponders.

Launch processing started in late January, when LMCSS delivered the JCSat-9 satellite from their spacecraft assembly facility in Sunnyvale, California, to the near-by Sea Launch Home Port in Long Beach.

Following operations in the Payload Processing Facility – where the spacecraft is tested, fuelled and encapsulated in a payload fairing – the Payload Unit was transferred to the assembly hall of the Sea Launch Commander, where it was mated with the Block DM upper stage of the Zenit-3SL rocket.

The ‘Odyssey’ Launch Platform and the ‘Sea Launch Commander’ have departed Home Port, en-route for the launch site in international waters of the Pacific Ocean, at 154 degrees West Longitude, south of Hawaii.

This will be Sea Launch’s second mission of the year – following their successful launch of the EchoStar X spacecraft in February.

The Lockheed Martin A2100-AX satellite has begun a 15 year mission of providing the DISH Network with the ability to deliver expanded services for distribution of direct-to-home broadcast services to its customers in the United States.

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