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Left early. Please come with the money… or, you keep the car. All my love, Tommy.
– Thomas Crown Affair

Boeing’s Sea Launch today successfully delivered the Intelsat Americas-8 (IA-8) communications satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit. Boeing reports the early data indicate the spacecraft is in excellent condition. SpaceFlight Now has the latest.

A Zenit-3SL vehicle lifted off at 7:03 am PDT (14:03 GMT), from the floating Odyssey Launch Platform, a converted mobile oil drilling platform, positioned at 154 degrees West Longitude. The upper stage inserted the 5,500 kg (12,125 lbs.) satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital position of 89 degrees West Longitude. It will go into operation this August.

The IA-8 satellite is designed to provide expanded coverage over the Americas, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Alaska with voice, video and data transmission and distribution services. SS/L’s 1300 bus carries 28 C-band and 36 Ku-band transponders, as well as 24 Ka-band spot beams and has a total end-of-life power of 16 Kw.

Intelsat, Ltd. CEO, David McGlade, stated

“IA-8 represents a very important launch for Intelsat and North American customers as it offers high-powered Ku-Band coverage of all 50 states, relieving some of the current capacity constraints facing all operators serving the U.S. market. Intelsat is better positioned than ever to serve the US, South American and Caribbean markets and to support the growth of emerging services such as DTH, distribution of high-definition cable programming and broadband data networks.”

The launch of IA-8 was delayed due to a mysterious failure of IA-7. A similar outage (on a completely different spacecraft) happened in the middle of the annual satellite bash held in Hawaii, this January.

IA-8 is the fifth satellite in the Intelsat Americas fleet. The satellite was part of Intelsat’s acquisition of Loral’s North American satellite assets in February 2004, which helped give Intelsat a significant presence in the North American video and data markets. The launch of IA-8 marks the completion of Intelsat’s planned launches to date.


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