Long Beach, Calif. — Dish Network’s EchoStar XI satellite was successfully launched atop a Zenit-3SL rocket at 10:21 p.m. (PDT) Tuesday by the Sea Launch Company from its Odyssey ocean-based launch platform on the equator, the satellite TV provider said.
One hour after launch, the Block DM-SL upper stage inserted the 12,150-pound satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital position at 110 degrees west longitude.
Dish said operators at the Gnangara ground station in Perth, Australia, acquired the spacecraft’s first signals from orbit shortly after separation. All systems performed nominally throughout the mission.
Built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), the EchoStar XI spacecraft is designed for an orbital service life of 15 years, with 20kW of power to support the expansion of Dish Network’s capacity and capabilities for customers throughout the United States.
“For the third mission in a row, Sea Launch has successfully launched a satellite for Dish Network, and we are thrilled to add our eleventh high-power satellite to our fleet,” said Rohan Zaveri, Dish Network space systems VP. “We look forward to beginning testing and ultimately enhancing our already extensive, high quality programming lineup.”