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Space

Countdown Underway for Galaxy 13/Horizons-1 Launch

LONG BEACH, Calif., Sept. 29, 2003 -- The Sea Launch team arrived at the equatorial launch site this weekend and initiated a 72-hour countdown to liftoff of the Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 mission for PanAmSat Corporation and JSAT Corporation. All systems are proceeding on schedule for the launch, scheduled for Tuesday, September 30, 9:03 pm PDT (4:03:00 GMT, October 1) at the opening of the 39-minute launch window.

The Odyssey Launch Platform and its sister ship, the Sea Launch Commander, arrived at the launch site on Saturday. The marine crew began the process of ballasting the Launch Platform about 65 feet, to launch depth, in preparation for launch operations. The vessels are now stationed alongside each other, frequently connected by a link bridge that enables foot traffic between them. On the day of launch, the platform will be evacuated and all personnel will be stationed on the ship, three miles uprange, throughout launch operations.

Sea Launch's three-stage Zenit-3SL rocket will loft the 4,090 kg (9,081 lb) Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 satellite to a high perigee geosynchronous transfer orbit. Following the successfully completed mission, the spacecraft will be located in geostationary orbit at 127 degrees West Longitude. Built by Boeing Satellite Systems in El Segundo, Calif., the 601 HP model spacecraft is designed to offer a variety of digital video, Internet and data services to North America, Central America, Alaska and Hawaii. Horizons-1 is jointly owned by PanAmSat and JSAT, and supports their Horizons venture. It will provide expanded Ku-band services in North America and extended services to Japan and Asia via a Hawaii-based relay station. The C-band payload, Galaxy XIII, which will be operated independently by PanAmSat, will offer the first high-definition neighborhood in the U.S. cable arc.

Sea Launch will provide a live satellite broadcast and simultaneous webcast of the Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 mission on September 30, beginning at 8:45pm PDT (3:45:00 GMT, October 1). The broadcast, featuring live video from the launch site as well as commentary, may be downlinked from satellite coordinates posted on the website.

Live streaming video of the mission

Sea Launch Company, LLC, headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., is a world leader in providing heavy-lift commercial launch services. This multinational partnership offers the most direct and cost-effective route to geostationary orbit. With the advantage of a launch site on the Equator, the reliable Zenit-3SL rocket can lift a heavier spacecraft mass or provide longer life on orbit, offering best value plus schedule assurance. Sea Launch has a current backlog of 15 firm launch contracts. For additional information and images of this mission, please visit the Sea Launch website or call the Sea Launch Hot Line at 562.797.1000.

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Contact Info:
Paula Korn
562.499.4729
mobile: 562.254.5684
paula.korn@sea-launch.com



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