07.21.2008 02:09 PM
All systems go for new DISH Network satellite

DISH Network got some good news last week when it successfully launched its EchoStar XI satellite. The new satellite will give DISH the capacity for additional HD channels.

A Zenit-3SL rocket lifted off at 10:21 p.m. (PST) July 15 from the Odyssey Launch Platform, positioned at 154 degrees west longitude. An hour later, the satellite was placed into geosynchronous transfer orbit on its way to a final orbital position at 110 degrees west longitude.

The spacecraft’s first signals from orbit were received by operators at the Gnangara ground station in Perth, Australia, shortly after spacecraft separation. Built by Space Systems/Loral, 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 operations throughout the United States.

The successful launch for DISH came after the service suffered a major blow to its HD plans last March when AMC-14, an SES Americom satellite that was under contract to DISH, failed to reach its planned orbit after a ground-based launch from Kazakhstan.

The EchoStar XI satellite is the 11th high-power satellite added to DISH’s fleet of network birds.

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