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Loral Multi-band Satellite Successfully Launched

A Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket successfully launched EchoStar IX/Telstar 13 from the Odyssey Launch Platform, located near the equator in the Pacific Ocean.

The satellite will be shared between Loral (or Intelsat, if the FCC transfer application is approved) and EchoStar. EchoStar will operate the Ku- and Ka-band part of the satellite and Loral will own and operate 24 C-band transponders. C-band coverage includes North America, Puerto Rico, Alaska and Hawaii. Transponders on the Loral side of the satellite, designated Telstar 13 will be marketed to cable programmers.

EchoStar will use the Ku-band transponders to enhance its existing DISH Network TV service. The Loral Press Release said, "The spacecraft is also equipped with the first U.S. commercial Ka-band spot-beam payloads." It will be interesting to see what the Ka-band transponders will be used for.

The satellite will be located at 121 degrees W Longitude. The press release did not state when Telstar 13 and EchoStar IX would be operational from this location.