New HD Satellite Launched Into Orbit

A new broadcast satellite specifically earmarked for HD broadcasting over the United States and elsewhere rocketed into space last Sunday (June 18) from a floating platform in the Pacific Ocean. The space bird's footprint extends to all of North America, and as far west as Hawaii.

According to, the commercial Sea Launch Zenit 3SL booster was launched on a one-hour ascent carrying a Galaxy 16 spacecraft in the wee hours of Sunday morning from a converted oil-drilling platform in Equatorial waters in the Pacific about 1,400 miles south of Hawaii.

The HD satellite is being operated by PanAmSat, which owns a fleet of two dozen spacecraft capable, the firm said, of reaching nearly 99 percent of the globe's population. The new orbiting unit is equipped with 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders for HD broadcasts and other services, according to and PanAmSat.