DIRECTV 11 Closer to Launch

Sea Launch said its Odyssey Launch Platform and Sea Launch Commander have departed home port in California for the equatorial Pacific, in preparation for the launch of the DIRECTV 11 satellite.

The launch services provider said the mission is planned for March 17. Lift-off is expected at the opening of a 58-minute launch window, at 3:49 p.m. Pacific Time.

DIRECTV 11 is a 702-model spacecraft built by Boeing. The satellite, when combined with the DIRECTV 10 bird that launched in July, will provide the small dish company with capacity to support its efforts to deliver 150 national HD channels and 1,500 local high-def channels.