Sea Launch Flies DIRECTV 11

The DIRECTV 11 satellite lifted off from the Sea Launch Odyssey platform in the equatorial Pacific on schedule Wednesday afternoon, lofted into space aboard a Zenit rocket.

Sea Launch said all systems performed nominally throughout the flight, and the upper stage placed DIRECTV 11 into a geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital position at 99.2 degrees. As of press time late Wednesday night, Sea Launch said it was waiting for acquisition of a signal from the bird.

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.