EchoStar XI Closer to Launch Mission

The EchoStar XI satellite has taken a big step forward in its upcoming launch.

According to the Web site for Sea Launch, which is handling the EchoStar XI mission, the Odyssey Launch Platform has left the launch services provider's home port in Long Beach. Calif. As of this weekend, the Sea Launch Commander had not departed home port.

Both the Odyssey Launch Platform and Sea Launch Commander still need to arrive at the equatorial launch site before the start of a mission countdown. Some have said that the launch could take place before the end of the month.

EchoStar XI will support the expansion of DISH Network capacity, including high-def services.