Sea launch vessel

Intelsat S.A. has announced that a Sea Launch Zenit 3SL launch vehicle successfully launched the Intelsat 21 satellite from a mobile platform in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. 

Liftoff occurred at 2:55 a.m. EDT on Sunday. Thirty minutes after launch, at 3:25 a.m. EDT, the Intelsat 21 satellite separated from the rocket's upper stage and continued its ascent toward geosynchronous orbit.  Signal acquisition occurred at 3:52 a.m. EDT on Sunday.

Intelsat 21 will serve the leading direct-to-home (DTH) and cable programmers in Latin America. Replacing Intelsat 9, the satellite is designed to provide more than 18 years of service and features C-band services for South America, North America and Europe, and Ku-band services for North America, the Caribbean, Brazil, Europe and Western Africa.

Intelsat 21 also features a Ku-band mobility beam, providing coverage across the South Atlantic to Intelsat's maritime and aeronautical customers.  Intelsat's global broadband mobility platform is scheduled for completion in early 2013. The satellite's final orbital location will be 302° East.

"Intelsat 21 will refresh capacity for Latin America's premier video neighborhood and will offer vital communications services spanning four continents," said Intelsat CEO David McGlade. "In addition, Intelsat 21 continues deployment of Intelsat's Ku-band global broadband mobility platform, designed to support the rapid growth in demand for broadband connectivity for maritime and aeronautical applications."

Built by Boeing Satellite Systems, Intelsat 21 is the fourth of five Intelsat launches planned for 2012. Intelsat 23 is scheduled for launch later this year aboard a Proton launch vehicle from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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