MOSCOW, November 21 (Itar-Tass) — The American satellite EchoStar 16 has been was successfully placed on the target orbit, a spokesman for the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
“At 07:43 today the American telecommunications satellite EchoStar 16 was separated from the Briz-M upper stage and entered the target orbit,” the Roskosmos official said. He noted that the launch of the Proton-M carrier rocket and orbiting of the spacecraft passed normally.
The Proton-M rocket with the Briz-M upper stage and the American telecommunication satellite EchoStar 16 was launched on Tuesday evening from the 81st launch pad of the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 22:31 MSK. Nine minutes after liftoff, at 22:40 MSK, the upper stage separated from the carrier rocket and continued the US satellite’s placing into the target orbit in accordance with the flight sequence.
The EchoStar 16 spacecraft is a US telecommunications satellite of the EchoStar company. It was designed by Space Systems/Loral and is based around the LS-1300 satellite bus. It is equipped with 32 J band (IEEE Ku band) transponders. At launch it had a mass of about 6.5 tonnes. It has a common configuration with EchoStar 11 and EchoStar 15. The satellite is expected to be operational in orbit for 15 years. It is positioned in geostationary orbit, and will be located at a longitude of 61.5° West, from where it is intended to provide direct broadcasting of high-definition television services to the United States for Dish Network.
The launch of the previous communications satellite on the order of EchoStar (EchoStar 15) was carried out on July 10, 2011 with the Proton-M carrier rocket and the Briz-M upper stage from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The next day - on July 11, the upper stage placed the satellite into orbit.