Sea Launch Project

High Spots

DirecTV 7S Launch

In October, 2003 the Sea Launch Company together with the Loral Company (manufacture of spacecraft Telstar 14/Estrela do Sul 1, Telstar-18 and DirecTV 7S) has worked out a strategy of further activities and defined the sequence and dates of next launches.
The first phase of the target plan was fulfilled and ended with a successful launch of the Telstar 14/Estrela do Sul 1 SC on January 11, 2004 .


April 8-9, 2004

Assembly and testing of Zenit-2S launch vehicle #14L and Block DM-SL Upper Stage #16L.

April 9, 2004

Delivery of the Payload Unit (PLU) with DirecTV 7S to the Assembly-Command Ship (ACS).

April 10-12, 2004

PLU mating with US.

April 12, 2004

Check of the completely assembled Integrated Launch Vehicle (ILV).

April 14, 2004

Readiness Review for ILV transfer from ACS to the Launch Platform (LP).

April 15, 2004

Transfer of Zenit-7S ILV # SL14 from ACS to LP. ILV installation in the LP hanger onto the erector.

Final readiness review for the DirecTV 7S mission and signing of the decision on the readiness of all Sea Launch RSC segments and services for mission implementation by Sea Launch Company.

April 16-17, 2004

Execution of operations under the ILV Dry Roll-Out program.

April 18, 2004

LP departure from Home Port for the launch site.

April 21, 2004

ACS departure from Home Port for the launch site.

April 18-29, 2004

ACS and LP transit to the launch site. Conduct of integrated rehearsals of the pre-launch processing with support of MCC in Korolev. In the course of rehearsals - simulation of off-nominal situations, try-out of the procedure for introducing a delay of the pre-launch processing, as well as of nominal execution of the pre-launch processing, ILV launch, and flight reporting training.

April 29, 2004

ACS and LP arrival at the launch site. Launch Platform ballast trimming.

April 30, 2004

LP/ACS equipment preparation for the ILV launch.

May 1, 2004

First launch day activities: making Rocket Segment systems ready for activities on the launch site, ILV processing, activities at the Launch Measurement Complex. Sea Launch RSC readiness review for activities on the launch site and launch of the Zenit-3SL ILV # SL14 with the DirecTV-7S SC.

May 2, 2004

Second launch day activities: ILV preparation for roll-out to the launch pad, LP orientation to the launch position, ACS transfer to a nominal position w.r.t. LP, ILV roll-out and erection onto the launch pad, PLU stand-alone checks, ILV electrical checks, execution of the critical launch readiness checklist.

May 3-4, 2004

Third launch day activities (Daylight Saving Pacific Time ):

  • 20:55 transportation of the launch personnel via helicopter to LP to perform pre-launch activities;
  • 23:42:00 "6 h to LOC" command implementation;
  • 00:42:00 "Program Start" command implementation, start of nominal launch readiness checklist and ILV fueling;
  • 04:40 evacuation of the last group of the Rocket and Sea Segment personnel via helicopter from LP;
  • 05:41:59. 117 "Lift-Off Contact" signal passage.
May 4, 2004

At 12 h 41 min 59.177 s Greenwich Time (16 h 41 min 59.177 s Moscow Time) the thirteenth launch from the Odyssey Launch Platform under the Sea Launch program is complete.The DirecTV 7S SC insertion into the target geosynchronous transfer orbit from the parking orbit formed by the two-stage Zenit-2S LV was performed by DM-SL US. The Upper Stage whose main engine was fired 10 s after separation of the Block together with SC from the second stage of LV, having run about 11 min., made the spacecraft reach the calculated target orbit to a high accuracy.15 minutes after SC separation the signal receipt from SC and its nominal position are confirmed.Conduct of a maneuver of placing US into a disposal orbit and its safing.

Post-launch operations on LP and ACS.

May 5, 2004

Start of ACS and LP transit to Home Port.


The DirecTV-7S spacecraft is placed into the calculated geosynchronous transfer orbit.

Perigee altitude,
Apogee altitude,

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