Despite several days delay due to a component that exhibited off-nominal behavior, and a minor hiccup this morning, the launch proceeded without incident launching ULA's Atlas V on a mission to deliver EchoStar XIX (also known as Jupiter 2) into space.
Statement From United Launch Alliance
United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches EchoStar XIX Satellite
ULA Celebrates 10 years of 100 percent Mission Success, One Launch at a Time
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida (December 18, 2016) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the EchoStar XIX satellite lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 Dec. 18 at 2:13 p.m. ET.EchoStar XIX will dramatically increase capacity for HughesNet® high-speed satellite Internet service to homes and businesses in North America. Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services procured the Atlas V for this mission. This is ULA’s 12th launch in 2016 and the 115th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.
“ULA is honored to have been entrusted with the launch of the EchoStar XIX satellite,” said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Human and Commercial Systems. “We truly believe that our success is only made possible by the phenomenal teamwork of our employees, customers and industry partners.”
This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V 431 configuration vehicle, which includes a 4-meter extra extended payload fairing (XEPF) and three solid rocket boosters. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine, and the Centaur upper stage was powered by the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C engine.
“As we celebrate 10 years, ULA continues to be the nation’s premier launch provider because of our unmatched reliability and mission success,” said Wentz. “The Atlas V continues to provide the optimum performance to precisely deliver a range of missions. As we move into our second decade, we will maintain our ongoing focus on mission success, one launch at a time even as we transform the space industry, making space more accessible, affordable and commercialized.”
ULA's next launch is the Atlas V SBIRS GEO-3 satellite for the US Air Force. The launch is scheduled for January 19 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 110 satellites to orbit that aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, unlock the mysteries of our solar system provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, and enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.
End Of Statement From ULA
According to an interview at the launch today, it took more than a million hours of work to put this most complex satellite that SSL built for Hughes, which is recognized as the company's most powerful Internet communications satellite to date.
"EchoStar XIX will be the world's highest capacity broadband satellite in orbit, dramatically increasing capacity for HughesNet high-speed satellite Internet service to homes and businesses in North America," ULA representatives wrote in a mission description. The large satellite features multiple Ka-band spot beams to support customers across North America, and will be stationed in a geosynchronous orbit over 97.1 West longitude to reach Hughes customers.
Hughes representatives said in a statement that EchoStar 19 "will be able to will provide significantly more capacity than EchoStar XVII (EchoStar 17), which was also built by SSL and launched in 2012."
Mission Description: EchoStar XIX will be the world’s highest capacity broadband satellite in orbit, dramatically increasing capacity for HughesNet® high-speed satellite Internet service to homes and businesses in North America. This large, multi-spot beam Ka-band satellite, based on the powerful SSL 1300 platform, will be stationed at 97.1 degrees West longitude. Building from their experience on the highly successful EchoStar XVII broadband satellite, SSL and Hughes collaboratively engineered the specific design details of this payload for optimum performance.
Launch Notes: EchoStar XIX will mark the 68th launch of the Atlas V rocket and the third in the 431 configuration. This mission will be ULA’s 12th of 2016 and the 115th since the company was formed 10 years ago.