MUMBAI: EchoStar Communications Corp's EchoStar VIII satellite is scheduled for launch on 20 August, two months after the originally scheduled launch date.
The bird, to take off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, will launch aboard a Proton launch vehicle at 1:15 am EDT. The satellite' s launch was delayed after anomalous readings from a command receiver on the satellite were observed on June 22. A problem identified with the command receiver has since been corrected, says an official release.
The EchoStar VIII satellite will join seven other satellites currently comprising the EchoStar fleet. From its location at 110 degrees West Longitude, EchoStar VIII combined with EchoStar VII at 119 degrees W.L. will provide Ku-band and spot beam services over the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii to enhance the delivery of EchoStar's DISH Network local-into-local TV channels.
The EchoStar VIII satellite has been built by Space Systems/Loral based in Palo Alto, California while the Proton launch vehicle is provided by the US based International Launch Services. While EchoStar has not procured in-orbit insurance for EchoStar VIII, it has insured its launch for $125 million, protecting against the risk of total launch vehicle failure not attributable to the satellite through separation of the satellite from the launch vehicle.