NSS-8 Satellite to Launch on Saturday

The NSS-8 satellite is set to launch from a converted oil platform anchored on the equator in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 1,500 miles south of Hawaii. The launch video will be streamed live via the Sea Launch Web site. Here’s an image from the launch platform’s live webcam (remember to refresh often for changes):

The satellite itself is impressive:

The high-power, state-of-the-art NSS-8 satellite is a Boeing 702 spacecraft that carries 56 C-band and 36 Ku-band transponders designed to replace the existing NSS-703 satellite as the centerpiece of NEW SKIES’ strategic Indian Ocean contribution to SES’ global communications network. The successful launch of NSS-8 will subsequently also allow for NSS-703 to be re-deployed to the Atlantic Ocean region at 340° East, further boosting the global coverage and connectivity provided by the 40 plus strong fleet of satellites in the SES Group. NSS-8 will support a wide range of functions, including corporate communications, government and military operations, Broadband Internet services and broadcast applications.

The satellite will provide coverage to two-thirds of the world’s population, serving countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Asia. Designed for a 15-year lifespan, NSS-8 will have 18 kilowatts of total power at the beginning of life on orbit.

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