Boeing delivered the DirecTV 11 broadcast satellite to the Payload Processing Facility at Sea Launch Home Port in January 2008. The spacecraft team managed the process of testing, fueling and encapsulating the satellite in a payload fairing, in preparation for launch operations in March.
DirecTV 11, with a mass of a 5923 kg (13,058 lb), is one of three recent Boeing 702-model spacecraft built for DirecTV and is among the largest and most powerful Ka-band satellites built to date. The on-board technology of this direct-to-home satellite will enable DirecTV to continue to expand its industry-leading lineup of quality high-definition television (HDTV) programming. DirecTV 11, combined with the DirecTV 10 satellite already in orbit, will provide DirecTV with the capacity for 150 national HD channels and will be capable of supporting spot beams carrying 1,500 local HD channels.
DirecTV 11 will continue DirecTV's massive capacity expansion and further strengthen its position as the leading provider of HD programming in the United States. This is the fourth mission Sea Launch has successfully completed for DirecTV. Previous satellites include Spaceway 1 (April 26, 2005), DirecTV 7S (May 4, 2004) and DirecTV 1R (October 9, 1999).