Sea Launch Company successfully launched PanAmSat’s Galaxy 16 communications satellite on June 18, 2006. Early data indicated the spacecraft was accurately positioned and in excellent condition.
A Zenit-3SL vehicle lifted off at 12:50 am PDT (07:50 GMT) from the Odyssey Launch Platform, positioned at 154 degrees West Longitude in the equatorial Pacific. All systems performed nominally throughout flight. The Block DM upper stage inserted the 4,640 kg (10,229 lb) Loral 1300-series spacecraft, to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO), on its way to a final orbital position of 99 degrees West Longitude. A ground station at Hartebeesthoek, near Pretoria, South Africa, acquired the first signal from the satellite shortly after spacecraft separation.