From its equatorial launch site at 154 degrees West Longitude, a Zenit-3SL launch vehicle lifted the 4448 kg (9,806 lb) Koreasat 5 spacecraft to geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital position at 113 degrees East Longitude.
Lifting off from the Odyssey Launch Platform, a Zenit-3SL rocket began its ascent phase of flight. The first stage of the vehicle separated two-and-a-half minutes after liftoff, and the protective payload fairing was jettisoned 75 seconds later. Following a six-minute burn, the second stage separated from the Block DM upper stage. The Block DM began an eight-and-a-half minute operation and then shutdown for a 34-minute coast period. The Block DM burned a second time for three minutes. Following this second burn, and another 10-and-a-half minute coast, the spacecraft separated from the upper stage over the coast of Gabon, in Africa. A ground station at Fucino, Italy, acquired the first signal from the spacecraft a few minutes after spacecraft separation.