From its equatorial launch site at 154 degrees West Longitude, a Zenit-3SL launch vehicle lifted the 4,640 kg (10,229 lb) Galaxy 16 spacecraft to geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital location at 99 degrees West 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 jettisoned 75 seconds later. Following a six-minute burn, the second stage separated from the Block DM upper stage. The Block DM operated for seven minutes and then shutdown for a 30-minute coast period. The Block DM burned a second time for four-and-a-half minutes. Following the second burn, and another 10-minute coast, the spacecraft separated over the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa. The Hartebeestok ground station at Pretoria, South Africa, acquired a signal from the spacecraft after spacecraft separation.