This mission was designed to place the Telstar 18 satellite into a high perigee geosynchronous transfer orbit, with the spacecraft separating from the upper stage over the Indian Ocean. Based on preliminary data, all Sea Launch system flight parameters were nominal except that the upper stage of the launch vehicle shut down about 54 seconds prematurely, during the second of two planned burns of the upper stage. The early shutdown caused the satellite to be released at a lower than expected apogee. Space Systems/Loral confirmed spacecraft signal acquisition by a ground station in Perth, Australia, soon after separation and reported the satellite was operating normally.
Following the mission, Loral Space & Communications issued a statement indicating the Telstar 18 had deployed its solar arrays and all systems on the spacecraft were functioning as designed. On July 13, Loral announced the spacecraft had reached its testing position in geostationary orbit at 142 degrees East Longitude and in-orbit testing had begun. Spacecraft testing will continue in its final position at 138 degrees East Longitude until operations begin. Loral further stated that the satellite, which was able to use its significant station-keeping fuel margin for the unplanned orbit raising activities, has enough on-board fuel remaining that will allow it to exceed its specified 13-year life.