The PAS-9 mission lifted off on Friday, July 28, 2000, at 3:42 p.m. (PDT) precisely on schedule from the Sea Launch equatorial launch site at 154degrees West Longitude. Performance of the flight profile was right on themark, and PanAmSat, the owner of PAS-9, acquired the signal from thesatellite in geostationary transfer orbit, one hour and 37 minutes afterliftoff.
One of several satellites in a series, the PAS-9 spacecraft was positioned at 58 degrees West Longitude to provide a full range of broadcast and general communications services in C-band and Ku-band for the Americas, the Caribbean and western Europe.
The weight of the spacecraft fully fueled at the time of launch, was 8,050 lbs (3,659 kg.). The one-hour launch window on July 28 opened at 3:42 pm (PDT). Launching from the equator, Sea Launch has direct access to insertion in an equatorial orbit, providing the most efficient flight profile for the mission.
Just over three minutes after liftoff, the first stage and then the payload fairing separated, lessening the load for the flight toward orbit and increasing efficiency. About nine minutes after liftoff, the second stage separated from the Block DM, or upper stage. After the first burn of the Block DM, the spacecraft coasted for about 40 minutes, during which time it approached position for orbital insertion. Following this coast, the Block DM made a second burn and then separated from the spacecraft. about seven minutes later. Once separated, the spacecraft entered into a brief stabilizing spin. About 37 minutes after separation, the spacecraft was acquired by PanAmSat's ground station in Sydney, Australia.