Bolstered by the unqualified success of DemoSat, Sea Launch looked forward to proving our capability on our first commercial launch, a Hughes-built HS-601 for DIRECTV, designated DIRECTV 1-R. The world watched closely as Sea Launch performed a second outstanding mission, with injection accuracy even better than 1 sigma.
The launch window opened at 8:28 p.m. PDT on October 9, 1999, a day earlier than scheduled due to exceptional transit time and smooth launch readiness operations. Liftoff occurred exactly at 8:28 p.m. All flight events were nominal, no environment were exceeded, and the spacecraft was separated 62 minutes later. Hughes personnel reported spacecraft acquisition prior to separation and indicated the spacecraft was healthy. Injection accuracy was better than one sigma.