The EchoStar 7 satellite
Posted: February 19, 2002

EchoStar 7 is a high-powered, direct broadcast satellite (DBS) equipped with 32 high-power, full continental United States (CONUS) transponders capable of operating at 120 watts per channel, which are switchable to 16 super high-power, full-CONUS transponders capable of operating at 240 watts per channel. Five transponder frequencies may also be used in a spot beam mode for a potential total of 15 spot beams.

EchoStar 7 is planned to replace the capacity of the EchoStar 4 satellite, which has experienced a series of anomalies materially impacting its functionality. Operating from the 119-degrees West Longitude orbital location, EchoStar 7, assuming successful completion of on-orbit check out, will also provide local channels by satellite to consumers in Alaska and Hawaii. EchoStar 7, together with EchoStar 8 which is expected to launch later this year, will also provide a broader array of programming choices to consumers in Alaska and Hawaii, improve spectrum efficiency, enhance the quality of video channels for all DISH Network customers, and increase in-orbit backup capacity.

The EchoStar 7 satellite design is based on a Lockheed Martin A2100AX series spacecraft that offers the most advanced DBS service available in today's market, including flexible payload design and advanced spot beam capabilities. EchoStar 7 is scheduled to launch on a Lockheed Martin Atlas 3B rocket by International Launch Services. The Atlas 3 launch vehicle system, which includes 3A and 3B, is evolved from Lockheed Martin's highly successful Atlas launch vehicle program.

With six satellites in orbit today, EchoStar's satellite fleet has the capacity to offer more than 500 television channels to its more than 6.4 million DISH Network satellite TV customers. Because of EchoStar's significant satellite backup capabilities along with the expected increase in backup capabilities pending the successful launch of EchoStar 7 and EchoStar 8 satellites, and due to the current market for in-orbit insurance, EchoStar has not procured in-orbit insurance for EchoStar 7. EchoStar has procured $125 million of insurance for the launch of EchoStar 7, protecting against the risk of total launch vehicle failure not attributable to the satellite through separation of the satellite from the launch vehicle.

Flight data file
Vehicle: Atlas 3B (AC-204)
Payload: EchoStar 7
Launch date: Feb. 21, 2002
Launch window: 7:13-8:14 a.m. EST (1213-1314 GMT
Launch site: SLC-36B, Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla.
Satellite broadcast: Telstar 6, Trans. 22, C-band

Pre-launch briefing
Launch timeline - Chart with times and descriptions of events to occur during the launch.

Ground track - See the trajectory the rocket will follow during its flight.

Atlas 3B vehicle data - Overview of the rocket to be used in this launch.

The RD-180 - Facts and figures about the Russian-built engine to power Atlas 3.

Atlas index - A directory of our previous Atlas launch coverage.