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EchoStar IX Launch Set for Thurs.

EchoStar Communications Corp. announced Monday that its EchoStar IX satellite
is scheduled to launch Thursday at 11:31 p.m. EST.

The bird will launch from a floating platform at the equator aboard a Boeing
Co. Sea Launch rocket.

EchoStar IX is equipped with the first commercial Ka-band spot-beam payload
for use over the United States. EchoStar's Ka-band portion of the satellite will
be used to deliver future broadband initiatives for the company.

The satellite payload also includes Ku-band fixed-satellite-services
transponders that will enhance EchoStar's current U.S. Dish Network
direct-broadcast satellite service.

The bird will operate at the 121 degrees west longitude orbital location. It
was constructed by Space Systems/Loral.