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Sea Launch To Resume Zenit Launches In October

File image of a Zenit rocket launch.
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (RIA Novosti) Jul 13, 2007
The first launch of a Zenit rocket under the Sea Launch project following a January explosion that damaged a launch platform has been scheduled for October, a company spokesperson said Thursday. A Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket carrying a commercial communications satellite exploded shortly after liftoff from an oceangoing platform in the Pacific January 31. The Odyssey Launch Platform suffered only minor damage.

Sea Launch spokesperson Paula Korn said that the "mission recovery" program was fully underway and the Sea Launch team was proceeding on schedule with repairs and re-certification of the Odyssey platform and associated launch support equipment.

"We are hoping to conduct the first launch of a Zenit-3SL [after the January accident] with a Thuraya-3 telecommunications satellite on board in October of this year," she said.

The Sea Launch Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB) concluded July 11 its review of the findings of an interagency CIS Joint Commission, which has been investigating the cause of the unsuccessful launch of January 30, 2007.

The commission concluded March 12 that the failure originated in the liquid oxygen turbo-pump section of the RD-171M main engine, manufactured by Russia's power machine-building company Energomash.

"All systems have been cleared for operations, pending completion and tests of all repairs on the Launch Platform," the FROB said in a statement posted on the Sea Launch Web site.

Established in 1995, the Sea Launch consortium is owned by Boeing, Kvaerner ASA of Oslo, Norway, Yuzhmash of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, and RSC-Energia of Moscow.

The company launches its vehicles from the equator, which allows rockets to carry heavier payloads than they could from other locations due to the physics of the Earth's rotation.

Source: RIA Novosti

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Russia Proton-M Booster Puts US Satellite Into Orbit
Baikonur, Kazakhstan (RIA Novosti) Jul 09, 2007
A Russian Proton-M carrier rocket has successfully delivered U.S. telecommunications satellite, DirecTV-10, into orbit, Russia's space agency said. The rocket, powered by a Briz-M booster was launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan at 5.16 a.m. Moscow time Saturday (1.16 a.m. GMT). The launch services were provided by International Launch Services, a U.S.-Russian joint venture with exclusive rights for worldwide commercial sales and mission management of satellite launches on Russia's Proton carrier rockets.

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