Booster Orbits Brazilian COMM Satellite
January 11 (RIA Novosti corr. Alexander Kovalyov) -The Zenit-3SL
booster with the Brazilian communications satellite Estrela do Sul
was launched from a floating platform in the Pacific ocean at 7.13
Moscow time. It became the first space launch in the new year. At
8.18 Moscow time the booster successfully put the satellite into
the calculated orbit. Thus, the first space launch of 2004 may be
considered successful, said Russia’s Mission Control.
is designed to render telecomm services to Brazil residents as well
as to ensure Internet access to passengers of airliners during flights
over the Atlantic. The spacecraft was built by American corporation
Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) and is designed for 15 years of operation.
launch was made in the framework of joint program Sea Launch. Among
Sea Launch joint enterprise founders are Russian space and rocket
corporation Energia, Ukraine’s aerospace enterprises – Yuzhmashzavod
production association and Yuzhnoye design bureau, American concern
Boeing, as well as Norwegian shipbuilding company Kvarner.
Spacecraft are orbited from the equatorial area in the Pacific ocean
situated near the Christmas Island. Launches are made from the ocean
platform Odyssey with the help of the Zenit 3SL booster with the
acceleration unit DM-SL. The complex is made up of a launch pad
built by Norwegian company Kvarner on the basis of a self-propelled
platform for oil production industry, as well as assemblage command
ship and floating measuring complex Selena.
launching complex is placed on a sea platform the height of 50m
and the displacement of 40,000 metric tons. It ensures the storage
of the rocket in the dock during the transition to the launch location,
installation of Zenit onto the launching board and its fuelling.
launch is carried out by an automated control system and does not
require the presence of personnel at the starting platform.
technical complex of the Sea Launch is situated on the assemblage
command ship and is designed for assembling and testing carrier
rockets. Upon the necessary checks, the rocket is transshipped onto
a conveyor and is immediately delivered to the launching board.
Two assembled carrier rockets may be kept at the ship at the same
creating the ship, the Kvarner company used the model of a sea container
carrier. The ship has a displacement of over 30,000 tons and a speed
of up to 16 knots. For the staff’s work and rest there are all necessary
conditions – comfortable cabins, conference halls, a theater, drawing
rooms, cafes, game rooms, a fitness hall and a swimming pool.
Zenit 3SL booster was designed at the Ukrainian Yangel design bureau
Yuzhnoye, and built at the Yuzhmashzavod enterprise in Dnepropetrovsk.
The acceleration unit DM for Zenit is produced by the Russian space
and rocket corporation Energia. The Sea Launch complex was created
without attraction of state funds but under the supervision of Rosaviakosmos
and Russia’s defense ministry, as well as Ukraine’s national space
agency and the US Commercial Space Transportation Committee.