MOSCOW, February 2 (Itar-Tass) – According to preliminary information of the telemetric analysis, the first stage’s engine and the control system of the Zenit rocket worked normally, press service of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said on Saturday.
“The analysis of the documents at the enterprises, which had produced the engine /Energomash/ and the rocket’s control system, has demonstrated no drawbacks,” the press service said. “According to the flight’s cyclogram, over 20 seconds the propulsion system was not responding to a failure. After that, in order to take the launch vehicle to a safe distance from the launch platform, there was an order for an emergency engine shutdown. The rocket’s flight stopped.”
The rocket Zenit-3SL with the satellite Intelsat-27 sank in the Pacific due to the deviation from the designated trajectory in the morning on February 1. According to the preliminary reports, the engine of the first stage of the rocket switched off automatically that resulted in the deviation of the rocket from the designated trajectory right after the launch, a source in the aerospace industry told Itar-Tass. Zenit-3SL fell down not far from the floating platform Odyssey, from which the rocket was launched. Meanwhile, the floating ‘spaceport’ and the ship, onboard of which the launch control centre was deployed (six kilometres from the platform), were not damaged. The launch of the rocket Zenit-3SL was initially to be made on Thursday, January 31, but it was delayed at the US request.
The launch vehicle Zenit-3SL consists of the rocket Zenit-2, produced at the Ukrainian design bureau Yuzhmash based in Dnepropetrovsk, and the upper stage rocket DM produced by the Russian aerospace corporation Energia.
Sea Launch was created in 1995 as a consortium of the United States’ Boeing Company, Russia’s Energia, Norway’s Kvaerner and Ukraine’s design bureaus Yuzhnoye and Yuzhmash.
In 2010 Energia Overseas Limited, an affiliate of SP Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia acquired a majority ownership (95 percent) stake in the reorganized Sea Launch S·rl,, with the remaining stake of five percent held by Boeing Company and Norway’s Aker ASA.
The Sea Launch consortium has already conducted 34 launches of Zenit-3SL from the platform in the Pacific Ocean.