MOSCOW, May 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Zenit-3SL carrier with Eutelsat 3B telecommunication satellite has taken off from the Odyssey floating cosmodrome in the Pacific Ocean. The Sea Launch’s site broadcasted the launch in real time.
The Russian Federal Space Agency says the DM-SL booster with the space apparatus separated at 01:18 Moscow time, and the satellite is to be taken to the target orbit at 02:10.
Originally, the launch was planned for April 16. However, due to technical reasons, the launch had to be postponed.
During a "dry" conveyance to the launch position, technical notes concerning the erection of the rocket were recorded.
The rocket Zenit-3SL consists of the stages of the booster Zenit-2S, made by the Ukrainian design bureau Yuzhmash (Dnepropetrovsk), and the DM-SL booster, made by Russia's space rocket corporation Energia.
The Eutelsat spacecraft is based on the Eurostar E3000 platform. It is made by the the Airbus Defence and Space Company and is designed for operation in the commercial C, Ku, and Ka ranges. The satellite will make it possible to diversify services being rendered to Internet providers, government agencies, and transmitting stations which operate in Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. The designed life of the Eutelsat-3B is more than 15 years.
The Sea Launch multinational company was founded in 1995 with the participation of the American Boeing Company, Russia's space rocket corporation Energia, the Norwegian Kvaerner Company, and Ukraine's enterprises such as Yuzhnoye (southern) and Yuzhmash (southern engineering) design bureaus.
This is the first-ever commercial international project for the development and operation of a sea-launch space rocket complex. The Company and a floating space-launch platform were brought into being with a view to implementing the idea of launching space rockets from the equator. Thirty-five launches of Zenit-3SL rockets were carried out under the Sea Launch programme, all in all, with 32 of them being successful.