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MOSCOW, April 11. /ITAR-TASS/. The situation in Ukraine will have no impact on the Sea Launch rocket program, the Energia Rocket and Space Corportation president, Vitaly Lopota, said.
“I believe that the political crisis in Ukraine will not acctually influence prospects for launching the Zenit-3SL rocket from the Odyssey Platform in the Pacific Ocean,” Lopota told ITAR-TASS on Friday.
“Zenit rockets are assembled mostly from Russian components. A rupture of Russia-Ukraine relations will lead to bankruptcy of Dnipropetrovsk-based Southern Machine-Building Plant,” he said.
“The Ukrainian side has always fulfilled and fulfils conscientiously its obligations under the contracts that we sign with it,” Lopota said.
The Zenith rocket is a joint project between Russian and Ukrainian space companies. The first two stages of the launch vehicle were designed and built in Ukraine, and the third stage is Russian-made. The Intelsat-27 satellite, made by Boeing, was designed to transmit communication signals over the US and Europe.
Sea Launch is an international company founded in 1995 that unites space construction bureaus from Ukraine, Russia, US and Norway. It is a first transnational commercial project for the creation and use of sea-based space launch pads. The Odyssey floating platform is designed for equatorial space launches, where the Earth’s rotation is most effectively exploited.
Since 2010, 95% of shares of Sea Launch belong to Russian company Energia Overseas Ltd., a subsidiary of Russian rocket and space corporation Energia, which oversees the technical aspects of the projects.
Odyssey has launched a total of 35 rockets. Two of those projects were failures, and one was partially successful. In the latest launch, in April 2012, a similar Zenith-3SL rocket took the Eutelsat W5A satellite into space.