Sea Launch rocket lofts Eutelsat satellite

(AP)—Sea Launch AG says it has placed a communication satellite into orbit for global provider Eutelsat.

A Zenit-3SL rocket carrying the Eutelsat-70B satellite lifted off from 's oceangoing platform in the equatorial Pacific at 12:43 p.m. PST (20:43 GMT) Monday.

Sea Launch says the satellite successfully separated and a ground station acquired its first signals from orbit.

The satellite will provide coverage over Europe, Africa, Central Asia and as far as Australia. It's expected to go into service in January and is designed to last more than 15 years.

Switzerland-based Sea Launch sends its self-propelled launch platform and a command ship from their homeport in Long Beach, Calif., to the equator, where heavy payloads can more easily be lofted into orbit.


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Dec 03, 2012
Switzerland-based Sea Launch sends its self-propelled launch platform and a command ship from their homeport in Long Beach, Calif., to the equator, where heavy payloads can more easily be lofted into orbit.
I don't agree with that statement. The only advantage to be gained by lifting off from a sea-based platform at the equator is the saving in fuel, by way of the assist provided by the rate of Earth's rotation at that latitude. It certainly isn't easier, though.

Also, the Zenit-3SL has a payload capacity of only about 6,000 kilograms. Compare that to the Saturn V's payload capacity of 2.8 million kilograms. Would it be easier for Sea Launch to send one of those monsters into space than to use a land based launch facility? I think not.

Dec 04, 2012

Also, the Zenit-3SL has a payload capacity of only about 6,000 kilograms. Compare that to the Saturn V's payload capacity of 2.8 million kilograms.


Huh? Saturn V had a payload capacity of 120 000 kilograms.

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