May 27, 2014
Sea Launch has launched EUTELSAT 3B into its transfer orbit
At 01:10 Moscow Time the Launch Platform (LP) Odyssey belonging to the space rocket launching system, Sea Launch and located in the equatorial area of the Pacific Ocean at 154 W launched an Integrated Launch Vehicle (ILV) Zenit-3SL carrying spacecraft (SC) EUTELSAT 3B as its payload.
The objective of the launch was to deliver EUTELSAT 3B into its designated geotransfer orbit, from where it is to travel on its own to its designated station in the geostationary orbit.
Insertion of the spacecraft into its designated geotransfer orbit after the shutdown of the 2nd stage of the ILV was performed by the upper stage Block DM-SL made by RSC Energia.
The mission plan called for two burns of the upper stage main engine in automatic mode. The first burn was performed at ~8.7 min after the lift-off`(10 sec after separation of the upper stage carrying the SC from the second stage of the launch vehicle). The first burn of the upper stage lasted about 4.7 minutes. The second burn was fired at ~44 minutes after the lift-off, the duration of the burn was about 7 minutes.
Following the nominal mission profile, the SC separated from the upper stage at about 2:10 Moscow Time.
The upper stage delivered the SC to its targeted orbit to high precision.
Per mission plan, after spacecraft separation the upper stage performed a maneuver that put it into a safe orbit.
The flight of the DM-SL upper stage with the spacecraft and the subsequent flight of the unladen upper stage was tracked and analyzed by a team of RSC Energia specialists working under direction of the RSC Energia President and General Designer V.A. Lopota at the Mission Control Center established by the Corporation at the Baikonur launch site. In the process, continuous communications were maintained with the Assembly and Command Ship (ACS) Sea Launch Commander belonging to the Sea Launch system.
Pre-launch processing and launch of the LV carrying the upper stage and the SC were performed onboard the ACS Sea Launch Commander ship and the LP Odyssey by the launch team under immediate supervision by RSC Energia deputy General Designer V.G. Aliev.
After the SC separated from the upper stage, a video communications session was held between the President and General Designer of RSC Energia V.A. Lopota and the management and representatives of Sea Launch AG and EUTELSAT working in Paris, as well as the management of the launch team and representatives of EUTELSAT and Airbus Defence and Space working onboard the ACS. Participants in the mission congratulated each other on the success and wished further fruitful work on the subsequent missions in the Sea Launch program.
- This launch was the sixth launch under the Sea Launch program after reorganization of the Sea Launch company, and the 36th launch under the entire program of launches from the sea-going launch platform.
- RSC Energia is the prime contractor for the Sea Launch rocket segment and is responsible for its outfitting and integration in the overall system, providing, together with its subcontractors, the manufacturing and operation of the upper stage Block DM-SL as the third stage of Zenit-3SL ILV.
- Upper stages of Block DM type developed and manufactured by RSC Energia were designed for transporting spacecraft from low-Earth orbits to high-energy orbits, including GEO, as well as for spacecraft injection into trajectories that would take them to the Moon and planets of our solar system.
- EUTELSAT 3B was built by Airbus Defence and Space based on the satellite bus Astrium Eurostar 3000. It is designed to provide communication services to users in South America, Europe, Africa, Central Asia and Middle East. The mass of the SC is about 6 metric tons, the operational life is no less than 15 years. The spacecraft GEO slot is located at 3 deg. East.