May 21, 2008. Seafaring space launching facility in the Pacific Ocean – S.P.Korolev RSC Energia, MCC-M in Korolev
At 13:43 Moscow Time (9:43 GMT), the seagoing Launch Platform (LP) Odyssey belonging to the space rocket launching system Sea Launch launched an Integrated Launch Vehicle (ILV) Zenit-3SL carrying as its payload Galaxy 18 spacecraft (SC).
The launch objective is to deliver the 4.642-ton spacecraft into a geotransfer target orbit.
The spacecraft insertion into this orbit was performed by the space upper stage Block DM-SL, designed and built by S.P.Korolev RSC Energia, from an intermediate low Earth orbit, where the upper stage with the spacecraft had been delivered by the two-stage launch vehicle Zenit-2S.
The mission plan, which called for two burns of the upper stage main engine in automatic mode, has been fully completed.
The first burn of the main engine occurred ~8.5 minutes into the flight (10 seconds after the separation of the upper stage DM-SL carrying the SC from the LV second stage). The first burn was about 8.5 minutes in duration. The second burn occurred ~48 minutes after the launch, the duration of the burn was about 3 minutes.
The upper stage delivered the SC to its target orbit with high accuracy.
The flight of the upper stage Block DM-SL carrying the SC was analyzed by the S.P.Korolev RSC Energia experts working within the Lead Operations Control Team (LOCT) at the Mission Control Center (Korolev, Moscow Region), who were in constant contact with the Control Center on-board the Sea Launch Commander ship included in the Sea Launch system.
1. This was the third launch under the Sea Launch program in 2008 and the 27th launch under this entire program.
2. Upper stages of Block D and DM type developed and manufactured by S.P.Korolev 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. They are operated together with LVs Proton-K and Zenit-2S.
3. The launches of spacecraft from the sea-based launch site are performed under a program of launch services provided by the Sea Launch company, which has as its stockholders Boeing of US, S.P.Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia of Russia, Aker ASA of Norway, and Ukrainian aerospace companies Yuzhmashzavod production association and M.K.Yangel State Design Bureau Yuzhnoe.
4. 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 LV.
5. Spacecraft Galaxy18 is intended for providing state-of-the-art telecommunication services to users in continental USA, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. The spacecraft GEO slot is located at 123°W.