April 20, 2009. Seafaring space launching facility in the Pacific Ocean -
S.P.Korolev RSC Energia, MCC-M in Korolev
At 12:16:00 Moscow Time (08:16 GMT), the seagoing 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 E launched an Integrated Launch Vehicle (ILV) Zenit-3SL carrying as its payload the Sicral 1B spacecraft (SC).
The launch objective is to deliver the 3.025-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 ~8.6 minutes into the flight (10 seconds after the separation of the upper stage DM-SL carrying the SC from the LV second stage). During the first burn it worked for about 8.5 minutes. The second burn occurred ~1 hour 35 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 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.
- This was the first launch under the Sea Launch program in 2009 and the 30th launch under this entire program.
- Upper stages of the Block DM type developed and manufactured by S.P.Korolev RSC Energia were designed for transferring 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.
- Launches from the sea-going launch site are conducted under the launch services program that was put together by the company. The stockholders in this company are Boeing of US, S.P.Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia of Russia, Aker ASA of Norway, and Yuzhmashzavod production association and M.K.Yangel State Design Bureau Yuzhnoe of Ukraine.
- 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.
- As noted at the Sea Launch company's web site, the Sicral 1B SC is intended for providing telecommunications services to the Italian Ministry of Defense, NATO and countries of the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization.