Russian-Ukrainian Launcher Puts U.S. Satellite Into Orbit

KOROLYOV, Russia -- A Zenit-3SL Russian-Ukrainian launch vehicle and its upper stage have put a U.S. telecommunications satellite, Galaxy 16, into its target orbit, Mission Control in Russia’s Korolyov told Interfax-AVN.

Zenit-3SL Rocket

“The satellite has been put into the target orbit, and control over it has been taken over by the U.S. client. The launch was carried out by the Sea Launch corporation,” a Mission Control spokesman said.

The launch vehicle and the upper stage worked flawlessly, the spokesman said.

Galaxy 16, owned by the PanAmSaT telecommunications satellite operator (U.S.), will provide telecommunication services to users in the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

The satellite will replace the old Galaxy 4R satellite, which belonged to PanAmSat. It is intended for broadcasts in the United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico and Canada. Galaxy 16 is the fourth spacecraft Sea Launch will orbit for PanAmSat, RIA Novosti added.

Sea Launch was created in 1995 as a consortium comprising Boeing, Norway’s Kvaerner Group, leading Russian spacecraft-maker Energia, and Ukraine’s Yuzhnoye design bureau and Yuzhmash production association.

It is the only company to operate launches from a sea platform in the Pacific’s equatorial waters, a location that makes it possible to launch heavier payloads than from elsewhere.

Sea Launch made four successful launches in 2005 and one in 2006.

Source: MosNews