Today at 07:13 Moscow Time (04:13 Greenwich Mean Time) from the floating Odyssey Launch Platform (LP) of the Sea Launch Rocket and Space Complex located in the Pacific Ocean in the equator area at 154 ?W near the Christmas Island was performed the next launch of the Zenith 3SL Integrated Launch Vehicle (ILV).

The task of the launch that became the first one in the year 2004 of all the spacecraft launches from Earth launch sites, planned for this year is to deliver the Telstar 14/Estrela do Sul 1 weighing about 4,7 t into a target geostationary transfer orbit with the following parameters: perigee altitude – 760 km, apogee altitude – 35786 km, inclination – 0?.

The SC insertion into this orbit from the intermediate orbit formed by the two-stage Zenith-2SL Launch Vehicle (LV) was implemented by a DM-SL Upper Stage.

Using the first burn of the main engine, performed 10 s after separation of US with SC from the LV second stage, SC was transferred by the Upper Stage into a reference near-Earth orbit with the calculated parameters: perigee altitude – 180 km, apogee altitude – 913 km, inclination – 0? . The second burn implemented 35 min. after the completion of the first one provided the SC delivery into the target geotransfer orbit.

The SC separation from the Upper Stage was implemented at 08:19 Moscow Time.
It was the 243rd successful flight of DM(D)-type Upper Stages developed and manufactured by RSC Energia.

After the autonomous transfer to the orbital position in the geostationary orbit (63? W) SC will begin its operation on providing the Brazilian users with satellite communications, as well as with Internet-services the users available in air planes above the American continent territory and the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean.

Launches from the sea-based cosmodrome are implemented by the Sea Launch international joint-stock company whose shareholders are: American Boeing Company (40% of the authorized capital), Russian Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (25%), Norwegian Kvaerner Invest Norge AS (20%) and Ukrainian aerospace enterprises – Production Association (PO) Yuzhmashzavod (10%) and Yangel State Design Bureau Yuzhnoye (5%).

Korolev RSC Energia in the Sea Launch project is the prime enterprise for its Rocket Segment as a whole, bears responsibility for outfitting and integration of this Segment into the Rocket and Space Complex, providing together with the cooperation of Russian and Ukrainian enterprises the development, manufacturing and operation of the DM-SL US as the third stage of the Zenith-3SL ILV.
Pre-launch operations and launch were controlled from the Control Center aboard the Sea Launch Commander Assembly-Command Ship (ACS). The pre-launch operations started 6 h prior to the launch were performed in the automatic mode. 3 h prior to the launch all specialists involved in the pre-launch operations and the LP crew were evacuated by a helicopter to ACS located 6,5 km away from the Odyssey platform.

Operations on pre-launch operations and launch from the Odyssey LP on the launch site were performed under the guidance of Sea Launch Company Mission Director D. Dubbs and Rocket Segment Operations Manager, RSC Energia Deputy General Designer V.G. Aliev.

The US+SC flight analysis was made by RSC Energia specialists being members of a dedicated Main Operational Management Group working at the Mission Control Center (MCC-M), Korolev, Moscow Region, and being permanently in contact with the Control Center aboard ACS. Flight Director is Pilot Cosmonaut V.A. Soloviev.

In MCC-M control hall during pre-launch operations and launch were present President, General Designer Academician Yu.P. Semenov, his deputies, other managers and specialists of the Corporation and subcontractors.

After the SC separation form US Yu.P. Semenov congratulated via telephone on a successful launch Rocket Segment Operations Manager V.G, Aliev, RSC Energia specialists and the entire ACS and LP personnel.

This launch was the twelfth one implemented under the Sea Launch program. The first one took place on March 27th, 1999, the new one is planned for March, 2004.