The first hint of trouble came when the Sea Launch webcast suddenly cut out less than a minute after launch of the Zenit-3SL booster.
Was there some problem with the streaming? Or was it something more serious?
Sea Launch AG announced today that approximately 40 seconds after liftoff of the launch of the Intelsat 27 spacecraft, all telemetry was lost indicating a loss of mission. The spacecraft, built by Boeing Satellite Systems was launched on a Zenit-3SL launch vehicle from the equator on the ocean-based Odyssey launch platform, positioned at 154 degrees West longitude.
Sea Launch will establish a Failure Review Oversight Board to determine the root cause of the incident and will provide additional information, as it becomes available, on the Sea Launch website at: www.sea-launch.com.
The failure marks a major setback for the company, which is majority owned by Energia Overseas Limited. The company uses Ukrainian-built Zenit-3SL rockets that are launched from an ocean-going platform that is towed to the equator.
Sea Launch had made four successful launches since it emerged from bankruptcy in 2011. The company has launched 35 times since 1999, with three failures and one partial failure.