Sea Launch Puts Intelsat 27 Satellite into the Drink

14 Comments

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?

The latter.

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.

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.latrell Joe Latrell

    Bummer of a way to start the year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.latrell Joe Latrell

    Bummer of a way to start the year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.latrell Joe Latrell

    Bummer of a way to start the year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.latrell Joe Latrell

    Bummer of a way to start the year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.latrell Joe Latrell

    Bummer of a way to start the year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.latrell Joe Latrell

    Bummer of a way to start the year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=548669917 Linsey Young

    Is this the end for Sea Launch? Their order book is pretty sparse after all and this certainly won’t help that situation. Perhaps Spacex will pick up the platform and command ship at fire sale rates.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=548669917 Linsey Young

    Is this the end for Sea Launch? Their order book is pretty sparse after all and this certainly won’t help that situation. Perhaps Spacex will pick up the platform and command ship at fire sale rates.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=548669917 Linsey Young

    Another thought – if this is a problem with the RD-171 are there implications for the RD-180 on Atlas 5? Unlikely I would think but you never know.

  • http://www.parabolicarc.com Doug Messier

    The early reports are indicating that the engine worked fine but there was a fault in the “Ukrainian-built 11L729 hydraulic pump also known as BIM for ‘Bortovoi Istochnik Moshnosti – Onboard Power Source’ as a likely culprit in the accident. The BIM pump provides hydraulic power to a steering mechanism that tilts combustion chambers of the main engine of the first stage from their vertical position up to seven or eight degrees in order to steer the rocket in flight.”

    There’s more here: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/zenit_2013.html

  • delphinus100

    I don’t think SpaceX has any interest in operating at sea, though. Kwajalein was tough enough…

  • delphinus100

    I don’t think SpaceX has any interest in operating at sea, though. Kwajalein was tough enough…

  • delphinus100

    I don’t think SpaceX has any interest in operating at sea, though. Kwajalein was tough enough…

  • delphinus100

    I don’t think SpaceX has any interest in operating at sea, though. Kwajalein was tough enough…