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Raumfahrt - Erfolgreicher Sea Launch von EUTELSAT 3B

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20.02.2014

Launch on track for 15 April
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Paris, 19 February 2014 — Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris : ETL) announces that its EUTELSAT 3B satellite has arrived in Long Beach, California, from Toulouse, France and has been transported to the Sea Launch “Home Port” facility to be prepared for launch on April 15.
Once standalone spacecraft operations are completed, EUTELSAT 3B will be handed over to Sea Launch's prime contractor, Energia Logistics, to be mated with the payload support structure and integrated with the Zenit-3SL launch vehicle. The satellite will be launched from an ocean–based launch platform located directly on the equator.
Built for Eutelsat by Airbus Defence and Space using the Eurostar 3000 platform, EUTELSAT 3B is designed to increase and diversify Eutelsat’s resources and footprint at its 3° East orbital position. The first satellite to assemble Ku, C and Ka payloads in a single platform, it will operate up to 51 transponders. Its tri-band configuration will enable customers to select from three frequency bands adapted to data, telecom, broadband and professional video services that are connected to a wide range of footprints covering Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South America.
EUTELSAT 3B will replace the EUTELSAT 3D satellite that will be redeployed to another orbital location to continue full commercial service.
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Quelle: eutelsat
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Update: 24.02.2014
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Sea Trials
In preparation for the upcoming launch of the EUTELSAT 3B satellite in April, the Sea Launch vessels departed Home Port within the Port of Long Beach harbor for three days of operational sea trials. The Launch Platform Odyssey and the Sea Launch Commander departed on January 21, 2014 and returned on January 24, 2014.
Participating marine segment personnel from Energia Logistics United States (ELUS) and Barber Moss Ship Management have a number of objectives designed to verify that all vital marine systems, launch platform ground support equipment and integrated systems are performing per established parameters.  Additional activities include the training and certification of existing and new personnel, the testing of various equipment and procedures and complete Dynamic Positioning and Class re-certifications.
The team had fair weather as we they head 50 nautical miles West off the coast of southern California.  The uniquely purposed vessels will be conducting practice operations in the waters between Long Beach and Santa Catalina Island south to San Clemente Island. In one verification procedure, the Sea Launch vessels will "park" parallel to each other and "link" the two vessels by performing a link-bridge operation connecting the two vessels by a "bridge" so that personnel can transfer back and forth in performance of their tasks.
The sea trials will end with the Sea Launch Commander returning to Long Beach harbor by Friday evening and the Launch Platform Odyssey to return by Saturday afternoon. 
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Quelle: SEA LAUNCH
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Update: 2.04.2014
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Sea Launch postpones launch of Zenit rocket with EUTELSAT 3B satellite
MOSCOW, The launch of a Zenit rocket with the EUTELSAT 3B satellite has been postponed for several days or weeks.
During the final “dry” roll-out phase of integrated launch vehicle (ILV) processing at Home Port in support of the EUTELSAT 3B mission, a discrepancy in the nominal movement of the cable-mast and the Zenit-2S LV lateral plate occurred while installing the ILV onto the launch pad. This caused mechanical damage to the lateral plate housing located on the inter-stage truss of the LV. Resolution of this condition will result in a delay to the planned April 15, 2014 launch date, the company Sea Lauch said on Monday, March 31.
Rocket and Space Corporation Energia President Vitaly Lopota said no damage had been found and specialists were investigating the discrepancy.
“There is a tiny deformity in the rocket’s hull. It might have been the reason. We will not take it out to sea until we work everything out. I think there may be a delay for a week or two,” Lopota said.
A decision was made to de-mate the Payload Unit and Block-DM-SL onboard the Sea Launch Commander to resolve the issue, establish the root cause and perform additional checks of the interface between the launch vehicle and ground support equipment connectors.
Once the above tasks have been completed, Sea Launch will announce an updated schedule and launch day for EUTELSAT 3B.
The EUTELSAT 3B satellite was not powered on during the operation on the launch vehicle and was unaffected. It remains in a safe configuration.
Initially, this year’s first launch from a platform in the Pacific was scheduled for April 16.
The EUTELSAT 3B communications satellite departed from the Toulouse, France, manufacturing facilities of Airbus Defence and Space on February 17 and arrived at the Long Beach Airport (LGB) on-board an Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft on the following day. It was subsequently transferred via surface roads on an oversized transport vehicle with representatives from Eutelsat, Airbus Defence and Space and Energia Logistics Ltd. on hand to receive the spacecraft, the statement said.
“Based on the Eurostar E3000 platform of Airbus Defence and Space, the EUTELSAT 3B satellite has been designed to operate three commercial payloads in the C, Ku and Ka bands. This tri-band configuration will deliver exceptional levels of in-orbit flexibility and coverage from Eutelsat’s expanding 3 degrees East neighbourhood,” Sea Launch said.
The satellite will enable Eutelsat to diversify its commercial response to Internet Service Providers, telecom companies, government agencies and broadcasters operating in Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. EUTELSAT 3B has a designed in-orbit lifetime exceeding 15 years.
Sea Launch owns or manages through affiliate agreements the primary technology, patent and other intellectual property and tangible assets required to perform its launch services business. These include the highly specialized vessels Odyssey Launch Platform and the Sea Launch Commander each located in the Home Port facility in Long Beach, California, as well as the unique know-how associated with launching satellites from an ocean-based launch platform located directly on the equator.
Thirty-five launches have been carried out under the Sea Launch programme, 32 of which were successful.
Quelle: ITAR TASS
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Update: 3.05.2014
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Sea Launch Resumes EUTELSAT 3B Launch Operations

Nyon, Switzerland, 1 May, 2014 – Following suspension on 31 March of the launch campaign activities of the EUTELSAT 3B satellite, Sea Launch today announced that its prime contractor, Energia Logistics, Ltd., will this week restart testing in preparation for the rollout of the Payload Unit and its integration with the Zenit-3SL launch vehicle before departing to the launch site in mid-May.
 
The launch of the EUTELSAT 3B satellite is now scheduled for 26 May at 14:10 Pacific Daylight Time (21:10 UTC, 23:10 CEST) at the opening of a 54-minute launch window.

Based on the Eurostar E3000 platform of Airbus Defence and Space, the EUTELSAT 3B satellite has been designed to operate three commercial payloads in the C, Ku and Ka bands. This tri-band configuration will deliver exceptional levels of in-orbit flexibility and coverage from Eutelsat’s expanding 3° East neighourhood. The satellite will enable Eutelsat to diversify its commercial response to Internet Service Providers, telcos, government agencies and broadcasters operating in Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. EUTELSAT 3B has a designed in-orbit lifetime exceeding 15 years.
 
 
Quelle: SEALAUNCH
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Update: 23.05.2014
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French satellite a chance for Sea Launch to return to successful orbit

After bankruptcy, president’s departure and failed launch, company looks to get back on track with Monday’s mission.

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Sea Launch uses a modified oil rig to launch rockets near the equator.

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The last time Sea Launch AG attempted to put a satellite into orbit, it ended quickly and badly.

The Zenit-3SL rocket blasted off from its oil rig roost in the middle of the Pacific Ocean near the equator on Jan. 31, 2013. But as 300 workers looked on, the rocket and its Boeing-made Intelsat 27 satellite dove less than 2½ miles from where it started. More than a million pounds of rocket, payload and hard work slammed into the water after 40 seconds of flight.

Sea Launch aims to get back on track Monday, when it is scheduled to launch a French telecommunications satellite. The Odyssey oil rig disembarked last week from the company’s 16-acre facility in Long Beach with the support freighter Sea Launch Commander, giving the ships plenty of time to make Monday’s blast-off point.

Success would mark the 36th completed mission for the company since 1999, and its first since December 2012. Sea Launch still is reeling from a 2009 bankruptcy in which Boeing relinquished a majority share. The ills continued this year with the departure of President Kjell Karlsen and the delay of Sea Launch’s latest mission.

“Their whole history has been one of challenges,” said Marco Caceres, senior space analyst for the aerospace and defense market research firm Teal Group Corp. “It’s a company that’s really a survivor. I’d never count them out.”

Sea Launch was established in 1995 as a consortium of four companies from Norway, Russia, Ukraine and the United States. Now, majority ownership belongs to Russia-based Energia Overseas Limited, and a senior executive team manages the company as Karlsen has yet to be replaced.

The company’s goal from the outset was to use smaller rockets but fire them from a converted oil rig in the Pacific, right around the equator. That’s closest to the satellites’ final destination, reducing mission costs and increasing payload capacity.

The satellite-launching business is littered with risk. Sea Launch’s January 2013 failure, the company’s third, puts it in good company.

Just down the road in Hawthorne, Space Exploration Technologies – better known as SpaceX – endured three failures before it tasted success, grabbing a piece of the coveted commercial satellite market and securing two NASA contracts.

Attaining that level of success will be much harder for Sea Launch, Caceres said. The company doesn’t command enough business, despite its competitive prices.

Sea Launch primarily sends satellites to geosynchronous orbit, a spot in the sky about 22,000 miles above the ground and directly over the equator. Telecom and defense satellites typically find homes in this orbit because ground antennae can maintain a fixed and clear signal at all times. The expense of the launches and the hardware make such missions relatively infrequent.

“As long as the market remains at about 20 launches a year, I can see them picking out one or two,” Caceres said. “If they can get to a point where they’re launching two or three a year, that will be a very good year for them.”

The commercial satellite launch field remains crowded with competitors SpaceX, Arianespace and International Launch Services. But Michael Blades, senior aerospace and defense industry analyst for market research firm Frost & Sullivan, said global fiscal belt-tightening could have long-term benefits for the private space launch companies.

“You have governments that are reducing their budgets, and they don’t want to subsidize space as much as they used to,” Blades said.

The Air Force has committed about $70 billion for launching defense satellites, much of that going to the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between defense behemoths Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
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The Odyssey oil rig and Sea Launch Commander support freighter sit at the company's facility in Long Beach. The ships are currently at sea for Monday's planned launch.
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Quelle: Orange County Register

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Update: 26.05.2014 

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MOSCOW, May 26. Overnight to May 27, the Sea Launch Company will loft into space a Zenit-3SL space rocket from the floating platform Odysseus in the Pacific to deploy Eutelsat 3B communications satellite.
Initially, the launch was planned for April 16. However, due to technical reasons the launch had to be postponed.
During a "dry" conveyance to the launch position, technical notes concerning the erection of the rocket were recorded.
The Zenit-3SL rocket consists of the Zenit-2S booster stages made by the Ukraine-based design bureau Yuzhmash (Dnipropetrovsk), and the DM-SL booster made by Russia's space rocket corporation Energia.
The Eutelsat spacecraft is based on the Eurostar E3000 platform. It is made by the Airbus Defense and Space Company and is designed for operation in the commercial C, Ku, and Ka ranges. The satellite will make it possible to diversify services being rendered to internet providers, government agencies, and transmitting stations which operate in Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. The designed life of the Eutelsat-3B is more than 15 years.
Quelle: ITARTASS

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Update: 27.05.2014 

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Sea Launch Successfully Launches EUTELSAT 3B
NYON, Switzerland, May 27, 2014 - Sea Launch SA has successfully launched the EUTELSAT 3B satellite today from at its ocean-based Launch Platform Odyssey. This marks the completion of Sea Launch’s first mission in 2014, its third for Eutelsat, one of the world’s leading satellite operators,  and its 36th mission overall.
The Zenit-3SL rocket carrying the spacecraft lifted off at 14:09:59 Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on Monday, May 26th (21:09:59 UTC, 23:09:55 CEST) from the launch platform, positioned at 154 degrees West longitude in the Pacific Ocean. One hour later, the Block DM-SL upper stage inserted the satellite, weighing 5,967 kilograms (13,155 lbs.) into geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital position at 3 degrees East longitude.  Eutelsat acquired the spacecraft’s first signals from orbit shortly after spacecraft separation. All systems performed nominally throughout the launch mission.
Following acquisition of the spacecraft's signal, Sergey Gugkaev, CEO of Sea Launch, congratulated Eutelsat and the satellite’s prime contractor, Airbus Defence and Space.  "I am very pleased to once again announce the successful launch for our valued Eutelsat customer, our third in a row for them.”  Gugkaev continued, “I wish to express my gratitude to all of our colleagues at the launch site, Home Port and production and maintenance facilities for their hard work and dedication to Sea Launch program.”
Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat Chairman and CEO, added “We are delighted to see EUTELSAT 3B on its way to 3 degrees East and thank Sea Launch and Energia for this flawless launch. EUTELSAT 3B will be a powerful asset to our in-orbit resources, enabling us to increase the operational flexibility and reach we provide customers in a vast service area spanning Brazil, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. ”
Based on the Eurostar E3000 platform of Airbus Defence and Space, the EUTELSAT 3B satellite has been designed to operate three commercial payloads in the C, Ku and Ka bands. This tri-band configuration will deliver exceptional levels of in-orbit flexibility and coverage from Eutelsat’s expanding 3° East neighourhood. The satellite will enable Eutelsat to diversify its commercial response to Internet Service Providers, telcos, government agencies and broadcasters operating in Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. EUTELSAT 3B has a designed in-orbit lifetime exceeding 15 years.
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Quelle: SEALAUNCH
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