Launch Updates - Analytical Graphics, Inc.

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New Launch: 2011 September 24, 2018 UTC
Site: Sea Launch Platform (mobile)
Launcher: Zenit 3SL
International Designator(s): 2011-051A
SSC Name Owner

"Commercial launch services provider Sea Launch AG returned to operations on Sept. 24 after a 2.5-year hiatus that included a debt-cleansing passage through U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the arrival of a Russian owner and the company's move from California to Switzerland.

"The successful launch of the Atlantic Bird 7 satellite, owned by Paris-based Eutelsat—the world's third-largest commercial fleet operator—sets the stage for a three-way competition to launch heavy Western telecommunications satellites with Europe's Arianespace and its Ariane 5 rocket, and the Russian-owned International Launch Services (ILS) of Reston, Va., which markets Russia's Proton vehicle.

"Whether the cyclical satellite telecommunications market can comfortably support three heavy-lift rockets, not counting China's Long March vehicle, which is limited to satellites with no export-sensitive U.S. components, is a subject of broad debate in the industry. While Bern, Switzerland-based Sea Launch is returning to the market debt-free, it remains an international venture without regular access to any government satellite markets.

"Eutelsat confirmed that the 4,600-kilogram Atlantic Bird 7 was healthy in geostationary transfer orbit after its launch aboard Sea Launch's Zenit-3SL from Sea Launch's floating platform stationed on the equator in the Pacific Ocean, in international waters, at 154 degrees west.

"The satellite will be operated from 7 degrees west, an orbital slot that Eutelsat operates in partnership with Egypt's Nilesat, which has three satellites at that location. Atlantic Bird 7 is a Eurostar 3000 platform built by Astrium Satellites of Europe. It has a Middle East-North Africa beam with 44 Ku-band transponders, plus a separate beam with up to 12 transponders for North-West Africa. It is designed to deliver 12 kilowatts of power to its payload at the end of its 15-year service life."

Source:, "Sea Launch Returns to Flight with Smooth Satellite Flight"

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© 2011 Analytical Graphics, Inc.  |   220 Valley Creek Blvd. Exton, PA 19341

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