[SatNews] Countdown status reports were in English and Russian, a truly collaborative effort...
Main engine and throttling down in the after launch minutes are all reporting 'nominal'. Second stage has now jettisoned.
Hours from now the crew will be returned to the Sea Launch platform, having conducted and viewed the launch from a nearby location on the water. The ocean's waves created a challenge for the cameras while documenting the successful launch.
Statement from Sea Launch
Sea Launch Successfully Launches the EUTELSAT 3B Spacecraft
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, 23:09:59 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.
Sea Launch SA provides launch solutions to the industry’s satellite operator community based on the Zenit launch system. These services include the provision of all–inclusive launch services incorporating schedule assurance, financing, risk management; insurance and creative contracting solutions to meet the changing demands of the commercial launch market. 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. The Sea Launch system offers the most direct and cost-effective route to geostationary orbit for commercial communications satellites, providing diversity of supply, affordability and flexibility for the industry's satellite operators. For more information, please visit the Sea Launch website at www.sea-launch.com
End Sea Launch Statement
Airbus Defence and Space has built the EUTELSAT 3B tri-band satellite, which will increase and diversify its resources for markets in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South America. The EUTELSAT 3B satellite will be based on the Astrium Eurostar 3000 platform. The spacecraft will be located at Eutelsat's 3 degrees East orbital slot.
Sea Launch will insert the EUTELSAT 3B spacecraft into an optimized GTO orbit.
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 neighborhood. 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.
- Dimensions in orbit: Height: 7.5 meters Length: Solar Arrays: 31 meters
- Mass at Launch: 5,967 kilograms (13,155 lbs.)
- Spacecraft power: 12 kW
- Operational Lifetime: 15+ years
EUTELSAT 3B is the 34th Eurostar E3000 delivered, the eighth for Eutelsat and the fourth to be launched by Sea Launch. It will be the 36th mission overall for Sea Launch.
The Sea Launch Commander is positioned alongside the Launch Platform Odyssey, with the two vessels periodically connected by a link bridge that facilitates foot traffic between the vessels. A day before liftoff, the Zenit-3SL rocket will be erected on the launch pad for final tests of the launch system and spacecraft, prior to start of the terminal countdown.
The Zenit 3SL Launch Vehicle is an expandable carrier rocket that is part of the Zenit Rocket Family. Zenit 3SL is operated by Sea Launch, California. The Rocket was designed by the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau and is constructed by Yuzhmash, both Ukrainian.
It is a two stage rocket that is outfitted with a modified Block-DM Upper Stage built by RSC Energia. The Payload Fairing of the vehicle is provided by Boeing. Development of the Zenit 3 Rocket Family began back in 1980 for two purposes; the first stage was intended as booster for the Energia launch vehicle; and equipped with a second stage, the vehicle was designed as an independent launcher. Zenit 3SL made its maiden flight in 1999 while the SLB version first flew in 2008. Since then, 35 launches of the 3SL version have taken place to date with three failures and one partial failure. Land Launch has flown five Zenit Missions—all successful.
Sea Launch integrates the Launch Vehicle at its Home Port in California, USA. Then, the launcher is moved to the launch site located in the Pacific Ocean. Zenit 3SL is launched from the Odyssey Launch Platform that is located at 0Degrees North and 154 Degrees West. This position was selected based on several factors, including stage impact zones, weather, and vessel transit times.
From its ocean-based launch site located directly on the equator at 154 degrees West longitude, a Zenit-3SL launch vehicle will lift the EUTELSAT 3B spacecraft into an optimized geosynchronous transfer orbit on its way to its final geostationary orbit at 3 degrees East longitude.
The Zenit-3SL rocket will begin its ascent phase of flight. The first stage of the vehicle will separate 2:30 minutes (150 seconds) after liftoff, and the protective payload fairing will be jettisoned 81 seconds later at 3:51 minutes into the flight. The second stage will conduct a 6 minute burn, followed by its separation from the Block DM-SL upper stage. The Block DM-SL will begin its first of two burns at 8:41 minutes (521 seconds) into the mission, for the duration of 279 seconds. The upper stage will then shut down for a 30.5 minute coast period, followed by the start of the second burn at 43:50 minutes into the mission. Spacecraft separation is expected at 1 hour after liftoff, over the Indian Ocean
The launch of the EUTELSAT 3B communications satellite is presently scheduled for Monday, May 26th at 14:10 Pacific Daylight Time (21:10 UTC, 23:10 CEST) at the opening of a 54-minute launch window.
During final preparations for liftoff, the platform will be evacuated, with all personnel positioned on the ship, three miles up range from the platform. At launch, the rocket will lift the 5,967 kilograms (13,155 lbs.) spacecraft to geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital location at 3 degrees East longitude.
Sea Launch will carry live coverage of this launch via streaming video on the Sea Launch website. Coverage will begin approximately 15 minutes before the scheduled launch time, or 13:55 PDT (20:55 UTC, 22:55 CEST). Details of the Eutelsat spacecraft, its payload, as well as the launch vehicle’s mission profile, launch timelines, groundtrack, injection orbit, launch campaign highlights and mission album images can also be found on the Sea Launch website.