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article imageRussian-US rocket plunges into Pacific 40 seconds after launch

By Robert Myles     Feb 1, 2013 in World
There were reports this morning that a joint Russian-US rocket carrying a satellite into orbit had crashed into the Pacific Ocean shortly after launch.
The launch took place from the Odyssey floating launch platform stationed in the Pacific Ocean owned by Sea-Launch AG. The delivery rocket, a Russian-made Zenith-3SL, had a payload of a US-made Intelsat-27 satellite, reports Russia Today.
Contact was lost with the rocket shortly after launch. There was confirmation on the Sea-Launch website that approximately 40 seconds after lift-off, mission control lost all telemetry with the rocket.
News agency ITAR-TASS quotes an aerospace industry source as saying, "“The engine failed in the rocket. [The rocket] fell close to the Odyssey floating platform used to perform the launch. Neither the floating launch pad, nor the vessel with the flight control unit have been damaged."
The rocket’s flight was being directed from a vessel moored six kilometers from the launch platform. The rocket had on board a satellite built by Boeing Satellite Systems and had been fired from the Odyssey sea-launch platform stationed on the equator at 154°W longitude.
Sea Launch said it would now establish a Failure Review Oversight Board to ascertain the cause of the rocket failure. Further information would be provided on the Sea-Launch website as it became available.
It is not the first occasion that a Sea Launch rocket launch has failed to go as planned. In 2007, a commercial Sea Launch Zenit 3SL rocket disintegrated at launch causing damage to the launch platform.
More about Satellites, rocket launches, sealaunch platform, Space exploration, Scitech
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