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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Satellite Sea Launch a Failure




LOS ANGELES -- In a failure for a Boeing Co.-led venture's third attempt to reach orbit, a $100 million satellite apparently fell into the Pacific Ocean after liftoff from a floating platform.


Sea Launch Co. launched a Russian-Ukrainian rocket carrying a British communications satellite Sunday, but lost contact with the craft several minutes later.


"We got a good rocket, and we got a great team and, as someone once said, this business is not for the faint of heart. So these things do happen, unfortunately," Sea Launch president Will Trafton said.


Trafton said there were no injuries and no damages reported. The failure followed successes with an initial dummy satellite a year ago and a DirecTV satellite in October.


The Zenit-3SL rocket carrying a satellite for London-based ICO Global Communications lifted off at the equator in the Pacific Ocean.


Launch controllers on an accompanying command ship lost contact with the rocket several minutes later. The rocket was believed to have fallen into the ocean about 4,000 kilometers from the launch site, according to California-based Sea Launch.


It was not known if the failure would affect any scheduled launches. Boeing will investigate the cause, spokeswoman Anne Eisele said.


Sea Launch is a joint venture of Boeing Commercial Space Co., Russia's RSC Energia, Ukraine's KB Yuzhnoye/PO Yuzhmash and the English-Norwegian Kvaerner Group of Oslo.