Sea Launch reschedules the Thuraya-3 campaign
SEA LAUNCH NEWS RELEASE
Posted: November 27, 2007
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Due to unusually strong ocean currents at the launch site, Sea Launch is rescheduling the launch campaign for the Thuraya-3 satellite. The team is establishing an extended schedule for the Thuraya-3 mission, as the vessels return to Sea Launch Home Port. All personnel are doing well and all systems and the spacecraft are secure.
The Sea Launch team arrived at the launch site on Nov. 10 and initiated a 72-hour countdown for a Nov. 14 launch. Since that time, the Launch Platform has been subject to ocean currents of up to twice the normal levels, coupled with high winds. The result has been an inability for the vessel to maintain its launch position within established launch commit criteria. The launch team put the countdown on hold several times in an effort to work around the challenging environmental conditions, and to find alternative positions and headings for the vessels. However, sea-state conditions continued to deteriorate further.
The Odyssey Launch Platform, recently refurbished, performed as expected in all operational aspects. Throughout operations at the launch site, all segments of the satellite and launch system remained nominal in launch readiness and are now being secured for transit to Home Port, according to procedure.
"Notwithstanding the ingenuity and positive attitude of every person in every segment on this mission and the absolute readiness of all systems to support the launch of Thuraya-3, Mother Nature is not cooperating," said Rob Peckham, president and general manager of Sea Launch.
"Therefore, the integrated team (Marine Segment, Mission Director, Rocket Segment and Spacecraft) has agreed to terminate the countdown. We will now focus on extending the campaign and scheduling the corresponding activities required to return to the launch site and launch our customer's satellite."
Sea Launch Company, LLC, headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., offers the most direct and cost-effective route to geostationary orbit for commercial communications satellites. With the advantage of a launch site on the Equator, the robust Zenit-3SL rocket can lift a heavier mass or provide longer life on orbit, offering best value plus schedule assurance.