Thursday, February 01, 2007

Sea Launch Assesses Status and Plans

February 1, 2007

For those that were not aware Sea Launch had an explosion while attempting a launch on January 30, 2007. SSG has the video for the incident HERE.

Today Sea Launch has issued the following statement:

Long Beach, Calif., February 1, 2007 – Following the unsuccessful launch of the NSS-8 spacecraft on January 30, and subsequent safing of all systems, Sea Launch is now in the process of securing the Odyssey Launch Platform and taking initial measures to determine the root cause and implement necessary corrective actions. Applications for all necessary permits and licenses required to proceed with these activities are also in process.

A preliminary assessment of the Odyssey Launch Platform indicates that, while it has sustained limited damage, the integrity and functionality of essential marine, communications and crew support systems remains intact. The vessel is operating on its own power and is currently manned by the full marine crew. This team is performing a comprehensive assessment of all aspects of the vessel, including its structural integrity and sea-worthiness, in anticipation of identifying and planning the next steps. The team on the Sea Launch Commander is in excellent condition and is supporting these activities. The Commander incurred no damage during yesterday’s launch attempt, as it was positioned four miles from the Launch Platform at the time of lift-off.

The Sea Launch partners will be conducting an independent investigation to review relevant data, determine root cause, and develop recommendations for corrective actions. In accordance with established procedures, Sea Launch is establishing a Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB) to review the partners’ findings, conclusions and recommendations. Kirk Pysher, vice president and chief systems engineer for Sea Launch, will chair this board. The main activity of the FROB will commence once the partner-led independent investigation is complete.

"We deeply regret the loss of the NSS-8 satellite, which was designed to be a significant part of the SES NEW SKIES fleet. We are receiving consistent expressions of confidence in our system and our team from our customers and the insurance community," said Rob Peckham, president of Sea Launch. "We have begun to discuss a plan for a Return to Flight.

"The safety of our people is our number one priority. The Sea Launch team is the best in the business and will continue to work diligently to understand the anomaly, identify the root cause and determine a corrective course of action. As we move forward, we are maintaining a positive, progressive mind-set and a dedication to excellence."

Sea Launch is an international launch service provider, based in Long Beach, Calif. Using a floating platform, one of two ocean-going vessels, Sea Launch lifts its Zenit-3SL rocket from a position on the equator at 154 degrees West Longitude. The Sea Launch partners include Boeing, RSC Energia, Aker ASA and SDO Yuzhnoye/PO Yuzhmash. For more information, please visit the Sea Launch web site at: www.sea-launch.com. We will continue to post updates on this site, as available.


2/01/2007 01:25:00 PM

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