U.S. satellite to be launched into orbit as part of Sea Launch project

Moscow, June 23 (RIA Novosti) - An American communications satellite, Intelsat Americas IA-8, will be sent into orbit on board a Russian launch vehicle later today.

A Zenit rocket is to deliver the satellite into a geosynchronous orbit as part of the international Sea Launch project. A spokesperson for Russian Mission Control told RIA Novosti that it was scheduled to blast off from the Odysseus launch pad at 4:58 p.m., Moscow time.

Viktor Anoshkin, a spokesman for Boeing, said the Intelsat Americas IA-8, built by the U.S. satellite manufacturer Space Systems/Loral, weighed 5.5 kilograms and had a service life of 15 years. The Boeing Commercial Space Company, based in Seattle, Washington, has supplied the payload fairing.

Intended for digital telecasting to audiences in the Americas, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Alaska, it was one of the most powerful craft in its class, as it was equipped with 28 transmitting transponders, he said.

The Zenit launch vehicle is a co-production of a Russian company, Yuzhnoye, and Ukraine's Yuzhmashzavod. Its booster has been designed, and is mass-produced by Russia's Energia Inc., in association with several other companies.

The Zenit rocket, provided with a fully automated launch system, is easy to operate. It is propelled by liquid oxygen and kerosene, mixed with water and carbonic acid.

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