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    ZENIT BOOSTER CARRYING DIRECTV SATCOM TO BLAST OFF FROM FLOATING PLATFORM IN PACIFIC ON MAY 4

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    MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) - Commercial launch of the Zenit-3SL carrier rocket with the DirecTV communication satellite is scheduled for May 4 as part of the Sea Launch programme. Launch will be made from the Odyssey floating platform, anchored at 154 West. Long. in the Pacific, the Boeing Russian office has said.

    The Odyssey self-propelled platform in tandem with the command vessel, making up the Sea Launch complex, have sailed off from the base port to the equator. Upon arrival to the launch point, the Odyssey will become half-submerged for stability and its launch systems and the booster will be re-checked.

    The Zenit-3SL will put into orbit the satellite weighing over 5.5 tonnes. The DirecTV will sit in a geostationary orbit at 119 West. Long. It will be the second Sea Launch doing this year.

    The DirecTV will broaden the zone of telecasting for the DirecTV company. The craft has been built by the American company Space Systems Loral in Palo Alto, California.

    The Sea Launch company operates on the international space launches market through the Boeing Launch Services and is among the main suppliers of services in orbiting heavy satellites.

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