Ukraine-Russia set world record in satellite launch precision

Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Kyiv:  The Ukrainian-Russian expandable carrier rocket Zenit 3SL set world record in the precision of a satellite launch. The carrier launched commercial satellite Intelsat 21 from a mobile platform in the Pacific Ocean on August 19, 2012. The satellite will service major direct-to-home and cable programmers in Latin and North America, Europe and other regions for at least 18 years.

The closest to the Earth point on the satellite's orbit had nil deviation from the planned coordinates, informed one of the project contributors RKK Energia. The farthest point had minor deviation. "The precision of the launch is unique," said the President and General Designer of RKK Energia Vitaly Lopota. Notably, the team of 30,000 people worked on the project.

The preparation and launch of the carrier Zenit 3SL is fully automated, making it easy to use. Moreover, the rocket is safe for environment as it uses liquefied oxygen and kerosene. Their combustion leads to the release of water and carbon dioxide, reports UNIAN.

Zenit 3SL consists of the carrier Zenit 2S, accelerator DM-SL, and the actual cargo - satellite equipment - that needs to be put into orbit. Zenit 2S combines the first two stages of the rocket. It was developed and produced in Ukraine, by the state-owned design bureau Yuzhnoe and industrial enterprise Pivdenmash. Russia's RKK Energia produced the rocket booster, while American Boeing constructed the cargo department.

In October 2011, the Ukrainian expandable carrier rocket Zenit-3SLB launched commercial satellite Intelsat 18. It now provides telecommunications services to Eastern Asia, Western Pacific, North America, French Polynesia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa and other areas.

Earlier in 2011, Ukrainian rocket Zenit 3M put into orbit the Russian astrophysical observatory Spectrum-R. The unique characteristics of the Ukrainian space launcher allowed Russia to launch their research observatory into an untypical orbit around the Earth. The chosen low orbit allows for better quality images to be taken by the observatory's equipment.

Additionally, jointly with Brazil Ukraine is currently working on the Alcantara Cyclone Space project. Partners are constructing a rocket launching platform in Brazil. It is located close to the equator, reducing the cost of rocket launch from this platform by 20 percent, according to the Ukrainian Ambassador to Brazil Ihor Hrushko.
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