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Zenit 3SL launches Spaceway satellite
Posted: Tue, Apr 26, 2005, 11:14 AM ET (1514 GMT)
Zenit 3SL launch of Estrela do Sul (Boeing) A Sea Launch Zenit 3SL successfully launched a heavy TV broadcasting satellite early Tuesday. The Zenit 3SL lifted off from its floating platform on the Equator in the Pacific Ocean at 3:31 am EDT (0731 GMT). It placed the Spaceway 1 satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit 30 minutes later. The satellite, a Boeing 702, weighed in at 6,080 kg, making it the heaviest commercial communications satellite ever launched. The satellite was originally intended to provide high-speed data services, but instead will be used by owner DirecTV to provide local HD television programming. A second Spaceway satellite is scheduled for launch later this year on an Ariane 5. The launch is the second this year for Sea Launch.
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