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Land Launch places Telstar 11N in orbit
Posted: Fri, Feb 27, 2009, 7:26 AM ET (1226 GMT)
The multinational Land Launch venture successfully launched a commercial communications satellite on Thursday. The Zenit-3SLB lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 1:30 pm EST (1830 GMT) Thursday; its payload, the Telstar 11N spacecraft, separated from the rocket's upper stage six hours later. The satellite, a Space Systems/Loral 1300-series satellite, weighed 4,000 kilograms at launch and carries 39 Ku-band transponders. It will provide communications services for North America, western Europe, and Africa from its location at 37.5 degrees west in GEO. The launch was the second for the Zenit-3SLB, a variant of the Zenit-3SL used by Sea Launch but launched from Baikonur instead of Sea Launch's oceangoing platform. The vehicle is operated by Land Launch, a joint venture of the Sea Launch Company and Russian firm Space International Services.
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