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Russian Zenit rocket arrives in California ahead of telecom satellite launch

A Russian Zenit rocket has arrived in Long Beach, California, ahead of an April 12-13 overnight launch taking a communications satellite into orbit.

Lift-off from the Pacific Ocean launch platform will be the first this year following the failure and collapse of another Zenit carrier last February, a Russian space industry source told Itar-Tass.

The 3SL rocket and its accelerator block will lift satellite EUTELSAT-38 in the 36th project for the Sea Launch program, 32 of which have been successful.

Long Beach-based Sea Launch is rated as the most direct and cost-effective route to geostationary orbit for heavy commercial communications satellites. The company was founded in 1995 to partner America's Boeing, Russia's RKK space corporation, Norway's Quarner and Ukrainian enterprises Yuzhnoye and Yuzhmash.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 19Feb14]

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