LONG BEACH, California — A communications satellite was boosted into orbit Saturday by a rocket from Sea Launch's floating pad in the equatorial Pacific, the first mission since the company ended bankruptcy protection.
The Zenit 3-SL rocket had no problems as it rose into space with the Atlantic Bird 7 satellite, according to a company web cast. The satellite will serve Eutelsat Communications's broadcasting markets across the Middle East, North Africa and Northwest Africa.
Sea Launch was formed in 1995, with Boeing a 40 percent owner among partners RSC-Energia of Moscow, Kvaerner of Oslo, Norway, and Yuzhnoye/Yuzhmash of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. Sea Launch filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in June 2009. It emerged in October 2010 with a new majority owner, Energia Overseas, a Russian corporation that invested well over $100 million.