Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, August 2012
Russian Rocket with US Satellite Launched Seaborne,
Progress M-15M Spacecraft Sunk in Pacific
Russian Rocket with US Satellite Set for Seaborne Launch
MOSCOW, August 19, 2012 (RIA Novosti)
A Russian rocket is set for a seaborne launch on Sunday morning to put the U.S. Intelsat 21 telecoms satellite into orbit, a spokesman for the Sea Launch company said.
The launch of the Zenit-3SL rocket from the launch pad Odyssey in the Pacific Ocean has been scheduled for 10.55 a.m. Moscow time (6.55 GMT) and the satellite is expected to be in the designated orbit at 11.25 Moscow time (7.25 GMT), the spokesman said.
The initial launch of the spacecraft was scheduled for August 15 but it was postponed several times due to various reasons.
Odyssey, positioned on the equator, is a converted oil rig operated by the Swiss-based rocket company Sea Launch.
The 5,980 kilogram Intelsat 21 is a geostationary communications satellite built by Space Systems Loral to provide telecoms services to high-growth markets around the Pacific Rim, including Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and U.S. West Coast.
Russia Buries Space Freighter in Pacific
MOSCOW, August 20, 2012, (RIA Novosti)
Russia's Progress M-15M cargo spacecraft was sunk in a remote area in southern Pacific on Monday after a three-week scientific experiment in space, the Mission Control said.
“Fragments of the space freighter drowned at about 08.12 p.m. Moscow time [16:12 GMT] in a remote area 3,000 kilometers to the east of New Zealand," a spokesman said.
Progress M-15M arrived with supplies at the International Space Station (ISS) in April. The freighter undocked from the ISS on July 23 to test an upgraded Russian automated rendezvous system.
The first attempt to re-dock with the ISS using the Kurs-NA system resulted in failure. The spacecraft, however, successfully docked with the orbital station on a second attempt on July 29 after Russian engineers had reprogrammed on-board controls.
At the end of its mission, the spacecraft undocked from the ISS on July 31 to conduct a three-week Radar-Progress experiment to define the physical characteristics of the ionosphere environment around the spacecraft caused by the operations of its liquid propellant engines.
Progress-series freighters have been the backbone of the Russian space cargo fleet for decades. In addition to their main mission as cargo spacecraft, they are used to adjust the ISS orbit and conduct scientific experiments.
The new generation of Progress vehicles is digitally controlled.
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