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U.S. communications satellite launched on the back of a Ukrainian carrier rocket has sent back its first signals to a receiver in Australia
A U.S. communications satellite launched on the back of a Ukrainian carrier rocket has sent back its first signals to a receiver in Australia, the launch-operating company said Thursday. Sea Launch Company said the Zenit-3SL rocket had lifted off at 11:30 p.m. GMT from the Odyssey Launch Platform in the Pacific Ocean, and that the rocket's upper stage had put the JCSAT-9 satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit. The satellite, which weighs 4401 kg (9703 lbs), will take up a final orbital position of 132 degrees East longitude. Sea Launch was created in 1995 as a consortium including Boeing, Norway's Kvaerner Group, Russian space corporation Energia, and Ukraine's Yuzhnoye design bureau and Yuzhmash production association. It is the only company to operate launches from a sea platform in the Pacific's equatorial waters, a location that makes it possible to launch heavier payloads than from elsewhere. Sea Launch made four successful launches in 2005, and one in 2006
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