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Sea Launch Blasts Off 12th Satellite

The commercial satellite Intelsat 21 aunched Sunday from the oceanic platform partly owned by Boeing. The satellite is designed to 'refresh capacity' for a Latin American media distributor.

Sea Launch successfully hurled a 12th satellite into orbit for Intelsat Sunday.

Sea Launch, an international consortium 40 percent owned by Boeing, launched the communications satellite into orbit aboard a Zenit-3SL rocket that blasted off from a floating platform in the equatorial Pacific late Saturday, according to Sea Launch, whose vessels Sea Launch Commander and the launch platform Ocean Odyssey are homeported in the City of ong Beach.

Thirty minutes after the launch, the 13,188-pound satellite -- Intelsat 21 -- was in geosynchronous orbit, based on a signal received by Sea Launch, spokesman Peter Stier said. Intelsat 21 replaces Intelsat 9.

``Intelsat 21 will refresh capacity for one of Latin America's most popular media distribution neighborhoods, serving the continent's leading (direct to home) and cable programmers,'' Sea Launch president Kjell Karlsen said.

Boeing's partners in the Sea Launch consortium are Russia's Energia, Norway's Aker Solutions and Ukraine's SDO Yuzhnoye. Sea Launch's next mission for Intelsat -- the global company has offices in Long Beach -- is scheduled for the first quarter of 2013.

Sea Launch moves its platform near the equator for launches to take advantage of the Earth's rotational inertia to leverage the rocket's lift. The latest satellite launch was the second of three planned this year.

--City News Service

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