A Zenit-3SL launch vehicle exploded during the attempted launch of a broadband communications satellite. The payload, an NSS-8 satellite, was a Boeing 702 spacecraft that carried 56 C-band and 36 Ku-band transponders. It was intended to replace the existing NSS-703 satellite as the centerpiece of NEW SKIES' strategic Indian Ocean contribution to SES' global communications network.
NSS-8 was to support a wide range of functions, including corporate communications, government and military networks, broadband Internet services and broadcast applications, to countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Asia. It was designed for a 15-year lifespan.
Sea Launch partners will be conducting an independent investigation to review relevant data, determine root cause and develop recommendations for corrective actions. In accordance with established procedures, Sea Launch is establishing a Failure Review Oversight Board to review the partners' findings, conclusions and recommendations. Kirk Pysher, VP and chief systems engineer for Sea Launch, will lead this board.
For more information, visit www.sea-launch.com.