Image: Sea Launch liftoff
A Sea Launch rocket lifts off Thursday from the Odyssey launch platform in the Pacific Ocean, carrying an Intelsat communications satellite into orbit.
updated 6/23/2005 10:11:05 PM ET 2005-06-24T02:11:05

An Intelsat communications satellite was successfully launched into orbit Thursday from an oceangoing platform in the Pacific, Sea Launch Co. said.

The Intelsat Americas satellite lifted off from the Odyssey launch platform at 7:03 a.m. PT (10:03 a.m. ET) and all systems of the Zenit-3SL rocket performed properly, the Long Beach-based company said.

A ground station in Fucino, Italy, acquired the spacecraft's first signal less than an hour later, and early data indicated it was in good condition, a statement said.

The satellite is intended to expand coverage over the Americas, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Alaska with voice, video and data transmission and distribution services.

The satellite was manufactured by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif.

Sea Launch Co. sends the Odyssey platform and a command ship from Long Beach harbor to the equator, where its rocket can launch heavier payloads than would be possible at higher latitudes.

The company is a partnership of Boeing Commercial Space Co., RSC Energia of Moscow, Kvaerner ASA of Oslo, Norway, and SDO Yuzhnoye / PO Yuzhmash of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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