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Image of Zenit-3SL launch vehicle
Zenit - 3SL
Launch Vehicle

The Rocket - Zenit-3SL

  • Stage 1 and 2: Yuzhnoye/Yuzhmash produced Zenit
  • Stage 3: Energia-produced Block DM-SL
  • Payload enclosures and interfaces: Boeing
  • Widest Diameter: 14 feet
  • Overall length: Approximately 200 feet
  • All stages are kerosene/liquid oxygen fueled
  • Capacity to geosynchronus transfer orbit: 6,000 kg
Selected rocket components have been upgraded to enhance mission assurance:
  • Stiffened structure on first stage
  • Upgraded flight computer and navigation platform on second and third stages
  • Western payload accommodations
  • Extensive instrumentation on first three flights
  • Rigorous quality acceptance processes
Image of erected rocket

Components and Integration

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Sea Launch rocket components are manufactured in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine (first and second stages); Moscow, Russia (third or "upper" stage); and Seattle, Wash. (payload fairing and interstage structure). An inventory of these inert, unfueled components are transported to Long Beach as needed.

Rocket components are assembled onboard the ACS in a below-decks factory area. The third stage is joined with the first and second stages, and the assembled rocket awaits its payload.

Image of Integrated Launch Vehicle components


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 Image of Home Port
Sea Launch Vessels And Home Port

Sea Launch receives satellites at the Home Port facility in Long Beach, California. Following the completion of fueling and encapsulation in the payload processing facility, the integrated payload unit is transferred to the assembly and command ship for integration with the launch vehicle. The horizontally integrated rocket is then transferred to the launch platform, where it is stored in an environmentally controlled hangar during transit to the equator.

Launch Pad Operations

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At the Launch Site:

Upon arrival at the launch site, the launch platform is positioned at 154 degrees West Longitude, ballasted to its launch depth and oriented to minimize wind and wave effects. At L-27 hours prior to liftoff, the rocket is rolled out of its environmentally protected hangar and automatically erected on the launch pad.

Propellant chilldown begins at L-4 hours and 20 minutes, with loading commencing L-2 hours and 30 minutes before liftoff. Launch support personnel transfers to the assembly and command ship prior to propellant loading. The large transporter/erector arm is lowered 17 minutes prior to flight, signaling all parameters are "go" for launch.

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