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Submission + - Netherlands loses comms satellite on launch pad

Ynsats writes: "The Register is reporting that SES New Skies of the Netherlands lost a Boeing NSS-8 satellite on the launch pad when it's Zenit launch vehicle exploded on the launch pad. The launch pad is a converted oil rig and is operated by Sea Launch. The resulting blast engulfed the rig in flames but fortunatly, there were no injuries due to the remote operation of the rig keeping the crew at a safe distance. The launch vehicle was carrying a communications satellite "equipped with nearly 100 transponders for high-speed internet, broadcasting and other services". The Zenit rocket is a multi-stage, kerosene and liquid oxygen-fuelled rocket that Sea Launch has had 23 successes with with one failure in 2000 due to a valve problem in the second stage of the rocket."

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