Broadband Satellite Launch Explosion
Caught on video...
A commercial Sea Launch Zenit 3SL rocket disintegrated "in a fiery catastrophe"
aboard its ocean launch platform (a converted Norwegian oil-drilling rig) yesterday, destroying a sophisticated telecommunications satellite payload. The 13,050-pound NSS 8 satellite that was on board was designed to offer broadband capacity to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Asia. The explosion was captured on video and is available at YouTube
(nobody was harmed). The launch would have been the 24th for Sea Launch, which had one previous launch failure on March 12, 2000. The company planned six launches in 2007, which included launches for Echostar and DirecTV.