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Zenith fails to put satellite in orbit

Russia’s Zenith rocket lifted off from the Space Launch platform in the Pacific Ocean early Tuesday morning, but failed to deliver a Telstar-18 communications satellite to its preset orbit, the Russian Information Agency Novosti reported.

According to preliminary reports, the booster engine didn’t operate as planned, thus causing the failure.

The Telstar-18 satellite, which weighs more than 4,500 kg, was to be placed in a geostationary orbit at 138 degrees eastern longitude. It is the third rocket to blast off from the Sea Launch platform this year.

The satellite was supposed to relay radio and television signals across the entire Asia-Pacific region, as well as provide all-out Internet access, the news agency reported.

Representatives of Boeing’s Russian office noted that the Telstar-18 satellite had been assembled by the company Space Systems Loral, Novosti reported. The spacecraft will be controlled by Loral Skynet (both companies are affiliated to Loral Space & Communications).