SSL and Sea Launch Announce Successful Completion of Investigation
PALO ALTO, California and BERN, Switzerland, Dec. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
Systems/Loral (SSL) and Sea Launch AG (Sea Launch) today announced that
the Independent Oversight Board (IOB) formed to investigate the solar
array deployment anomaly on a satellite launched in the spring of 2012
has successfully reached a unanimous conclusion.
The IOB, which was comprised of three highly regarded industry experts,
worked with a comprehensive team of engineers from both SSL and Sea
Launch to conduct an exhaustive investigation of data from the launch
vehicle, the spacecraft, and interactions between the two. Extensive
data provided by Sea Launch were instrumental in achieving the findings
which led to the investigation's positive conclusion.
The IOB concluded that the anomaly occurred before the spacecraft
separated from the launch vehicle, during the ascent phase of the
launch, and originated in one of the satellite's two solar array wings
due to a rare combination of factors in the panel fabrication. While
the satellite is performing on orbit, the anomaly resulted in
structural and electrical damage to one solar array wing, which reduced
the amount of power available for payload operation.
After rigorous investigation, the launch vehicle was exonerated from
causing or contributing to the anomaly and there were no unexpected
interactions between the spacecraft and the launch vehicle. Both SSL
and Energia Logistics Ltd. (ELUS), on behalf of Sea Launch, concurred
with the IOB findings.
"SSL and Sea Launch worked together to form the independent review board
to ensure that the cause of the anomaly was identified without any
bias, preconception or prejudice," said John Wormington, chairman of
the IOB. "Both companies were extremely cooperative in providing the
data and analyses that we required, and worked well together in solving
this very elusive problem. We have very high confidence in the
"I'd like to thank the highly qualified oversight board for conducting
this extensive and thorough investigation," said John Celli, president
of SSL. "It was imperative to both ourselves and Sea Launch that we
fully understand the cause of the anomaly, and we can now clearly say
that interactions between the satellite and launch vehicle were not
contributing factors. SSL is already taking actions to assure mission
success for all upcoming launches."
"The findings of the IOB have validated that the launch vehicle did not
cause or contribute to the observed anomaly," said Kjell Karlsen,
President of Sea Launch AG. "I wish to thank our partners for their
dedicated support of the investigation, and contributions of in-depth
knowledge and understanding of the launch vehicle design, spacecraft
launch environments and integration analyses." Karlsen continued, "Sea
Launch is pleased to have had the opportunity to assist SSL in finding
a definitive cause of the anomaly and looks forward to performing many
more launches of SSL satellites."
About Sea Launch AG
Sea Launch AG, headquartered in Bern, Switzerland, provides launch
solutions to the industry's satellite operator community based on the
Zenit launch system. These services include the provision of
all-inclusive launch services incorporating schedule assurance,
financing, risk management; insurance and creative contracting
solutions to meet the changing demands of the commercial launch market.
Sea Launch AG owns and manages the primary technology, patent and other
intellectual property and tangible assets of the company. These include
the launch platform Odyssey and the Sea Launch Commander vessels located in the Home Port facility in Long Beach, California,
and the unique know-how associated with launching satellites from an
ocean-based launch platform located directly on the equator. The Sea
Launch system offers the most direct and cost-effective route to
geostationary orbit for commercial communications satellites, providing
diversity of supply, affordability and flexibility for the industry's
satellite operators. For more information, please visit the Sea Launch
website at www.sea-launch.com
SSL has a long history of delivering reliable satellites and spacecraft
systems for commercial and government customers around the world. As
the world's leading provider of commercial satellites, the company
works closely with satellite operators to provide spacecraft for a
broad range of services including television and radio distribution,
digital audio radio, broadband Internet, and mobile communications.
Billions of people around the world depend on SSL satellites every day.
For more information, visit www.ssloral.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements and information,
which reflect the current view of Space Systems/Loral (SSL) with
respect to future events and financial performance. When used in this
news release, the words "believes", "expects", "plans", "may", "will",
"would", "could", "should", "anticipates", "estimates", "project",
"intend" or "outlook" or other variations of these words or other
similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements
and information. Actual results may differ materially from the
expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements as
a result of known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Known risks and
uncertainties include but are not limited to: risks associated with
operating satellites and providing satellite services, including
satellite construction or launch delays, launch failures, in-orbit
failures or impaired satellite performance; risks associated with
satellite manufacturing, including competition, cyclicality of SSL's
end-user markets, contractual risks, creditworthiness of customers,
performance of suppliers and management of SSL's factory and personnel;
risk associated with financial factors such as volatility in exchange
rates, increases in interest rates, restrictions on access to capital,
and swings in global financial markets; risks associated with domestic
and foreign government regulation, including export controls and
economic sanctions; and other risks, including litigation. The
foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. The information
contained in this news release reflects SSL's beliefs, assumptions,
intentions, plans and expectations as of the date of this news release.
Except as required by law, SSL disclaims any obligation or undertaking
to update or revise the information herein.
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