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Energomash tests new Sea Launch first stage

Russia's Energomash has performed the first firing test of an uprated RD-171M first-stage engine for Sea Launch's Zenit-3SL launch vehicle. The test lasted 148s. The first production engine has been shipped to NPO Yuzhnoye, which assembles the launchers, and certification of the 1.760 million lb-thrust (7,840kN) engine is scheduled for year-end.

The Sea Launch flight earlier this month, carrying the DirecTV 7S satellite, marked the first Zenit-3SL launch with an uprated Energomash RD-120 second-stage engine. Thrust is increased from 187,000lb to 205,000lb.

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