The Boeing-led Sea Launch venture is scheduled to make its first commercial launch in August.

The satellite selected for the mission is the Hughes Space and Communications DirecTV 1-R spacecraft.

The satellite will be placed into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) by the Zenit 3SL booster, launched from the Odyssey converted offshore platform on the equator in the mid-Pacific Ocean supported by a launch control ship, the Commander.

The Zenit is built by the Russian and Ukrainian partners in the international project.

The booster is a Ukrainian Zenit 2, with a Russian DM third stage taken from the Proton.

The Sea Launch booster was successfully tested in March, placing a dummy communications satellite into GTO.

This maiden flight was to have flown a Galaxy communications satellite but the launch was called off after the catastrophic failure of a Zenit 2 booster in September.

Twelve Globalstar satellites were lost in the Ukrainian commercial launch and Sea Launch felt it prudent to fly a demonstration mission.

The company has reservations to fly more than 12 satellites built by Hughes and Space Systems Loral which have negotiated in-orbit delivery contracts with their customers but lost some customers after being tainted by the Zenit 2 failure.

Source: Flight Daily News