A Russian-Ukrainian Zenit-3SL rocket blasted off from a Pacific Ocean platform early Thursday to launch into orbit a US JCSAT-9 communications satellite, the Interfax news agency reported. The rocket, operated by US-based international consortium Sea Launch, took off at 03:30 am (2330 GMT Wednesday), a flight control official was quoted as saying.
It was scheduled to place the satellite into geostationary orbit about 90 minutes after launch.
The JCSAT-9 satellite, weighing 4.4 tonnes, is to provide communications and broadcasting services throughout Asia, Sea Launch said on its website.
Sea Launch is a US-Russian-Ukrainian-Norwegian consortium based in Long Beach, California.