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Sea Launch team looking into what caused a launch malfunction.


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Sea Launch.
Sea Launch team has begun looking into what caused a launch malfunction.

Sea Launch Investigation Begins.

The Sea Launch team has begun looking into what caused a launch malfunction during last week's Telstar 18 mission, which placed the communications satellite 14,000 km short of its intended orbit. Based on preliminary data, the investigators know that the rocket's upper stage shut down 54 seconds prematurely, but the cause of this shutdown is unknown. The satellite is operating normally, and it still has enough fuel on board to maneuver itself to its final geosynchronous orbit position; however, it might have a shorter lifespan than originally designed.

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