Space: October 27, 2000


By reducing the weight of its boosters and improving the performance of the second-stage rocket engine, Sea Launch plans to steadily increase its lift capability. The original system could loft 5,000kg into geosynchronous transfer orbit, and this has already increased to 5,250kg. The company has a commitment to reach 5,700kg in the first quarter of 2002 in order to launch a Hughes payload. The company has reached an internal decision to reach 6,000kg by the end of 2002 but has no deals with customers requiring such a weight.--Stephen V Cole


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