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Zenit launch delayed indefinitely over poor weather

WASHINGTON, November 13 (RIA Novosti) - The launch of a Zenit rocket with a Thuraya-3 communications satellite slated for Wednesday has been delayed indefinitely due to poor weather conditions, a Sea Launch consortium spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The first launch of the Zenit carrier rocket following a January explosion that damaged a launch platform had already been postponed from the original date of November 13 due to poor weather.

Paula Korn said the launch had to be cancelled due to strong undercurrents and gales changing the Odyssey Launch Platform's position.

The Sea Launch consortium, owned by Boeing, Norway's Kvaerner ASA, Ukraine's Yuzhmash, and Russia's RSC-Energia, launches its vehicles from the equator, which allows the rockets to carry heavier payloads than from other latitudes.

Korn said nothing was wrong with the booster, which had been moved to a hangar on the platform.

A Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket carrying a commercial communications satellite exploded shortly after liftoff from the platform in the Pacific on January 31. The platform suffered only minor damage.

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