Boeing Sea Launch puts first satellite in orbit on October 9, 1999.

  • By Walt Crowley
  • Posted 10/11/1999
  • Essay 1731

On October 9, 1999, the Boeing-led Sea Launch Company successfully launches its first satellite into orbit from a floating platform in the equatorial Pacific Ocean (at 154 degrees West Longitude).


The Russian-Ukrainian rocket blasted off from a converted Norwegian drilling platform at 8:28 PDT with a DirecTV I-R satellite, and placed it in geosynchronous orbit one hour later. Nineteen more Sea Launch missions are planned through the year 2003.

In 2001, Boeing is a 40 percent partner of Sea Launch, through the Boeing Commercial Space Company. According to Boeing, the firm "manufactures the payload fairing, is responsible for analytical and physical spacecraft integration, and manages overall mission operations, including the Home Port" (Webpage).

Home port is in Long Beach, California. The international partnership also involves firms from Russia (RSC Energia), the Ukraine (SDO Yuzhnoye/PO Yuzhmash), and Norway (Anglo-Norwegian Kvaerner Group).


Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 11, 1999; Boeing Webpage (

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