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from the "Totally Disgusting" department....

If you're a bit discouraged by the wait for Phase 3D, here's something
that wills disgust you completely:

The  first commercial clight of the Sea Launch booster will take place
on Oct. 10. The payload, a Hughes HS 601HP-class satellite for DirecTV
will come in nearly two tons (3,400 lbs. to be precise) the Zenit/
Block DM-SL booster stack's rated lifting power to GTO.

Lockheed-Martin is putting off the first flight of their new Atlas III
booster until spring next year. This is due to problems with their
supply of Russian-built main engines, and also to problems with the
RL-10 upper stage engine. LM currently doesn't have a customer
signed up for this flight, andd is desparate enough to prove the 
booster that they're thinking of flying it with nothing but ballast(!),
which is several thousand pounds worth of potentially oribted hardware
Ain't we got something, anything, that we can put forward for these
slots, even if we've got to tack weld the mutha onto the side of
the upper stage??
Just my bemused thoughts..........


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