SES New Skies announced the failure of the launch of NSS-8, the sixth satellite in the fleet, onboard a Zenith-3SL launch vehicle, and the resulting total loss of the satellite. The Sea Launch vehicle, carrying the satellite, experienced an anomaly at the time of lift-off, resulting in total loss of the satellite.
In a press release SES New Skies said it is currently not in a position to comment on the possible
causes of the mission failure and is awaiting the results of the official investigation which is in the process of being installed.
NSS-8 was built by Boeing, with launch services from the Odyssey Platform in the equatorial Pacific provided by Sea Launch. The spacecraft was intended to operate at the orbital position of 57° East to replace the existing NS-703 satellite.
The launch failure of NSS-8 means that NSS-703 will now stay at 57° East in order to continue to serve existing customers until at least 2009.
SES New Skies has already initiated the construction of NSS-9 for launch in 2009 into the Pacific Ocean Region. NSS-9 is intended to free up NSS-5 which in turn will then be free to relocate to 57° to replace NSS-703. The NSS-8 launch failure is thus not expected to have an impact on
existing customers or revenues, the company said.