Sea Launch countdown under way for blast off of Emirates satellite

The countdown was under way Sunday on the equator for Sea Launch Co.'s second attempt to launch a communications satellite for Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Co. of the United Arab Emirates. Liftoff for the rocket carrying the Boeing-built Thuraya-3 mobile communications satellite is scheduled for Tuesday. A 44-minute launch window opens at 3:49 a.m. PST, Sea Launch said. The first attempt in November was foiled because of unusually strong currents that affected Sea Launch's oceangoing rocket platform. The self-propelled platform and the launch command ship finally had to return to their home port in Long Beach, resupply and sail back to the Pacific Ocean launch site. Sea Launch is owned by Boeing Co., RSC-Energia of Moscow, Aker ASA of Oslo, Norway, and SDO Yuzhnoye/PO Yuzhmash of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine.