IS-19 was built by Space Systems/Loral, in Palo Alto, CA, and launched by the Swiss company Sea Launch. Both sides continue to deflect blame for the damage, but Sea Launch did report an "unexplained pressure event" 72 seconds into the launch, which mirrors a similar event detected in the Sea Launch rocket in 2004, when launching another Space Systems/Loral satellite (Telstar 14/Estrela do Sul 1) whose solar array never deployed.
Sea Launch has released launch telemetry indicating that "all systems performed nominally throughout the launch profile...Boeing engineers did notice an unexpected, isolated event around 72 seconds after launch" . They cheekily point the finger by adding "while it is premature to speculate on its origin…it bears a striking resemblance to a prior Space Systems/Loral mission".
It is worth noting that Space Systems/Loral has a small history of challenged solar arrays. The company also built Telstar 14R (Estrela so Sul 2), which experienced a problem deploying the solar arrays after launch as well, but was launched on a Russian Proton rocket.
|The Sea Launch platform - a converted |
oil rig. Credit: Sea Launch