CONSORTIUM PLANS SATELLITE LAUNCHING AT SEA NEAR KIRITIMATI

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TARAWA, Kiribati (April 15, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---Representatives of a multi-national firm, the Sea Launch Company, have presented a proposal to the Kiribati government to begin launching satellite-carrying rockets from a ship to be located near Kiritimati (Christmas) Island.

If approved, the project could begin as early as next October.

Sea Launch is a consortium of U.S., Russian and other European companies, including Boeing corporation, the U.S. aviation giant, Radio Kiribati reports.

Sea Launch's general counsel, Vaiola Brady, and manager and engineer, Marc Manse, say the company plans to operate from a ship to be located 230 miles from Kiritimati Island.

The ship, with all necessary personnel and equipment aboard, will serve as a launching platform. Communication satellites will be fired into orbit from the ocean waters location near the equator.

Kiribati officials are considering the proposal.

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