SEA LAUNCH DUMMY SATELLITE IN ORBIT

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LONG BEACH, California (March 29, 1999 - Radio Australia)---A Boeing spokesman has announced that a mid-Pacific rocket launch Sunday successfully placed a dummy satellite in orbit.

The demonstration firing on the equator near Kiritimati (Christmas) Island, Kiribati, was carried out by the multi-national Sea Launch Company, which has invested $790 million-dollars in the project.

Boeing termed the first firing, using a Russian and Ukrainian-built Zenit rocket and a converted Norwegian oil rig, a complete success.

GREENPEACE PACIFIC Suva, Fiji Islands

NEWS RELEASE March 30, 1999

GREENPEACE CALLS FOR MORE TRANSPARENCY FROM SEA LAUNCH PROJECT

Greenpeace is concerned by reports that Sea Launch fired its first commercial rocket into orbit from waters off Kiribati over the weekend.

Greenpeace and other regional bodies have already expressed their disquiet about the lack of environmental assessment and reporting around the project.

Last year South Pacific Forum members called for a comprehensive environmental impact assessment of the proposal. Forum leaders also agreed that some sort of consultative mechanism should be put in place for considering the environmental and economic impacts of proposed developments such as Sea Launch.

Similarly, the South Pacific Regional Environmental Program has expressed concern that the venture might set a precedent for exploiting the Pacific environment.

Greenpeace has the same reservations. Like these bodies we believe consultation within the region has been inadequate. Details on the extent of environmental assessment programs have been sketchy. We simply don't know the impact of the program on the Pacific. Sea Launch officials have themselves said the project is 'cutting edge' and that it will create thousands of jobs in Russia and the Ukraine. But again the Pacific is suffering the risks.

Greenpeace believes the launches should be put on hold until the environmental impacts are reviewed and Kiribati and regional officials are fully briefed.

(For more details, contact Samantha Magick at 679-312861.)

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