A rocket carrying an Intelsat satellite has successfully lifted off from the oceangoing Sea Launch platform on the equator.
A Friday statement from Sea Launch AG said the rocket took off from the Pacific Ocean platform Odyssey at 10:23 p.m. PDT Thursday.
The launch requires a series of engine firings over an hour before the satellite separates from the upper stage.
Built by Space Systems Loral of Palo Alto, Calif., Intelsat 19 will serve Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. West Coast.
The Odyssey platform and the control ship Sea Launch Commander sail from their homeport in Long Beach, Calif., to take advantage of physics that allow a rocket to more easily carry a payload to orbit from the equator.
Sea Launch is now headquartered in Switzerland.