> Powerboat-World.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Newsletters FishingBoating Features Photo Gallery Sail-World Australia Australian Cruising
MarineBusiness-World

 

Sail-World.com : Strong ocean currents could be linked to La Nina

Strong ocean currents could be linked to La Nina

'Sea surface temperatures across the Pacific. Credit: NOAA. The Sea Launch site is denoted with red dot.'    Sail-World.com /AUS ©
Sea Launch's ocean-going launch pad and command ship are again sailing across the Pacific Ocean after a series of November attempts were thwarted by unusually strong ocean currents that could be linked to a La Nina climate pattern.

The second campaign for Sea Launch's critical return-to-flight mission began last weekend when the company's Odyssey launch platform departed its home port in Long Beach, Calif. The Sea Launch Commander control ship set sail on Wednesday, according to Paula Korn, a Sea Launch spokeswoman.

Liftoff of the Zenit 3SL rocket is scheduled for Jan. 15 at 1149 GMT (6:49 a.m. EST). The launcher will orbit the Thuraya 3 mobile communications satellite to serve the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.

The flight will be the first for the company since the Zenit's last commercial launch ended in a devastating launch failure that damaged Odyssey one year ago this month. Nine months of investigations, repairs and other preparations were required for Sea Launch to be ready to resume launch operations in November.

But Mother Nature had different plans.

Unusually strong ocean currents and stiff winds repeatedly dogged the launch team, Korn said. The two ships returned to port early last month after spending more than two weeks moored at a mid-Pacific launch site along the equator.
'They said there was a wake behind the platform, even as it held in position without going anywhere,' Korn told Spaceflight Now.
File image of Sea Launch rocket platform in foreground and command ship in the distance. Credit: Sea Launch -  Sail-World.com -AUS?nid=40543 ©  

The platform's ballast tanks are filled with seawater to stabilize the vessel after arriving at the launch site. Odyssey's crew spends the final three hours of the countdown at the bridge of the Sea Launch Commander, remotely operating the converted oil drilling rig from three-and-a-half miles away to keep its orientation within specific parameters optimized for the rocket's mission.

Both Sea Launch ships use state-of-the-art positioning equipment to control the vessels. The system includes underwater thrusters that can move the ships in all directions, Korn said.

'With these currents coming at the platform with this very high force, station-keeping was not only challenging, but in a few instances, impossible,' Korn said.

Officials estimate the currents were two-to-three times stronger than what Sea Launch had previously experienced.
'We determined in November that we were using up fuel just trying to stay in place,' Korn said.

Sea Launch later consulted with oceanographers and climatologists to help explain the unusual conditions, and scientists found a potential link to a La Nina currently underway in the Pacific.

La Nina patterns include colder than normal sea temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific. La Nina can also produce extreme weather around the world, according to NOAA.

Korn said the temperature of the water at the launch site decreased by a few degrees within just a couple of days.

Such a rapid change in temperature is an indication of an on-going La Nina.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center reported the La Nina reached moderate strength in November, and forecasters expect the cool ocean temperatures to persist through at least next month.

'There's definitely something up and Sea Launch experienced a global environmental event,' Korn said.

The ocean currents and winds finally forced officials to call off further launch attempts and return to California for the holidays.

Teams spent the next few weeks studying the conditions and planning a new strategy for another campaign to raise the chances of a successful launch attempt.

Korn said the platform is carrying extra fuel and power generators to allow the ship to battle strong currents for longer periods of time. Engineers are also evaluating the tight heading and position constraints for the ships to determine if they could be relaxed.

In addition to the new supplies, Sea Launch is now maintaining a log of ocean conditions to try to identify trends. A buoy stationed at the launch site monitors real-time conditions, but there is no accurate method of predicting deep ocean currents.

'We are learning a lot from the experience, about the outstanding performance of the launch platform, about the launch site, about the parameters of our launch requirements,' Korn said. 'With every challenge that Sea Launch encounters, we learn more.'

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/sealaunch/thuraya3/0




by Stephen Clark - Spaceflight Now

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.powerboat-world.com/index.cfm?nid=40543

4:41 AM Fri 4 Jan 2008 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Power Boat News







Dangerous conditions forecast for NSW boaters by Roads and Maritime Services,


APSNZ appoints Duthie Lidgard as new MD by Asia Pacific Superyachts,


Whale freed from rope at Byron Bay by Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry,










Tags reveal Chilean devil rays are among ocean's deepest divers by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,










Reminder of safe distance requirements for whales by Roads and Maritime Services,
























Enjoy the whale spectacle, just keep your distance by Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority,












CruiseCraft adds Explorer 595 Hard Top
Severe weather warnings prompt reminder to boat owners
Be won over by the new Azimut 50
Predictwind unlocks more features on free accounts
Tammy Wolf and Mercury's Formula 2 Powerboat on to Divisional Champion
Monaco Yacht Show 2014 - the biggest superyacht show ever
Biggest Display ever and 18 launches at SIBS
Gold Coast International Marine Expo helps Sailability grant FREEDOM
Exhibitors heat up for Cannes Yachting Festival
Benetti 108 tri-deck Tradition Supreme will launch in Cannes
St Kitts open for superyacht business
Marine World Sales: The latest in buying and selling marine online
UIM XCAT - Massive fight from Fazza secures fourth consecutive title
Peters & May launch Mediterranean and USA to East Coast Australia
Lifejackets are imperative: don't rely on sheer luck
XCAT World Series - Qatar Team claim second successive victory
Stresa Grand Prix - Fazza claims Emaar Pole Position
Stresa Grand Prix - Barlesi and Barone score fastest time of the day
UIM Dubai World Series - XCAT pilots undergo safety dunking in Stresa
Stresa Grand Prix - Victory Team reveal driver change
RYA Power Schemes Instructor Handbook out in print and e-book formats   
Melbourne Boat Show reports positive, buying crowds *Feature   
Superboats set to blast into Bowen   
Whitehaven 6000 nears completion   
Choosing a boat: BIA NSW tips and topics   
2014 Cannes Festival of Yachting - 450 boats already booked   
Iceberg activity related to climate massively alters seabed life   
Whats' so special about powerboat racing at Hull?   
XCAT - Dubai’s Price looking for a repeat performance in Stresa GP   
Bowen Offshore Superboat Race - Superboats set to blast into Bowen   
Bob Irwin headlines campaign to Fight For the Reef *Feature   
Thermal imaging shows the way to a safer Sydney Harbour   
Marine audiences online, so what to do about your budget? *Feature   
Two marina accreditations for Jumeirah Beach Hotel Marina, Dubai   
Asia Superyacht Rendezvous set for another glorious weekend   
Superyacht Australia to host networking event in Tahiti   
Singapore Yacht Show 2015 high profile repeat bookings   
10,000 reasons to win with Club Marine…   
Boating rules a focus at Melbourne International Boat Show   
Grand Prix of Italy - Revised results puts Borgstorm third overall   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png   http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS PBW
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT