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Rector of Los Angeles's Russian cathedral performs the blessing of a "Zenith" rocket: 2 August 2012

On 29 July 2012,Protopriest Alexander Lebedev, rector of Los Angelos's Holy Transfiguration Cathedral and secretary for inter-Orthodox relations at the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad, performed the rite of consecration over a "Zenith-3SL" rocket.  It is proposed that in mid-August, withn the context of the "Sea Launch" Program, it will place a communications satellite in orbit over the equator.

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The undertaking that is readying the rocket is the Russian cosmic rocket corporation "Energy".  The basic portion of the rocket, the "Zenith-3SL", was prepared at the "YUZHMASH" factory in Dnepropetrovsk.  On 24 June 2010, during His Holiness, Patriarch Kyrill's primatial visit to the Ukraine, that hierarch visited this company and laid the cornerstone for a new church.

The launch-pad was prepared in Russia by RKK "Energy", whilethe main fairing was manufactured byBoeing, an American firm.  The rocket's housing was produced in the city of Long Beach, not far from Los Angeles, by the Sea Launch Commander enterprise, where the blessing of the rocket prepared for launch was manufactured.

Protopriest Alexander Lebedev addressed brief remakrs to those present.  He congratulated all who had worked to realize this important international project and invoked upon them the blessing of God.

Fr. Alexander was presented with a certificate attesting that he is an honorary member of the launch team of the cosmic rocket endeavor "Zenith-3SL".

Communications Service of the Dept. of External Church Affairs