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Sea Launch sold?

Troubled launch company Sea Launch, which has struggled to stay profitable with its floating barge rocket launch platform, is reportedly in talks that could lead to its sale.

US-based turnaround outfit American Industrial Acquisition Corp (AIAC) is the reported buyer. AIAC is headquartered in New York, and specialises in acquiring troubled businesses.

Sea Launch was established in 1995 by a consortium which included Russian rocket builder Energia, Boeing, Aker of Norway and SDO Yuzhnoye of the Ukraine. It assembles its rockets at a Long Beach, California facility and then floats the launch platform to a point on the Equator in the mid-Pacific.

However, it has suffered two major launch failures (and 26 successes). Its last launch was in May 2014 for Eutelsat.

The operation is said to be losing some $30 million a year and has been widely reported to be up for sale by its current owners Roscosmos and Energia.

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