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China to buy struggling Sea Launch?

July 20, 2015

By Chris Forrester

Sea Launch, the floating rocket launching platform, could be bought by the Chinese, according to well-sourced industry insiders.  Sea Launch is officially headquartered in Bern, Switzerland, but its floating assets are in the port of Long Beach, California. Sea Launch uses a converted Norwegian oil rig as its launch pad.

Sea Launch is majority owned by Energia of Russia and the plan seems to be that China would then shift both the Sea Launch platform and its command ship to a Chinese port and use the pair offshore in Chinese waters.

The last successful use of Sea Launch was to launch a Eutelsat satellite in May 2014. Sea Launch went through Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009. Sea Launch has no bookings in its launch manifest.

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