Sea Launch moving from US waters to Russia
October 10, 2019
Sea Launch was a scheme to use an adapted oil rig to launch rockets. The project had plenty of successes – 32 launches – but was badly affected by a few failures, and then bankruptcy in 2009.
It emerged from bankruptcy in 2010 but has since been somewhat bogged down in various legal disputes with founding partner Boeing suing the project’s new owners, and not being helped by the Russian invasion of the Ukraine.
Its last launch was of Eutelsat 3B in May 2014.
Reports from Russian news site Sputnik say that the two vessels (the Odyssey launch platform, and its control vessel Commander) are being moved by its new owners, a Russian airline operator.
The platform and control ship have had all their US and Ukrainian technologies removed in order to allow the move from the US to Russian waters.
The Russian airline S7 has yet to make a comment on its intentions.
According to trade journal Satnews, Russian space agency Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin announced that Sea Launch could be relocated to Sovetskaya Harbour, in the Russian Far East.