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Sea Launch will cost $500m to refurbish

August 26, 2020

By Chris Forrester

It will cost almost $500 million to refurbish the Sea Launch floating rocket launch platform according to reports.

Russia’s deputy prime minister, Yuri Borisov, recalled that before the floating spaceport left its port at Long Beach, California, the US – in accordance with its laws – removed all equipment from the command ship and the floating platform. The floating spaceport Sea Launch, currently based at Russia’s Slavyanka port in the Primorye Territory, will be restored, which will require about 35 billion rubles (roughly $470 million), Borisov told the media this week.

“Certainly, the Sea Launch will be restored. I had a discussion with the president on that score. I reported intermediate results achieved by the working group that was set up on my instructions,” Borisov said.

He added that the budget for breathing new life into the Sea Launch was estimated at about 35 billion rubles. It will be commercially successful if at least five launches are made a year.

The technology that was removed, he said, provided largely GPS functionality and Borisov said that would be replaced with Russia’s Glonass positioning technology.

“A week ago,” he said, “I returned from Vladivostok where I had walked around the Sea Launch and the ship that serves as the site for assembling and testing the payload. It is a unique structure unparalleled in the world. Some have plans for building something similar. It would be very silly of us if we decided against restoring the Sea Launch and using its services. Technically all this is possible.”

“As for the launch system itself, in other words, the equipment needed for bringing the rocket to and placing it at the launch pad and automatically fuelling the tanks, all this is done through Russian technologies,” Borisov added.

The Sea Launch rocket platform, along with Odyssey its command vessel, functioned up until 204 and carried out a total of 32 launches. In September 2016, the S7 group of companies bought the two elements and in the spring of 2016 the command ship and the platform were brought from the US shores to Russia’s Far East. The launch and assembly ship Sea Launch Commander arrived in the Primorye Territory on March 17th and was moored at the Slavyanka Shipyard after customs procedures. The launch platform Odyssey arrived there on March 30th.

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