Russian space agency Roscosmos says the modernisation of the Sea Launch rocket platform will start in November.
Sea Launch is now based in the Russian Far East and Roscosmos director general Dmitry Rogozin says the reconstruction of the launch platform also meant that other problems including legal issues needed to be solved.
Rogozin made his comments on a video interview carried by YouTube.
Roscosmos has already stated that it was examining Sea Launch’s readiness to carry missions of it Soyuz-5 and Soyuz-6 rockets. The appeal is that Soyuz-5 can take 18 tonnes of cargo into orbit if launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan. However, the same rocket when launched by the floating Sea Launch platform, and sited in the Pacific Ocean at the Equator would be able to lift more than 20 tonnes.
The Sea Launch platform along with its Commander personnel and control vessel were moved from the US to the Slavyanka shipyard.
On August 24th, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Yuri Borisov, announced that the reconstruction of Sea Launch would cost about $470 million and be completed by 2023-2024.