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Sea Launch

       In 1995, the Yuzhnoye State Design Office and Yuzhmash Production Assotiation together with Boeing Commercial Space Company (USA), Kvaerner Maritime a.s. (Norway) and Energiya Rocket and Space Corporation (Russia) have established Sea Launch joint company for unique international Sea Launch Project. Project development and realization are carried out on the completely commercial basis without state financial funds attraction, but under state control and support.

           For the first time in history, the program gives effect to an idea of employing a sea platform for commercial space launches from equator zone. Main advantage of floating cosmodrome is its placing at the equator directly. It allows to use the most effect of Earth rotation and delivery of payloads into orbit at low expenses.

           First of all Sea Launch Program is intended on satellites launches into the highest geostationary orbits.

        Within the frameworks of the project the space rocket complex was developed, which consists of four components:

  • marine segment,
  • rocket segment,
  • spacecraft segment and
  • facilities.008_032.jpg (213934 bytes)

       Marine segment consists of assemble and command ship and launch platform. Norwegian Kvaerner Company is responsible for construction and running.

      Sea Launch Commander assemble and command ship is sea analogue of ground technical facilities and Flight Control Center.

     Odyssey launch platform is an oil-producing platform which after repair and modernization was modified in floating launch complex equipping by launch pad and other launching system.

       The main part of space rocket complex is rocket segment which is under responsibility of Russian Energiya Space Rocket Company.

       Rocket segment consists of three-staged ecological Zenit-3SL launcher and technological complexes for vehicles launching.

      Zenit-3SL includes:

  • two-staged Zenit-2S launcher designed and manufactured by Yuzhnoye State Design Office and PA Yuzhnoye. Zenit-2S is an up-to-date launch vehicle characterized by exploitation simplicity and complete automation of pre-launch and launch operations;
  • DM-SL upper stage by Energiya Corporation is characterized by high reliability;
  • Payload block by Boeing.

       PA Yuzhnoye is responsible for development of Zenit-2S launcher.

      Technological facilities and launch systems were made by Russian Technological Machine-Building Design Office and Energia SRC.

      Spacecraft segment consists of basic port. It is a leasehold territory in Long Beach, USA equipped by engineering facilities. 008_033.jpg (52018 bytes)

It is aimed at spacecraft preparing, launch platform and assemble and command ship mooring, refueling, loading of launcher's stages, upper stage and payload block on the board.

Boeing is responsible for basic port development

Sea launch Facilities are the equipment for launcher and fuel delivery at port of loading and ensuring for transportation control and safety.

Pre-launch and launch technology is following.

Launcher's components, payload block and fuel are loaded on the board of assemble and command ship in the basic port.

Assembled launcher is transferred to hangar of launch platform for pre-launch operations.

Ship and platform systems ensure remote automated launching of vehicle.


Currently twenty four launches were carried out from floating cosmodrome..

It is planned to carry out 17% of all commercial launches within the frameworks of Sea Launch Program in several years.


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05/25/2018: SSAU and European Commission signed an Arrangement on cooperation in the framework of the Copernicus Programme