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World’s sole floating space launch platform to leave US when new port is selected

June 02, 2015, 11:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Sea Launch is an international commercial project for operating a sea-based space rocket complex
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© ITAR-TASS/Viktor Kataev

MOSCOW, June 2. /TASS/. The floating space launch platform Odyssey and command ship of the Sea Launch project are preparing to leave the United States, a source in the space rocket industry has told TASS.

"The terms on which Sea Launch vessels will be able to leave have been negotiated with the American side. There has been no negative reaction to this decision from our foreign partners," the source said. Before the vessels can leave their port of registration (Long Beach, California) all equipment of US manufacture, prohibited from being handed over to other countries, must be dismantled.

"In order to avoid a violation of US laws the equipment will be dismantled and left in US territory. This equipment is not critical for further work under the project. The Sea Launch company is free to take away all other equipment and instruments, because it is of Russian manufacture," the source said.

The Russian space agency Roscosmos and government have not yet made a decision regarding the future of the Sea Launch project. Respectively, any specific dates for redeploying it to another port of registration is not on the agenda yet.

Sea Launch is an international commercial project for operating a sea-based space rocket complex. For its implementation a same name company was established by Russia’s corporation Energia, the Norwegian ship-builder Kvaerner (currently Aker Solutions), and Ukraine’s Yuzhnoye design bureau and industrial association Yuzhmash. Reorganization carried out in 2010 assigned the key role in the project to the corporation Energia. On August 22, 2014 the company declared it was suspending launch activities.

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