KUBINKA /Moscow Region/, August 24. /TASS/. 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), Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told the media on the sidelines of the Army-2020 forum on Monday.
"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 of breathing a new life into the Sea Launch was estimated at about 35 billion rubles ($470 million dollars). It will be commercially successful if at least five launches are made a year.
"All this is possible," he said.
"A week ago, I returned from Vladivostok where I had walked about 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."
Borisov recalled that before the floating spaceport left its port Long Beach, California, the United States in accordance with its laws removed all equipment from the command ship and the floating platform.
"It’s mostly equipment responsible for positioning, based on GPS technologies. We will be able to replace it with GLONASS solutions. 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 fueling the tanks, all this is done through Russian technologies," Borisov said.
In June, the CEO of Russia’s space corporation Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, said in his column in Forbes magazine that Russian specialists would have to exert considerable efforts to restore the floating spaceport Sea Launch to operation. He said that before its handover to the company S7 all space launch control equipment was dismantled. At the end of February, a co-owner of S7 and chairman of the company’s board, Vladislav Filyov, told Kommersant in an interview that the Sea Launch project, the command ship and the platform, redeployed to the Far East in March, had been frozen until things got better.
On Sea Launch
The spaceport Sea Launch consists of the floating launch pad Odyssey and the command ship. The program existed until 2014. A total of 32 launches of the Zenit rocket were carried out from the platform near the US shores.
In 2014, the Sea Launch was put on hold. In September 2016, the S7 group of companies came into possession of the space rocket launch system. In the spring of the same year 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 17 and was moored at the Slavyanka Shipyard after customs and sanitary procedures. The launch platform Odyssey arrived there on March 30.