From Ship to Space – Rocket Platforms at Sea

Sea Launch

Our favorite competitor in professional mariner news, Marine-Buzz.com, recently had an exceptional post on maritime technology used to launch rockets into space. 

sealaunch rocketHaving seen ships being used as a Hospital, University, Museum, promoting fashion, its time now to see a ship being used as a Platform to launch satellites. Sea Launch is preparing to launch a Zenit-3SL rocket with a Thuraya-3 communication satellite shortly from a floating platform in the Pacific Ocean. To view live web telecast click here.

The Sea Launch is the world’s first ever commercial international project to develop and operate a sea-based space launch system. The main objective of this project is to launch satellites from a mobile sea-based launch platform.

The key advantages of the Sea Launch system over ground launch sites are as follows:

  • Ability to launch directly from the equator thus reducing unit costs of their delivery to the target orbit.
  • Ability to launch with any azimuth from open sea, thus making launches free of political risks.
  • Compactness, no need to have a well-developed ground infrastructure and its associated social support (roads, power, hotels, schools, hospitals, etc.), which radically reduces the numbers of personnel participating in the work, and, therefore, the cost of operation.
  • Ability to process spacecraft for launch on the US territory (Long Beach, CA), virtually in an “urban” environment.

Being the closest marine technology company to gCaptain HQ, Sea Launch is a company that interests us greatly… we only wish we had gotten to the story sooner!

You can find MarineBuzz’s exhaustive review of SeaLaunch technology including additional photos HERE.