March 30, 2016

Russia sells commercial space company Sea Launch

Russia sold the commercial space project known as Sea Launch. They would not say who the buyer was.

Sea Launch was founded in 1995 as a joint-venture between Russia's largest space company Energia, U.S. aerospace giant Boeing, with participation of firms in Norway and Ukraine. The concept is simple: a floating launch platform that sails to the Earth's equator to reduce launch costs.


Most likely the buyer was Boeing, because they hold a judgment against Russians for $365 million.

In 2014, Sea launch faced procurement difficulties as relations between Russia and Ukraine collapsed in the wake of Moscow's annexation of Crimea. Sea Launch is designed to work with Zenit rockets — built in Ukraine, but some 70 percent of the components are Russian.

There are two possible ways this can develop from now -- either the Zenit rocket will get re-motorized to RD-815 engine to become an all-Ukrainian vehicle or Russians will try to renew the existing sourcing scheme with RD-170. Either way Ukraine wins. Russian plans to shut off Ukraine from commercial space have failed.

SOURCE - Moscow Times

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