Floating Spaceport Sea Launch To Be Relocated From US To Russia In February-March - Source

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 06th December, 2019) Floating launch site Sea Launch will be relocated from the United States to Russia in February-March next year, a Russian space industry source told Sputnik.

"The transfer of the Odyssey launch platform and the command ship is tentatively planned for February-March 2020," the source said.

He did not specify whether the floating spaceport would go across the Pacific on its own or be towed.

Earlier, the project's owner, S7 Group, said that all necessary permits for changing the location of the platform, including from the US State Department, had been received. Upon transfer, the launch platform and the assembly-command ship will be temporarily based at the Slavyansk Shipyard in the Far Eastern port of Slavyanka.

According to the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, the port of Bolshoy Kamen near Vladivostok may become the project's permanent base after relocation. To continue operating the platform in Russia, Roscosmos proposed launching the Soyuz-5 rocket, which is being created now, from it. To carry out launches, as before, the launch platform will have to travel to the equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean.

The Odyssey launch platform has already prepared for relocation, and all US and Ukrainian equipment was removed from it.

The Sea Launch has been mothballed since 2014, when the last, 36th, launch was made from it. The work was stopped due to the deterioration of Russian-Ukrainian relations.