A project to run in Ukraine from Russian components of the launch vehicles, Zenit — Sea launch was established in 1995. The launch pad was stationed in the Pacific ocean, near the coral of Christmas Island. The founders were originally an American Corporation Boeing (40%), Energia (25%), Norwegian shipbuilding company Kvaerner (now Aker Solutions, 20%), the Ukrainian Yuzhnoye (5%) and “Yuzhmash” (10%).
In the operation of rocket-space complex “Sea launch” is from 1998. During the period of project launch was made 36 runs, including 32 successful, one partially successful and three unsuccessful. In 2014 amid the conflict with Ukraine launches from Baikonur have been suspended.
During the existence of the “Sea launch” the project has changed several owners. The current owner — S7 Vladislav Fileva.
Why foreigners can not work with the “Sea launch”
Restrictions of the Ministry of defense are operating from may 2019. So, since January 1, 2023, the Pentagon cannot enter into contracts for commercial satellite services with a foreign entity, if the conclusion of such a contract “would create an unacceptable risk of cyber security” of the country. The definition of a foreign company, which “creates a risk” for the Pentagon, formulated in such a way that it covers all companies which are registered in Russia or carry out the withdrawal of its satellites on a Russian rocket.
Rogozin compared the work of “Roscosmos” with the paintings of Michelangelo and Titian
The main issue that determines the possibility of realization of commercial space of the project, the volume of orders, recalled in his letter to Ozar. In connection with the US imposed restrictions without the “anchor of the state” to ensure the existence of the cosmodrome impossible.
“It will need to implement a unified coordination of launches of various complexes with various spaceports so that at least two or three launches for the Russian government customer accounted for “Sea launch”, — says the head of “Energy”. Otherwise, the “commercial operation of the complex impractical,” he said.
According to Azara possible alternative use of the floating spaceport — it can be backed up launches of “proton” LV and unmanned launches of “Soyuz-5” and “Angara-A5”. However, the “Soyuz-5” has not yet been created, and “Angara-A5” is undergoing flight tests.
Why Sea launch was unprofitable
In 2010 a court decision Energia Overseas Limited, a subsidiary company of the Corporation “Energy” — got a 95% stake in Sea launch. But soon the company was faced with the challenge of finding Western customers for the floating spaceport.
The bulk of the starts (30 of 36) was performed prior to the purchase of Sea launch by Energia. The remaining six launches committed from 2010 to 2014, is the fulfillment of old commitments, new orders were not. The source of RBC, who was then working on a project called the lack of orders “failure of management” management is unsatisfactory negotiated with foreign customers.
The main problem was that the “Roscosmos” never thought of floating cosmodrome “their”, told RBC a source close to the former leadership of “Energy”.
In parallel with the “Sea launch” in 1995 it was another international company — International Launch Services (ILS) to provide commercial launch services using rockets “proton” and “Angara”. Its co — owners, “Energy” and the American Corporation Lockheed Corporation but the controlling interest belongs to the Center of them. Khrunichev (the enterprise “Roscosmos”). “If after floating cosmodrome became a fully Russian “Roscosmos” helped with orders not only ILS, but also to the company — owner of the “Sea launch”, then established in 2002 by Elon Musk of SpaceX would not have a chance to gain a foothold in the launch services market,” — said the source of RBC.
The Finance Ministry has agreed to classify the procurement of law enforcement agencies and “Roscosmos”
“Roscosmos” on the contrary, stimulated competition among their projects, he added. “American “daughter” of the Khrunichev at a loss dumping, but drew orders of the “Sea launch” itself. As a result, both of the project, “Roskosmos” were in a deplorable state,” he says.
In April 2018, the owner of the spaceport was the daughter of the S7 — S7 Space. The company expects to capitalize on commercial launches. The source of RBC from the environment of the owner of the S7 Vladislav Fileva told me that before buy “Sea launch”, he put forward the “Roscosmos” several conditions: to allow the supply of components to Ukraine and to start launch 12 missiles “Zenit”. But after the change of leadership of the Roscosmos (Igor Komarov in may 2018 was replaced by Dmitry Rogozin. — RBC) about these arrangements “forgot”, said the interlocutor of RBC.
The owner of the S7 reported freezing of the project “Sea launch”
In March 2020 the Assembly-command ship floating cosmodrome “Sea launch” Sea Launch Commander arrived at the port of Slavyanka Primorsky Krai. But at the end of April 2020 Filev said about the freezing of the project. The decision to sell Sea launch was explained by the extremely high cost of the project, financial losses, S7 during a pandemic and the need to create coastal infrastructure for the cosmodrome.
Why Rosatom is interested in a floating spaceport
Sara letter was a response to the request Savelyev (the letter was dated the 10th of June; a copy is available to RBC) to prepare the “analysis of issues of coherence of the possible commercial exploitation of the” floating cosmodrome “Sea launch” with the implementation of “other programs launcher activity with the participation of Russia”. On the same day it became known that S7 is negotiating with a subsidiary of “Rosatom” on the sale of the “Sea launch”.
The structure of “Rosatom” discussed a purchase of the cosmodrome “Sea launch” from S7
In “Rosatom” RBC said that the group of internal and external experts sees serious potential in project development not only in closing their needs of “Rosatom” in the Arctic, but also in the commercialization of launch services, including on the international market. “Understanding the complexity and uniqueness of project “Sea launch”, “Rosatom” analyzes the opportunities and risks of the project, but no official documents and materials on this issue does not exist”, — reported in the Corporation.
As reported by “RIA Novosti” with reference to its sources, Rosatom estimated the cost of the “Sea launch” at 11 billion rubles That, according to the Agency, for 4.5 billion more than when buying group S7. This confirmed the source of RBC from the environment Fileva. “Assessment of $150-160 million (about 10-11 billion rubles at the current exchange rate) — assessment of the manual the S7 Space of all costs, including advances for missiles and the contents of the company and of the complex on January 1, 2019”, — he explained.
Thus cost recovery of the complex, “Rosatom” is estimated at 84 billion rubles in prices of 2020, reported by “RIA Novosti” (or 91 billion rubles. taking into account forecasted inflation rate). In “Rosatom” these estimates declined to comment.
Head of RKK Energia from 2007 to 2014 Vitaly Lopota told a RBC called them “significantly overstated”. “Create Assembly command ship, the control centre, start and flight of the launch platform, the entire infrastructure, providing a standalone implementation of space-rocket technologies and rocket for Sea launch — all this together has cost the companies founders in the amount of about $1 billion the estimation of modernization of the complex in the region of 90 billion rubles untrue”, — said the interlocutor of RBC.
The Federal space program, which the letter refers Ozar, designed for 2016-2025. The volume of its budgetary financing is defined to 1.4 trillion rubles. the goal of the program is to provide state policy in the field of space activities due to the orbital grouping of spacecraft. With the help of these devices provide services that benefit the socio-economic sphere, science and international cooperation, including in order to protect the population and territories from emergency situations of natural and technogenic character, as well as the implementation of manned space programs, the creation of launch vehicles and hardware, the creation of a scientific and technical reserve for advanced space complexes and systems provided on the website of Roskosmos.
The materials specialists of “Rosatom” referenced by “RIA Novosti” is not specified, on what purposes the investments are required. The project “Sea launch” neither missiles nor equipped for the functioning of coastal infrastructure for Assembly and testing of rockets and spacecraft. In addition, from the Odyssey launch platform and command ship in the United States took up all foreign technology: information and communication equipment Boeing and starter equipment of Ukrainian production for the rocket “Zenit” from “Yuzhmash.”