Sea Launch Project

Constituent Parts of the System

Assembly and Command Ship

Assembly and command ship (ACS) was built at a Kvaerner shipyard in Glasgow, Scotland. ACS design was developed on the basis of a Roll On/Roll Off (RO/RO) cargo vessel. The installation on the ACS of the rocket segment systems and equipment was performed at Kanonersky shipyard (St. Petersburg)

When at port, ACS serves as an assembly shop, and when at sea, it serves as a control center for the launch vehicle pre-launch processing and launch, also providing accommodations for the crew, specialists who service rocket and space hardware and control launches, and customer representatives. ACS is outfitted with systems and equipment which allow to conduct on its board integrated tests of the launch vehicle and the upper stage, fill the upper stage with high-boiling propellant components and gases, assemble and test the integrated launch vehicle. ACS houses a command station for controlling the upper stage flight, and facilities for receiving and processing telemetry measurements.

Basic perfomances

Overall dimensions, m:

  • length
  • width
  • operating draft
  • height (including deckhouse)


Displacement, tons
Speed, knots
The number of rockets that can be serviced

The ship can accommodate up to 240 people, placing at their disposal a conference room, a movie theater, a cafeteria, lounges, rooms for recreation and exercise, a swimming pool, and a first aid clinic.

ACS home port is Long Beach port located in south-western USA (California).

The ship arrived to the Home Port from Europe under its own power by way of Panama Canal.

The systems of the rocket segment on-board the Assembly and Command ship:

  • a complete set of support equipment and systems for ILV processing, including:
    • transporter,
    • compressed gas supply and production systems,
    • electrical and pneumatic utility connectors
  • Upper Stage filling equipment,
  • chemical lab to check propellant components,
  • a suite of automatic systems for controlling processing on ACS,
  • automatic system for controlling the flight of the upper stage, which includes:
    • antenna system,
    • telemetry system,
    • command and measuring station,
    • a common system for antenna control,
    • satellite communications station,
  • systems for taking measurements during the ascent phase.


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