Sea Launch Project

High Spots

Birth of the Project, Building of Ships, Manufacturing and Assembly of the Rocket Segment Equipment, Manufacturing of the Block DM-SL Upper Stage


December 1991 - March 1992

NPO Energia together with a number of Russian enterprises has conducted preliminary studies on development of a Sea-Based Rocket and Space Complex on the basis of large-capacity means of domestic marine for modern launchers Zenit, Energia-, Energia.

March 1993

NPO Energia specialists at a meeting in the Boeing premises have presented a Sea-Based Rocket and Space Complex project (SB RSC).

November 1993

In Turku (Finland) the future partners (Boeing, NPO Energia, vaerner) have discussed proposals on Launch Platform and signed a frame agreement on SB RSC development and necessity for foundation of an international company.

March 1994

RSC Energia has developed technical proposals on Sea-Based Rocket And Space Complex (SB RSC) with participation of conventional Russian cooperative agencies. Involved in activities is NPO Yuzhnoye (Ukraine).

May 1995

Presidents of four companies have signed the Sea Launch Joint Venture Foundation Agreement (for Boeing, Seattle, USA - James Noblitt; for RSC Energia, Korolev, Russia - Juri Semenov; for vaerner, Oslo, Norway - Ditrich Schnitler; for NPO Yuzhnoye, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine - Yuri Alekseyev). The subsequent meeting of partners began to determine the stragedy of Sea Launch program development.

RSC Energia together with subcontractors has developed a conceptual project on Sea Launch RSC.

December 1995

RSC Energia President Yu. Semenov for the purposes of enhancement of work efficiency has taken a decision to establish a Directorate and Science and Technology Center 10 under the Sea Launch program. An operational-technical management for activities of RSC Energia cooperative agencies is established.

February 1996

RSC Energia has developed proposals on structure, responsibility, and sequence of concurring joint (international) documents.

March 1996

At Boeing Commercial Space Company/RSC Energia/ vaerner/ NPO Yuzhnoye and KBTM meeting in Oslo, Norway, on RSC Energia initiative a decision is taken to establish an international structure of working groups for project management on the working level. Leads of working groups from RSC Energia are identified.

January - December 1996

Integrated project documentation is developed:

  • Sea Launch RSC breakdown chart (identification of cooperating subcontractors);
  • procedure for performing operations, structure and composition of personnel;
  • integrated documents (master procedure, prelaunch processing program, integrated test program).

Project and design documentation on Rocket Segment in support of building of ships is developed:

  • documentation for Rocket Segment systems and equipment;
  • interface documentation and specifications of Rocket Segment equipment for shipyards and project agencies.

Documentation for payload integration with ILV is developed.

Construction work on Assembly-Command Ship (Kvaerner-Govan shipyard, Glasgo, Great Britain) and Launch Platform (Kvaerner-Rosenberg, Stavanger, Norway) is launched.

Manufacturing work on Rocket Segment systems and equipment (Russian enterprises) is launched.

Initial data and requirements on rocket equipment installation on ships are developed.

March 1997

Cooperation of Russian enterprises on Rocket Segment equipment installation on ships is identified:

  • TsKB Rubin - development of installation documentation;
  • Kvaerner-Vyborg shipyard - additional outfitting of the Launch Platform;
  • "Kanonersky sudoremontny zavod" (joint-stock venture Kanonersky shipyard) - additional outfitting of the Launch Platform.
March 1997 -
March 1998

Manufacturing and deliveries of Rocket Segment equipment are implemented.

March 1997

The Board of Chief Designers is held in Korolev with review of problematic issues connected with Sea Launch RSC development.

March-April 1997

International Bank for reconstruction and development guarantees are received for commercial risks during Sea Launch program implementation. Project funding scheme definition is completed.

May 30, 1997

The Launch Platform has come to Kvaerner-Vyborg shipyard for outfitting with Rocket Segment systems and equipment and completion of work on marine equipment.

June 16-27, 1997

First review on project certification (Moscow) with participation of representatives from customers.

July 28, 1997

RF Government decree "On Russian Federation administration of guarantees for the international project on Sea Launch Sea-Based Rocket and Space Complex development" is signed.

September, 1997

In Dnepropetrovsk is held the Board of Chief Designers on status assessment w.r.t. integrated documentation issue in support of Sea Launch RSC development.

December 27, 1997

The Assembly-Command Ship has come to Kanonersky shipyard.

January - June, 1998

Outfitting of the Assembly-Command Ship at Kanonersky shipyard with Rocket Segment systems and equipment and completion of work on marine equipment.

April 1998

Sea Launch Company has performed at PO Yuzhmashzavod and RSC Energia the technical acceptance of the manufactured first flight unit of Zenit-2S Launch Vehicle and Block D-SL Upper Stage.

May 1998

Work at Saint-Petersburg Port aboard the Assembly-Command Ship: debugging of handling operations using a Zenit-2S Launch Vehicle mockup, loading of two units of Zenit-2S Launch Vehicle and Block DM-SL Upper Stage.

June 1998

The basic work on additional outfitting of the Launch Platform with Rocket segment systems and equipment is complete.

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