Sea Launch Project
During integrated tests it was planned to perform step-by-step debugging of all operations on ILV launch processing and
implementation from the launch site at the Equator in the water area of the Pacific Ocean. Special attention was attached
to the following basic operations:
- ILV assembly and testing aboard the Assembly-Command Ship;
- loading of Assembly-Command Ship and Launch Platform with propellant components;
- ILV transfer from the Assembly-Command Ship to the Launch Platform;
- ILV erection on the launch pad, ILV testing and loading with propellant components;
- Propellant components drain and ILV reset in case the launch does not take place.
The original concept of integrated tests envisaged two phases. The first basic phase of debugging of most important
operations should be held in Russia at ports and and in the Baltic Sae (in vicinity of Russian manufacturing plants).
The second clean phase was planned to be carried out at Home Port (USA) and the final tests were planned to be conducted
at the nominal launch site at the Equator. But delays in building of ships threatened to defeat the Complex completion
dates, therefore the partners, in order to reduce the test duration, decided to combine the phases and transfer the
basic scope of work to the USA and the water area of the Pacific Ocean. Sea Launch Company takes a decision to move
out the ships from Russian shipyards before completion of commissioning work and autonomous tests for a number of
Rocket Segment systems.
Chronology of tests
|May 20, 1998
Start of integrated tests at Saint-Petersburg port, Russia.
|May 20-25, 1998
Debugging of operations on transfer of Upper Stage and LV blocks to ACS at Saint-Petersburg port.
|May 26 - June 8, 1998
Work under the integrated test program at Kanonersky shipyard:
- fit checks of Upper Stage and processing equipment in room 103;
- fit checks of LV blocks and processing equipment in room 101;
- processing and mating of LV Stage I and Stage II blocks;
- transfer of integrated LV to its storage site on ACS (port side) in room 101.
|June 8 - 12, 1998
Work at Saint-Petersburg port:
- transfer of the second Upper Stage to ACS;
- transfer of the second set of LV blocks to ACS;
- securing LV blocks for sea.
|June - August 1998
Development of an integrated schedule combining completion of commissioning work and autonomous tests for a number
of Rocket Segment systems with integrated tests.
|June 12 - July 13, 1998
Transit of the Assembly-Command Ship from Saint-Petersburg to Home Port (Long Beach, USA):
- LV blocks/US state control during transportation;
- preparation for integrated tests of the US automated flight control system.
|June 22 - October 4, 1998
Transit of the Launch Platform from Vyborg to Home Port.
|October 21, 1998
Rocket Segment personnel starts to work at Home Port.
|November 5-14, 1998
Joint tests of marine systems of Assembly-Command Ship and Launch Platform in the water area of the Pacific Ocean.
|December 3, 1998
Mating of Block DM-SL Upper Stage and Zenit-2S is performed.
|December 28, 1998
A Payload Unit (PLU) mockup is delivered to the Assembly-Command Ship.
|December 31, 1998
Assembly of the first Zenit-3SL Integrated Launch Vehicle is complete.
|January 23, 1999
Transfer of Zenit-3SL Integrated Launch Vehicle is first carried out from the Assembly-Command Ship to the Launch Platform
in the Home Port water area.
|January 24, 1999
At RSC Energia is held the Board of Chief Designers to review Rocket Segment readiness for the completing phase
of integrated tests.
|January 26 - 31, 1999
Tests under the ILV Dry Roll-Out program - debugging of operational interface of Launch Platform systems and equipment with
ILV, ILV critical launch readiness checklist.
|January 31 - February 17, 1999
Completing phase of Sea Launch RSC integrated tests in the Pacific Ocean in the area of San-Clemente Island. Debugging
of all prelaunch processing operations (including ILV propellant components loading and drain).
|February 17 - March 4, 1999
Work at Home Port after ASC and LP return from the water area of the Pacific Ocean:
- ILV transfer from LP to ASC;
- unmating of PLU mockup and US from LV;
- survey of defects and check tests of LV and US;
- debugging of US loading with high-boiling propellant
Results of integrated tests
During Sea Launch RSC integrated tests in Saint-Petersburg, at Home Port and in the water area of the Pacific Ocean
debugging of all operations on ILV launch processing and implementation was performed successfully.
On February 22-24, 1999 the Sea Launch project review (certification) was held with participation of customers and readiness for
the first demo launch confirmed.