About Sea Launch


The concept for Sea Launch originated in the early 1990's, when numerous commercial voice, data and broadband satellite constellations were being planned for launch.  After the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), RSC Energia looking to utilize their wealth of space expertise, in conjunction with The Boeing Company, Kvaerner, Yuzhmash and Yuzhnoye agreed to do conceptual studies on what an ocean-based Zenit-3SL launch system would look like.

Since its inception in 1995, and its first demonstration flight in 1999, Sea Launch has carved out a niche as one of the industry’s premier launch providers that has brought innovation, competition, diversity of supply and service to the world's satellite operators. Through its unique structure as a commercial launch provider, and without direct benefit of being a nationally subsidized launch system, Sea Launch has pioneered time-proven methods of launching heavy spacecraft reliability and on schedule.

Sea Launch has since went on to create history, playing an important role in launching over 160,000 kilograms to orbit for a variety of commercial and hybrid spacecraft - in the process playing its part in helping to create entirely new industries such as Satellite Radio and Mobile Satellite Services. 



Summer 1993

Exploratory discussions occur.

Spring 1994

Conceptual studies of the Sea Launch complex begin.

April 1995

The Sea Launch LLC joint partnership is formed between The Boeing Company (40 %), RSC Energia (25 %), Kvaerner (20%), and Yuzhmash and Yuzhnoye (15 %).

December 1995

Hughes Space and Communications signs first order for 10 launches. Kvaerner begins construction of Assembly and Command Ship.

July 1996

Hughes Space and Communications commits to three more launches. Space Systems Loral orders five satellite launches.

August 1996

Groundbreaking occurs at the 17 acre "Home Port" site in Long Beach, California.

December 1996

Sea Launch Commander vessel completed and launched from Kvaerner's Govan shipyard near Glascow, Scotland.

May 1997

Odyssey Launch platform completes modifications at the Kvaerner Rosenberg Shipyard in Stavanger, Norway. Heads to Vyborg, Russia for installation.

September 1997

Sea Launch Commander christened.

May 1998

Modifications to Sea Launch Commander and the Odyssey completed in Russia.

June 1998

Sea Launch Commander leaves St. Petersburg, Russia for Long Beach, carrying the first two Sea Launch vehicles. The Odyssey leaves Vyborg Russian shipyard for Long Beach travelling through the Suez canal.

Summer/Fall 1998

Vessels arrive at Home Port; final preparations begin.

March 1999

First launch - Demonstration Payload.

March 2009

Sea Launch celebrates 10 years of launch operations.

April 2009

Sea Launch completes its 30th launch mission, with the launch of Sicral-1B.

June 2009

Sea Launch Company LLC filed voluntary petitions to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States.

October 2010

Sea Launch emerges from Chapter 11 restructuring.

September 2011

Return to Launch Operations.

December 2012

5 launches in 14 months!

January 2013

35th launch takes place.

March 2014

Sea Launch celebrates 15 years of launch operations.

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