News & Events


Sea Launch Celebrates the 15 Year Anniversary of DemoSat

BERN, Switzerland, March 28, 2014 – Sea Launch celebrated today the 15 year anniversary of the successful maiden launch of the Zenit-3SL ocean-based launch system with the DemoSat spacecraft that occurred on March 27, 1999.

Sea Launch’s inaugural launch validated the overall program concept and demonstrated system capability.  The payload for the first mission was designed to mimic the mass properties of a 4,500 kilogram spacecraft, with an optimized mission injection profile actually providing 4,900 kilograms of equivalent performance – an impressive accomplishment given that at the time, DemoSat was the largest commercial satellite structure ever to be launched into geosynchronous transfer orbit.

It was the culmination of four years (beginning in 1995) of intense development work performed by thousands of aerospace and marine professionals throughout the world.  Since then, Sea Launch has gone on to launch 35 times with its 36th mission (EUTELSAT 3B) scheduled for launch in mid-April.

Approximately 200 guests were on hand at the Home Port facility in Long Beach, California to participate in the celebrations including customers, dignitaries, suppliers, Sea Launch employees, Energia Logistics U.S. (ELUS) employees as well representatives from RSC Energia.

Dr. Valery Aliev, Executive Vice President Launch Operations for ELUS stated, “15 years ago the entire world witnessed a remarkable event in 20th century global space launch technology – the inaugural launch of the Sea Launch rocket. The media groups at that time included Sea Launch in the list of the top 100 most significant technological achievements in the world.”
Dr. Vitaly Lopota, President and General Designer of RSC Energia added, “Sea Launch is the first international commercial project that included developing, creating and operating launch vehicle aerospace technology.  The initial concept of the project remains viable and unrivaled, and that is – to achieve maximum performance and cost efficiency for launching rockets by choosing the ideal launch site in the Pacific Ocean.  This choice avoids limitations of safety exclusion areas of national economic zones from being in the impact zone of jettisoned rocket elements, minimizes the required infrastructure while unequivocally increasing global sustainability of rocket launches and minimizing the impact on environmental conditions and safety of populated areas.”