The second-largest Russian carrier S7 Group has announced the signing of a contract with Sea Launch providing for the purchase of a floating cosmodrome “Sea launch”. The agreement was signed on Tuesday at the International Astronautical Congress IAC 2016, which takes place in Guadalajara, said in a press release of the company.
Under the deal, S7 Group acquired the ship Sea Launch Commander and the Odyssey platform mounted with equipment missile segment ground equipment in the U.S. home port in long beach and the trademark Sea Launch.
The closing of the transaction it is planned within six months after receipt of the approval from the US authorities and the signing of several treaties. In particular, the transaction must obtain the approval of the Directorate of defence trade controls (DDTC) and the Committee on foreign investment U.S. (CFIUS).
“To bring the complex out of mothballs and start the launcher activity is planned 18 months after the deal was approved tentatively at the end of 2018. We expect that without large investments in the modernization of Sea Launch can make up to 70 launches for 15 years. Our approach to business is radically different from many companies – we will not sell promises we sell startups just ready to launch vehicles. First rockets, and then the buyer”, – said General Director of S7 Group, Vladislav Filev.
Simultaneously, the S7 Group signed a cooperation agreement with RSC Energia. As expected, the companies will work together to resume the operation of the complex “Sea launch”. While RSC Energia will provide the S7 Group all the necessary engineering support and assistance in the organization starts, and also works on system integration.
“The acquisition of the cosmodrome is “the entrance ticket” for us in the space industry. Space infrastructure is developing very rapidly. From our point of view, this is a very interesting business which has good long-term prospects”, – concluded Filev.
“Sea launch” (Sea Launch) is a floating spaceport for launching rockets, as well as the international consortium for the operation of the cosmodrome. The complex was created for the provision of services to launch spacecraft for various purposes with the mobile launch platform sea-based in earth orbit. The starting point is located in the Equatorial area of the Pacific where there are better conditions to run through the effective use of the Earth’s rotation. The first launch of the platform was implemented in 1999.
In August of this year, the President rocket and space Corporation Energia Vladimir Solntsev has announced the imminent appearance in Russia of the “Elon musk in the square.” This statement Solntsev made, commenting on the sale of international floating cosmodrome “Sea launch”.
“I think that the transaction (for the sale of the “Sea launch”) will be closed by the beginning of 2017. We bow to the Russian candidate, he’s an interesting program, it is convenient to work. I think we will soon have your Elon Musk can say that even Elon Musk in the square”, – he explained.
International consortium “Sea launch” was established in 1995 for commercial launches from the Equatorial waters of the Pacific ocean. After bankruptcy and reorganization, implemented in 2010, 95% of the shares owned by Energia Overseas Limited (EOL) – “granddaughter” RSC “Energia”, and the remaining 5% stake owned by the American company Boeing and Norway’s Aker Solution.
Sold “Sea launch”, “Roscosmos” and “Energy” will be able to put an end to the question, to solve which the parties tried the last few years, and will now focus on the financial restructuring of the Corporation. At the same time, the benefit for the buyer is less obvious: it will become the owner of the debtor company, which for 16 years (1999 to 2014) launched a total of 36 spacecraft. Three launch was considered a failure.