It’s Baaack! Sea Launch to Rise From Watery Grave Again

Zenit lifts off with communications satellite. (Credit: Sea Launch)

It seems you can’t keep a mediocre rocket down.

Sea Launch is coming back. After weathering a bankruptcy and a period of involuntary hibernation, new owners are bringing the troubled launch provider back to life for the third time.

“Work is underway to end the conservation of the complex and to restore launch activities with the use of Zenit carrier rockets in the current configuration until 2023,” S7 told Sputnik International.

Since making its first launch in 1999, Sea Launch has compiled a record of 32 successes, 3 failures and 1 partial failure. The company’s most recent flight was conducted on May 26, 2014.

  • duheagle

    The Big Bands are coming back. There’s no work for them, but they’re coming back.

  • Douglas Messier

    Kinda like Godzilla, if you think about it. You think it’s gone then it rises again from the watery depths in yet another movie. And not always for the best.

  • duheagle

    Except in this case all we have is a press release. Not even a movie trailer.

  • Arthur Hamilton

    The Falcon 9’s grandfather is back.

  • Douglas Messier
  • duheagle

    I guess Stratolaunch needs to be on the lookout for this guy.

    Foolish humans! Launch your rockets from land!

  • Aerospike

    What? Why?

  • Pete Zaitcev

    He’s referring to Elon’s comments about Zenith being the 2nd best rocket in the world (behind Falcon, obviously), and an inspiration for Falcon, which is like Zenit but better (presumably because it has engine-out resilience on the 1st stage, which Zenit does not offer). But hey, Doug said it’s a mediocre rocket, so what does Elon know. Stupid hack from Hawthorne, isn’t he.

    P.S. Technically, the Sea Launch configuration is not the basis for Elon’s admiration, because it always flies with an additional upper stage. So yeah, totally mediocre.

  • Pete Zaitcev

    You’ve seen nothing yet. The S7 is a beneficiary of Roskosmos make-work program, so they are going to switch from Zenit to the new and mediocred, kerosene-fueled “Soyuz-5” (which is no longer the Soyuz-5 we come to love, but instead, by virtue of government magic turns into Energia-K reincarnated; now that’s a mediocre rocket that you seriously cannot keep down! Eat this, Kirillin!)

  • Aerospike

    Thank you for the information. I must have missed (or forgotten) those comments about Zenit by Elon Musk.

  • publiusr

    Zenit and Falcon are rather similar in size and shape.

    Sea Level thrust for Zenit–7,257 kN (for 13,740 kg to LEO)

    Falcon 9– 7,607 kN (for 22,800 kg to LEO)
    That’s up there with 3-Core Delta IV-H, Proton, etc.)

  • Arthur Hamilton

    Look at the Sea Launch rocket and then look at the current version of the F-9. The Seal launch vehicle uses the RD-171 and generates about 1.69 million lbs of thrust. The current version of the F-9(Block 4) generates about 1.71 million lbs of thrust. Finally, They look identical from a distance.