Satnews Daily
September 28th, 2016

Sea Launch Acquired By S7 Group

The first push off of a near Earth orbit slotted satellite that was completed from the ocean floating launch platform known as Odyssey, operated by Sea Launch, occurred in 1999—with this equatorial venue in the Pacific Ocean, the Earth's rotation was effectively harnessed to bring optimal launch conditions into play.

The Odyssey floating launch platform has a new owner — Russia's S7 Group.

Photo is courtesy of Victor Kataev, ITAR/TASS.

However, since mid-year in 2015, Sea Launch has been rather inactive, due to the political ramifications surrounding Russia's aggressive positioning in the acquisition of Crimea, resulting in a business stalemate between the various national partners involved in Sea Launch endeavors.

The CEO of Russia's S7 Group, Vladislav Filen, flew to the IAC in Guadalajara, Mexico, to sign papers that would find his company acquiring Sea Launch, with an estimated $150 to $160 million expected to be invested, with a closing occurring over the next six months via various contracts with five jurisdictions in a variety of currencies. A joint statement concerning this acquisition was released by Roscosmos, RSC Energia and the S7 Group.

Filen stated that the acquisition of Sea Launch was the ticket S7 needs to enter into the space industry. S7 is a private aviation company that operates 21 Boeing and 45 Airbus aircraft that serves 27 countries with 145 routes throughout CIS, Europe, the Middle East, South-East Asia and the APAC regions of the world. The firm also joined the oneworld airlines alliance and, through this arrangement, attends to 1,000 destinations in 150 countries. The firm's revenue in 2015 was more than $1.3 billion.

Vladislav indicated that the hope is Sea Launch will be responsible for from 15 to 20 launches with their Zenit rocket.