The cost will be almost $500 million to refurbish the Sea Launch floating rocket launch platform, according to reports.
Russia’s deputy prime minister, Yuri Borisov, recalled that before the floating spaceport left its port at Long Beach, California, the US – in accordance with its laws – removed all equipment from the command ship and the floating platform. The floating spaceport Sea Launch, currently based at Russia’s Slavyanka port in the Primorye Territory, will be restored, which will require about 35 billion rubles (roughly $470 million), Borisov told the media this week.
“Certainly, the Sea Launch will be restored. I had a discussion with the president on that score. I reported intermediate results achieved by the working group that was set up on my instructions,” Borisov said.
He added that the budget for breathing new life into the Sea Launch was estimated at about 35 billion rubles. It will be commercially successful if at least five launches are made a year.
The technology that was removed, he said, provided largely GPS functionality and Borisov said that would be replaced with Russia’s Glonass positioning technology.
“A week ago,” he said, “I returned from Vladivostok where I had walked around the Sea Launch and the ship that serves as the site for assembling and testing the payload. It is a unique structure unparalleled in the world. Some have plans for building something similar. It would be very silly of us if we decided against restoring the Sea Launch and using its services. Technically all this is possible. As for the launch system itself, in other words, the equipment needed for bringing the rocket to and placing it at the launch pad and automatically fuelling the tanks, all this is done through Russian technologies.”
The Sea Launch rocket platform, along with Odyssey, its command vessel, functioned up until 2014 and carried out a total of 32 launches. In September 2016, the S7 group of companies bought the two elements and in the spring of 2016 the command ship and the platform were brought from the US shores to Russia’s Far East. The launch and assembly ship Sea Launch Commander arrived in the Primorye Territory on March 17th and was moored at the Slavyanka Shipyard after customs procedures. The launch platform Odyssey arrived there on March 30th.
The US’s FCC has confirmed what it describes as the successful conclusion of bidding in its auction of Priority Access Licenses in the 3550-3650 MHz band for 5G, raising some $4.5 billion, although it has yet to name the successful bidders. The auction made available the greatest number of spectrum licenses ever in a single FCC auction.
“This is a banner day for American leadership in 5G and for American consumers,” declared FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “The 3.5 GHz auction has concluded, and I can say unequivocally: It was a resounding success. The strong demand for licences was the direct result of this Commission’s reforms to the rules for the 3.5 GHz band—reforms that would not have been possible without the leadership and hard work of my colleague, Commissioner Mike O’Rielly. This auction has been a key part of our 5G FAST Plan and our ongoing push to make more mid-band spectrum available for 5G. I look forward to this important spectrum being put to use quickly to provide service to the American people. And I look forward to the Commission making available 280 more megahertz of mid-band spectrum for 5G in the C-band auction beginning on December 8.”
Bidding in the auction of 70 megahertz of Priority Access Licenses (PALs) in the 3550-3650 MHz band (Auction 105) concluded following round 76. Gross proceeds reached $4,585,663,345, and bidders won 20,625 of 22,631, or more than 91.1 per cent, of available licenses. The FCC will release a public notice in a few days providing detailed auction results, including the names of Auction 105 winning bidders, and announcing deadlines for payments and the filing of long-form applications, as well as other post-auction procedures needed for the prompt issuance of licenses.
News stories authored by journalist Chris Forrester,
who posts for the Advanced Television infosite and is also a
Senior Contributor for Satnews Publishers.