It's really rocket science

Sea Launch Co. LLC, based in Long Beach, Calif., has produced perhaps the most creative reuse of a semisubmersible drilling platform. The Sea Launch initiative ( began in April 1995, combining expertise from international aerospace and maritime companies to provide heavy-lift commercial satellite-launch services from an equatorial, Pacific Ocean-based platform. Launching from the equator eliminates the need for plane-change maneuvers.After receiving its first contract, the multinational partnership began constructing the 660 ft long (110 ft beam) assembly-and-command ship (ACS) in December 1995. The ACS was launched from Kvaerner AS's Govan shipyard in Glasgow, Dece...

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