US bars S7 from using Sea Launch spaceport to compete with Musk, says Roscosmos

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MOSCOW, June 7. /TASS/. In a sales contract of the Sea Launch project, the United States has prohibited Russia’s S7 from using the floating spaceport to compete with SpaceX founder Elon Musk, Head of Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said on Monday.

“Specific strict restrictions were imposed upon the signing of the contract for the transfer of two Sea Launch vessels to the Russian company and so we have no right to use them in competition with Elon Musk,” the Roscosmos chief said at the State Duma’s (lower house) hearings on Western sanctions and measures to cushion their impact on Russian politics and the economy.

The Roscosmos head also said he was surprised that government lawyers were acting on behalf of a private company. He also recalled that the United States had “yanked out all the equipment” from the Sea Launch compound and promised to restore the floating spaceport.

The Sea Launch floating spaceport consists of the Odyssey floating launch platform and the command ship. The program was in effect until 2014. Thirty-two launches of Zenit rockets were carried out from the platform based off the US coast. The Sea Launch project suspended launches in 2014, and in September 2016 the S7 Group became the owner of the floating spaceport.

In the spring of 2020, the command vessel and the launch platform departed from the US coast and later moored at the wharf of the Slavyansky Ship Repair Center in the Primorye Region in Russia’s Far East.