Launch System

Marine Segment

Sea Launch Commander


The Sea Launch Commander is a specially-designed vessel which serves as the Assembly and Command Ship (ACS). The basic structure of the ACS is that of a roll-on/roll-off cargo vessel. The ship was built at the Govan Shipyard in Glasgow, Scotland. In the fall of 1997, the ship sailed for Russia, where special equipment for handling rocket components and for commanding and controlling launches was installed and tested. It arrived in Long Beach, California, on July 13, 1998, after a voyage through the Panama Canal.

While pier-side, the vessel is a floating rocket integration facility, where the Zenit-2S rocket stages, Block-DM-SL upper stage and payload accommodations are integrated horizontally in advance of its transfer to the Launch Platform Odyssey

The ACS is 221.2 meters (660 feet) long, approximately 32.3 meters (106 feet) wide, with a displacement of more than 34,000 tons and has a cruising range of 18,000 nautical miles. The ACS provides accommodations for up to 240 crew members, customers and VIPs-including medical facilities, dining room, recreation and entertainment facilities.  It also has launch control facilities to manage launches at sea.


Sea Launch provides a general office area, individual offices, and conference rooms. Telephone, fax, teleconferencing, and Internet are provided to customer home locations through commercial communications satellite services. Equipment rooms and racks are provided for customer’s GSE necessary to monitor the spacecraft during mission operations. In addition, RF links between the vessels allow communications with the spacecraft on the launch platform and between the spacecraft contractor GSE rooms. Besides the stateroom accommodations for customers, the ACS also offers private offices and conference rooms. These office accommodations include three individual private offices and partitioned office space for an additional ten to twelve customer representatives. These offices are in close proximity to the customer’s electrical GSE rooms and the customer’s storage rooms. A more detailed description of the ACS is available in the Sea Launch User’s Guide.


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