Launch System

Marine Segment

Launch Platform Odyssey


The Launch Platform Odyssey is one of world's largest semi-submersible, self-propelled vessels at 137 meters (450) feet long, about 67 meters (220 feet) wide, with a transit displacement of over 27,400 tons, and a submerged draft displacement of 50,600 tons. It's launch deck surface area is 78 meters by 62.8 meters. The Launch Platform Odyssey was a former North Sea oil drilling platform before its refurbishment took place at the Rosenberg Shipyard in Stavanger, Norway.  In 1997 the Odyssey was transferred to the Vyborg shipyard outside of St. Petersburg, Russia to install the Russian-designed launch support equipment including the transporter erector, kerosene loading system, liquid oxygen loading system, an automated control complex, thermostating systems, and the launch pad itself including a massive gas deflector suspended below the deck.

This one of a kind vessel serves as the means of transportation for the Integrated Launch Vehicle, as well as the launch pad.  Self-propelled by twin diesel-electric propulsion systems, the Odyssey rides catamaran style on a pair of large pontoons, each similar in length to a Trident submarine. Both pontoons have three ballast pumps, allowing the Odyssey to partially submerge down 21.5 meters (70 feet) in advance of the start of launch operations to provide for a stable launch platform.  The trim and heel system allows for the movement of the water to set the launch platform at any desired static angle.  A dynamic positioning systems uses a combination of the main propulsion system, and azimuth and bow thrusters to hold the position of the launch platform at the launch site. 


The Launch Platform
Odyssey provides accommodations for 68 crew and launch system personnel - including living, dining, medical and recreation facilities. The customer has work areas on the platform including GSE rooms, offices, and storage areas.  It is equipped with a large, environmentally controlled hangar for storage of the Sea Launch rocket during transit, and with mobile transporter/erector equipment that is used to roll out and erect the rocket in launch position prior to fueling and launch. Special facilities on-board enable the storage of rocket fuels (kerosene and liquid oxygen) sufficient for each mission.

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