Unique Commercial Satellite Launch Complex
Under Construction In Long Beach

1277 High bay under construction at Sea Launch's home port complex in Long Beach Harbor will be used in satellite launch preparation. The complex is located adjacent to a closed-down park at the end of a peninsula on Terminal Island. CLUI photoA UNIQUE FACILITY UNDER CONSTRUCTION in Long Beach Harbor is about to become part of the first completely commercial satellite launch platform system in the country, called Sea Launch Venture. The site in Long Beach, located at the end of an artificial peninsula on Terminal Island, on land leased from the former Long Beach Naval Shipyard, will be the home port for the venture, which will use a rocket launch pad that travels out to sea for launches. High-bay engineering buildings currently under construction at Long Beach will house final assembly and fueling of the satellites.

Sea Launch Venture is a consortium of European companies, led by Boeing, which owns 40% of the $500 million project, and is building the Long Beach facility. The Kvaerner company of Norway, Europe's largest shipbuilder, is building the launch platform, from a converted 31,000 ton North Sea oil drilling rig. The semi-submersible platform, one and a half football fields wide, is expected to be delivered to Long Beach in the spring of 1998, traveling across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans using its own internal engines. For launches, a 650 foot control ship (under construction at a Kvaerner shipyard in Scotland) would travel with the platform to the launch site, carrying the rocket in its hold. The specially built ship would dock with the launch pad, transfer the rocket to the pad, then retreat to a safe distance to serve as the command and control center for the launch.

1278 Sign at Sea Launch's Home Port, under construction in Long Beach Harbor. CLUI photo