Wednesday, January 31

Sea Launch Zenit-3SL Rocket Explodes on Liftoff

Sea Launch has been covered here on this Maritime Monday post in November. On 30 January, they were scheduled to make another launch. However, this time, things did not go as planned.

(Rockets do explode on occasion)

Looking at the video, I am going to guess that the launch platform, ODYSSEY, has suffered major damage, and may either be sinking or has already sunk. There is no mention of the condition of the launch platform. There is confirmation that "All personnel are safe and accounted for." That at least is a bit of good news for such a disastrous event.

Update: 1 February 07

Good news:

A preliminary assessment of the Odyssey Launch Platform indicates that, while it has sustained limited damage, the integrity and functionality of essential marine, communications and crew support systems remains intact. The vessel is operating on its own power and is currently manned by the full marine crew.

This team is performing a comprehensive assessment of all aspects of the vessel, including its structural integrity and sea-worthiness, in anticipation of identifying and planning the next steps. The team on the Sea Launch Commander is in excellent condition and is supporting these activities. The Commander incurred no damage during yesterday's launch attempt, as it was positioned four miles from the Launch Platform at the time of lift-off. - Yahoo News

Sea Launch - Homepage

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