back to article Seagoing satellite launch stymied by La Nina

Seagoing space-rocket company Sea Launch has given up on attempts to boost a communications satellite into orbit from the mid-Pacific, blaming unusual ocean currents possibly related to the "La Nina" phenomenon. Sea Launch uses a self-propelled ocean going platform to move its launch rockets into position on the Equator, thus …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    This has nothing on Gerry Anderson's "UFO", which had a submarine space launch vehicle. The rocket sat on the end of the submarine as it wriggled its way under the sea. The concept was absolutely ridiculous. The submarine was crewed by men and women who wore string vests that were painted silver. It was filmed in the late 1960s, and set in the year 1981; the portrayal of 1981 was so accurate that people today could use it as a historical document of 1981.

    I choose Paris Hilton as my avatar, because her hair goes purple when she visits the moon.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    from TFA:

    "unusually cold sea temperatures"...hmmmm.

    Darn that Global Warming! They'd better be careful, or Algoreans will have them burned as heretics for showing facts that don't fit their self-advancement agenda.

  3. justin myatt
    Thumb Up


    Spot on!

    Now that is what I call a concise piece, or em.... something..

  4. Nick L


    Since I looked them up ...

    Platform en voyage

    Erecting launcher:

    Doncha hate it how this page doesn't wrap when someone posts a long URL ?

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Ever hear of an anchor?

    The Sea Launch approach always seemed over engineered to me. Aranuka atoll (Kiribati) is just 12 km off the equator. If one launched from near there, one could drop the launch-platform's anchor and thus wouldn't have to burn fuel trying to keep stationary against a current.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    And, yeah, I thought of this later on - if the satellite was launched from beneath the surface of the sea, there wouldn't be a problem with storms. That's an excellent idea, and I am surprised that Sea Launch hasn't thought of it yet. There may be some technical challenges, but this is the twenty-first century after all.

  7. Ishkandar

    @Anonymous Coward

    Actually, Pontianak in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) is bang on the equator !! It has a nice little marker in town for where the equator goes through and it is a great tourist attraction. Strange that one couldn't launch from just outside town. It also has great R&R facilities for the lads for after-launch parties too !!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sub-based launches

    Don't all the nuclear armed countries already have the technology to shoot huge-ass missiles thousands of miles from a submarine? One would imagine sending them to space wouldn't be all that difficult. Of course, building the sub is another issue entirely....

  9. lglethal Silver badge

    launching from the middle of the ocean means

    that Sealaunch dont have to pay people for using their land/water for the launch. Hence why they dont use anyone of the islands on the equator. Pure economics. Although considering how much fuel theyve wasted travelling back and forth to the current site it probably would have been cheaper to pay someone for a sheltered cove!

  10. Alexander Holland


    I thought that Sky-1 from UFO was an Aircraft, not a spacecraft?

    You think they'd attach themselves to the sea-bed or something once in position, rather than use fuel holding stationary.

  11. hugo tyson


    Yeah, UFO FTW. Can't beat Peter Gordeno and his string-vest submarine. Best bit was that it split just between the words "sky" and "diver" written on the outside of the plane/sub amalgam. So obviously you only ever saw the left hand side of the vehicle else the words woulda been the wrong way round. Brilliant!

  12. Eileen Bach


    hang on. Next time they should use the 'galileo new found radar discovery' to get ocean lobster see through wave radar satellite pre launch updates. Nice little earner probably.

  13. Dave Coventry

    Sea Launch

    @Ever hear of an anchor.

    I worked on the design of the Command Ship and the conversion of the Ocean Oddesey from oil drilling rig in Aberdeen, Scotland.

    The point about launching from the middle of the ocean, rather than anchored off an island is that you don't have to worry too much about the hospital bills should the rocket explode over said island.

    They light the blue touch paper and hop aboard the Command Ship to retire just over the horizon where they can safely watch the show from the various hospitality suites on board.

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