Blackened Sea Launch Heads for Home

Wounded Odyssey Launch platrom. Image credit: Sea LaunchAfter last week’s rocket explosion, the Sea Launch facility is making its way back to the home port in Long Beach, California. The latest photographs show how the Odyssey Launch Platform is blackened by the explosion from the Zenit-3SL rocket that was supposed to carry the NSS-8 satellite into orbit.

Following a preliminary assessment, engineers said that the platform sustained minor damage, but it’s still entirely seaworthy. Although it’s still a little charred, the platform is traveling back to the home port under its own power, and staffed by a full complement of crew. The biggest damage to Odyssey seems to be its rocket flame deflector, but that will be one of the first items to be repaired when it returns to dock.

Needless to say, Boeing and its partner firms in the Sea Launch operation will begin an investigation to understand why the Zenit exploded, and to prevent similar accidents in the future.

Original Source: Sea Launch News Release