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Russia to provide bankrupt Sea Launch consortium with $30 million

RIA Novosti

10:5406/05/2010 MOSCOW, May 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Energia Overseas Limited company will provide the international Sea Launch consortium with $30 million to help the spacecraft launch service finalize its bankruptcy proceedings, a respected Russian business daily said on Thursday.

Russia's Rocket and Space Corporation Energia announced on Wednesday that a U.S. court had preliminarily approved the deal between the EOL, Energia's subsidiary, and Sea Launch on April 27, Vedomosti said.

The company refused to specify on where the money for Sea Launch would come from, the paper said. The company produces the upper stages for Russia's Zenit-3SL carrier rocket.

Energia holds a 25% stake in the Sea Launch consortium created in 1995. Boeing holds 40% in the project, with a 20% stake belonging to Norwegian company Aker ASA and 15% to Ukraine's SDO Yuzhnoye/PO Yuzhmash.

The launch platform and the command ship are based in California, with rocket launches being carried out from an equatorial area in the Pacific Ocean. A total of 33 rockets have been launched from the platform since 1999, with 30 of them being successful.

Sea Launch announced its bankruptcy in June 2009. The company's debt is estimated at $1 billion, and its assets at $100-500 million. A single rocket launch from the platform costs around $80 million.

Other companies carrying out commercial rocket launches are Europe's consortium Arianspace and International Launch Services (ILS), the Russian-American venture, which launches Proton and Atlas vehicles.

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