S7, the Russian firm that took over the assets of the defunct international Sea Launch enterprise, has been outlining its future plans for its S7 Space division.  S7 Space has announced that it is to modernise the oil rig-based launch pad and its command vessel with a view to operating a new part reusable launch vehicle from the pad.

The firm originally ordered two Zenit-3 expendable launch vehicles from the Ukranian Yuzmash company in April 2017 and officially plans to restart launches in 2019.  However, problems in supply in Russian elements for these rockets has temporarily ended this restart plan.

The original Zenit 3-SL rocket on its Sea Launch pad. Courtesy: Boeing

Nevertheless, according to TASS, the firm now plans to use a version of the Soyuz-5 rocket currently being developed by the Russian enterprise RSC Energia, which will have reusable first stage and will be called the Soyuz-7SL. The stage is likely to use an inflatable heatshield/ballute design.