Valery Serdyukov, the Governor of the Leningrad Region, today held talks behind closed doors with Professor Igor Spassky and Yuri Semyonov, the president of the Energia rocket and space corporation. The talks also included Georgi Poryadin, the head of municipal education for the Vyborg District. According to Rosbalt's correspondent, the talks were about the possible construction of a new launch platform for space rockets of the Sea Launch type in the Vyborg District of the Leningrad Region. Spassky and Semyonov have put forward the idea that Russia should have its own launch platform for space shuttles. At the moment, Russian space shuttles are mainly launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and the Plesetsk cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk Region.
'We are sure that the government is interested in this project. Valery Serdyukov and I have studied the possible ways that the Leningrad Region could take part in the project. It seems that the best way is through the Vyborg shipyard, which already has first-class experience of constructing such a platform,' said Spassky. Nine launches have already taken place from the first platform built at Vyborg. The first platform for launching Sea Launch rockets was built at the Vyborg shipyard in 1998 as a joint project between the Energia rocket and space corporation and Boeing.
It is worth noting that launching rockets from the equator is at least twice as cheap as launching them from the ground (from the Baikonur and Plesetsk cosmodromes), so the economic advantages of constructing a Russian platform are clear. Once the conceptual development is complete, the scientists and the Leningrad Region will promote the project at the governmental level.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969