ABS Publishes Guide for Offshore Spaceports

(Image: ABS)
(Image: ABS)

Classification society ABS announced it has launched a new set of requirements to guide the burgeoning maritime aspects of the space flight industry in the safe design and construction of offshore assets.

The new requirements, launched this week at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston amid growing global demand for offshore spacecraft launch and recovery, are said to be the first of their kind internationally.

Spaceports are marine or offshore assets that conduct spacecraft launch or recovery. The ABS Requirements for Building and Classing Offshore Spaceports addresses several vessel types including barge type units, column-stabilized, offshore installations and self-elevating units. Previously there were no industry requirements to address an offshore spaceport’s unique concept of operation.

“The offshore space industry is growing rapidly, and ABS is already a pioneer in the field of offshore space support with our industry-leading work on autonomous rocket recovery droneships,” said Miguel Hernandez, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Offshore. “This new publication allows ABS to provide clear support for organizations that are engaging with regulatory agencies to reactivate assets such as offshore support vessels, barges and liftboats to support space flight.”

ABS is at the forefront of offshore space support and is active in a joint development project with SpaceX to review the remotely controlled functions of autonomous rocket recovery droneships used for booster rocket recovery at sea. The classification society is also supporting space tourism company Space Perspective with class, engineering review and regulatory services.

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