While the Ukrainian Sea Launch rots somewhere near Vladivostok, other companies are testing the possibility of launching launch vehicles from floating platforms. On May 22, 2023, American The Spaceport Company together with Evolution Space made several launches of meteorological rockets from the platform ship of EBI Liftboats LLC from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This is reported by Space News.
Yes, so far they are only ultralight weather rockets, but these launches will allow The Spaceport Company to gather useful information and obtain funding.
Liftboats, i.e. self-lifting ships, are self-propelled vessels that can lift themselves above the waves on special supports. Self-lifting ships are used for maritime exploration, mining or marine construction.
The Spaceport Company even has customers. In April 2023, the company announced a partnership with the developer of small launch vehicles Vaya Space. Launches are planned for 2025.
The Spaceport Company is not the only company interested in launching from sea platforms. In 2019, the Chinese space agency launched a light satellite from a floating platform. In 2021, SpaceX planned to build two launch platforms, Phobos and Deimos, based on old derricks for Super Heavy and Starship launches. In 2023, SpaceX abandoned these plans and sold the platforms. The Astra company, which in March 2022 finally carried out the first successful launch of the Rocket 3.3 launch vehicle, was also thinking about sea launches.