This guide was published on 1 May 2023 and became effective on the same date.
An offshore spaceport is an offshore unit or installation for testing, recovery, and/or launching spacecraft at sea.
This document has been developed to provide requirements on design, construction, and survey for class review and approval of offshore spaceports.
This document is applicable to offshore spaceports of the following types: barge-type units, columnstabilized units, offshore installations, and self-elevating units.
A class notation will be offered to a new construction or an existing vessel converted to an offshore spaceport.
The notation will be:
Spaceport (Recovery, Launch) (hull type)
The intended service (recovery, launch, or both recovery and launch) and hull type will be included in the notation. This document addresses two major elements:
The hull structure
Onboard machinery, equipment, and systems that are not part of the spacecraft systems.
The requirements for the autonomous and/or remote control systems of the onboard machinery and equipment are associated with the AUTONOMOUS and/or REMOTE-CON notations.
If the remote control operations are limited to dynamic positioning (DP) system during recovery and/or launching operation, a specific set of requirements is provided in 4/6.1, which is a subset of ABS Requirements for Autonomous and Remote Control Functions.
This document is to be used in conjunction with the following ABS Rules and Guides, as well as applicable Statutory Regulations:
ABS Rules for Building and Classing of Steel Barges (Barge Rules)
ABS Rules for Building and Classing Mobile Offshore Units (MOU Rules)
ABS Rules for Building and Classing Offshore Installations (Offshore Installations Rules)
ABS Guide for Dynamic Positioning Systems (DPS Guide)
ABS Requirements for Autonomous and Remote Control Functions
This document applies to offshore spaceports defined in 1/7.2 primarily intended for spacecraft testing, launching and/or recovery offshore.
The following types of offshore spaceports are covered by this document:
i) Barge-Type Units
ii) Column-Stabilized Units
iii) Offshore Installations
iv) Self-Elevating Units
Other types of offshore spaceports and floating site-specific spaceports will be considered by ABS on a case-by-case basis.
The classification of an offshore spaceport addresses two major elements which are subject to the requirements of this document:
i) Hull structure
ii) Onboard machinery, equipment, and systems that are not part of the spacecraft systems
Structural loads and safety hazards due to the presence of the spacecraft system are to be considered for offshore spaceports. Classification of additional equipment and systems may be offered if requested by the Owner.
This document has been developed around unmanned launch and recovery operations on the spaceport.
If the spaceport will be manned during launch and/or recovery operations, additional considerations regarding personal safety are required and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.