The alien-looking structure just off the Belmont Pier does, as Noel Hacegaba, deputy executive at the Port of Long Beach says, look like something out of a science-fiction movie. And one that won’t end well for our glorious country, unless a terrorist-battling scientist/adventurer can build the technology to destroy it at the last minute.

It’s more complicated, less sinister and sadly less cinematically spectacular than a space attack, but you’re getting warmer with the space angle. Sea Launch, which has been based in Long Beach since the spacecraft launch service was founded in 1995, is sailing off to its new home in Russia, and its self-propelled Odyssey launch platform has been loaded onto the Hong Kong heavy-lift ship Xia Guang Hua for the excursion.

“If you want dimensions, it’s both longer and wider than a football field,” said Hacegaba of the Odyssey. It weighs about 27,000 tons, which is no hill for a climber like the Xia Guang Hua, which can handle a payload of 85,000 tons.

Sea Launch was launched by Boeing in 1995 with a consortium of the countries of Russia, Ukraine and Norway. Between 1999 and 2014, it had 32 successful commercial satellite launches from the Odyssey in equatorial seas. In 2016, Russia’s S7 Group purchased Sea Launch and the deal was finalized in 2018. The Odyssey’s voyage begins Friday and it should reach its destination near Vladivostok, Russia, before the end of March.

Tim Grobaty is a columnist and the Opinions Editor for the Long Beach Post. You can reach him at 562-714-2116, email [email protected], @grobaty on Twitter and Grobaty on Facebook.