San Francisco, October 6
SpaceX Founder Elon Musk on Tuesday supported Russia’s plan to spend about $880 million on creating its first reusable carrier rocket with a methane propellant.
Russian space agency Roscosmos and the Progress Rocket and Space Center signed a contract on Monday to develop the ‘Amur’ reusable space rocket.
“It’s a step in the right direction, but they should really aim for full reusability by 2026,” Musk tweeted.
He added: “Larger rockets would also make sense for literal economies of scale. Goal should be to minimize cost per useful ton to orbit or it will at best serve a niche market”.
The Russian reusable methane-fueled rocket will get a reusable first stage and its launches will be carried out from the Vostochny spaceport in the Russian Far East.
“The cost of the work on creating the reusable rocket will not exceed 70 billion rubles (around $880 million) while the price of a launch service is stipulated at the level of $22 million,” Roscosmos told TASS news agency.
The reusable rocket is set to blast off for the first time together with a payload in 2026. The launch vehicle will be able to orbit up to 12.5 tonnes of payload.
Roscosmos also plans to develop a larger rocket with an increased lifting capacity.
SpaceX has Falcon 9 which is a reusable, two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of people and payloads into Earth orbit and beyond.
Falcon 9 is the world’s first orbital class reusable rocket. Reusability allows SpaceX to refly the most expensive parts of the rocket, which, in turn, drives down the cost of space access.
According to reports, SpaceX advertises a launch cost of $62 million for its Falcon 9 rocket — a price the company has held steady for nearly four and a half years. IANS