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Сost of creating Russian super heavy lift rocket estimated at $12.2 billion

July 17, 2015, 12:24 UTC+3

With due financing the work may be completed within 7-8 years

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© Russian Defense Ministry press service/TASS

MOSCOW, July 17. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) has estimated the cost of creation of a super heavy lift rocket at nearly 1 trillion roubles, a rocket and space industry source told TASS on Friday.

"The cost of designing of a super heavy lift class rocket through to the creation of the first flight unit has been estimated at 700 billion roubles. With due financing the work may be completed within 7-8 years," the source said.

This funding will be enough to create a 1000-tonne RD-175 engine based on the 800-tonne RD-170. Additional funds will be needed for the creation of the launch facility at the Vostochny spaceport in the Far East, as well as for the construction of an assembly plant of large units and components for the rocket.

Roscosmos has not commented on this information.

A rocket and space industry source told TASS previously that the technology of the Soviet Energia carrier rocket that was created for the Buran space shuttle launches would be used in the creation of Russia’s super heavy lift rocket.

"Roscosmos plans within the framework of the Federal Space Programme for 2015-2025 to create the design groundwork for the Energia-6 super heavy lift rocket, using the Energia rocket technology," the source said.

According to him, two versions of the rocket are being considered - the Energia-3 with three universal rocket modules and lift capacity of about 70-80 tonnes, as well as heavier rocket Energia-6 with six universal modules and lift capacity of up to 150 tonnes. The rocket’s first stage is planned to be equipped with the RD-170 engine designed by the NPO Energomash company.

However, no prototype is planned to be created until the Federal Space Program is over, that is, until 2025. All the efforts will be concentrated on the designing, testing, and launching of the Angara-A5V heavy lift rockets.

According to previous reports, on March 12, 2015, the Roscosmos Science and Technology Council issued a recommendation on the programme for the development of a super heavy lift rocket to focus efforts in the 2016-2020 period on the creation of the design groundwork, new technology, systems and components.

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