MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. The head of the US space company SpaceX, Elon Musk, deliberately understates the prices of commercial launches of his space rockets as he enjoys support from the government of the United States, the CEO of Russia’s space corporation Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, told TASS in an interview.
"It is not rocket reusability that constitutes Musk’s main competitive edge. The US government enables him to use dumping on the market of launch services. Musk’s launches for the Pentagon are twice more expensive. In this way he compensates for his losses on the commercial market, thus ‘killing’ competitors who do not have lavish government support to rely on," Rogozin said.
Roscosmos looks for various ways of cutting the costs of launches, including the multiple use of the most costly rocket parts. Soyuz-5 is likely to become a successful Russian commercial vehicle, for its price will be "no higher than that of our competitors," Rogozin said.
As all of Russia’s launch sites are located farther to the north than those available to competitors, so Soyuz-5 is to be less costly and more powerful that medium class rockets of foreign manufacture.
Soyuz-5 is being developed by the S.P. Korolyov space rocket corporation Energia. The vehicle’s estimated development cost is 61.198 billion rubles ($913 million). The rocket’s flight test is to be held at Baikonur in 2022. It is to put in space an unmanned configuration of future transport spacecraft Federatsiya.
Currently, the most successful commercial space vehicle is Falcon 9 from SpaceX. One of its configurations has a reusable first stage. According to open sources, one Falcon 9 costs $55 million to $65 million to launch depending on the configuration.