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Russia’s space agency retains funds in new program for Phoenix rocket development

January 20, 13:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Under the new federal space program, the work to develop a medium-class new-generation space and rocket system (the Phoenix project) will begin from 2018
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© Artiom Geodakyan/TASS

MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. Expenditures on developing the Phoenix carrier rocket have been actually kept unchanged in Russia’s new federal space program for 2016-2025, according to the document released by the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) on Wednesday.

Under the new document, the Phoenix project’s financing is expected at 29.3 billion rubles ($367 million) whereas the previous project stipulated the sum of over 30 billion rubles ($375 million).

Under the new federal space program, the work to develop a medium-class new-generation space and rocket system (the Phoenix project) will begin from 2018. The Phoenix rocket is designed to deliver a payload of up to 17 tonnes to a low orbit (including as part of a manned flight program) and up to 2.5 tonnes to a geostationary orbit with the help of a booster.

The experimental tests of the rocket’s key elements are expected to be completed on the ground in 2025.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said in late December that Russia had started work to create a super-heavy rocket with Phoenix as its first stage. This rocket will have a lifting capacity of over 100 tonnes.

A source in the rocket and space industry earlier told TASS that Phoenix was considered as scientific and technical groundwork for developing a new carrier rocket for a manned flight program with the dimensions of the Zenit rocket.

In the future, the new rocket can become a modular vehicle to comprise several units and can even be converted into a heavy-class rocket.

RD-171 engines produced by Energomash research and production association and mounted on the Zenit rocket are considered for use as first stage engines.

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