MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. Russia’s Space Corporation Roscosmos plans to expedite the development of a new medium-class carrier rocket Fenix to make it ready by 2025, Roscosmos Head Igor Komarov said on Wednesday.
"The timeframe is until 2025. During this year , we’ll again analyze, on which basis the rocket will be made. We have the intentions to make it until 2025. We see that the market and life require expediting this project," Komarov said.
The Roscosmos CEO said earlier on Wednesday that Fenix "will be the first stage for a promising super-heavy carrier rocket."
According to Komarov, Russia’s super-heavy carrier rocket project will not pay back, as the real consumers for it will appear in about a decade.
"[The project] will definitely not pay back," he said.
According to Komarov, "There will be no real consumers over the next 10 years" for this rocket. "There will be no commercial use (of the carrier rocket) much longer - for 15-20 [years], I think," said the Roscosmos chief.
He also said that the country’s Federal Space Program for 2016-2025 envisages no payloads requiring a super-heavy class rocket.
Komarov added that Russia has the technology to implement this project. The development of the medium-class rocket Fenix (Phoenix) is the beginning of "the thorny path towards the creation of a super-heavy class launch vehicle," the Roscosmos head said. He said earlier on Wednesday that Fenix will be used as the super-heavy rocket’s first stage.
Roscosmos is expected to spend about 30 billion rubles ($440 million) on the Fenix development. According to preliminary data, the carrier rocket should be a single-block space vehicle capable of delivering at least 9 tons of payloads into the low near-Earth orbit. The Feniks carrier rocket will fire liquefied natural gas. It was reported earlier that the R&D work on the new carrier rocket could start in 2017 or 2018.