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Russia’s new Soyuz-5 rocket fit for tight competition on global space launch market

July 19, 17:58 UTC+3 ZHUKOVSKY (Moscow Region)

The first launch of the Soyuz-5 carrier rocket from the Baikonur spaceport is scheduled for 2022

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© Sergei Savostianov/TASS

ZHUKOVSKY (Moscow Region), July 19. /TASS/. The development of Russia’s new Soyuz-5 carrier rocket was prompted by competitors’ pressure on the world market of space launches, Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos Chief Igor Komarov said at the MAKS-2017 international airshow on Wednesday.

"There is serious pressure from competitors who are increasingly actively and aggressively conducting their marketing policy and entering the markets of space launch services, gaining ever more serious positions," Komarov said in response to a question about the motives of making a decision on carrying out this work.

According to the Roscosmos head, the documents on developing a carrier rocket and a super-heavy rocket will be formalized until the end of the year. "All the basic decisions that should ensure the work commencement will be made before the end of the year," the Roscosmos chief said.

‘We have the resolve to carry out the first launch of a Soyuz-5 carrier rocket in 2022," he said.

According to the Roscosmos head, the Kazakhstani side has decided to financially participate in the upgrade of the Baikonur cosmodrome infrastructure required for this purpose.

Soyuz-5 carrier rocket

Russia’s federal space program for 2016-2025 stipulates developing a new-generation medium-class space rocket complex (the Phoenix R&D work) from 2018 to 2025. The Russian government is expected to allocate almost 30 billion rubles ($498 million) for the launcher’s development. The project’s budget financing will begin in 2018.

RD-171MV engines are expected to be mounted on the rocket’s first stage. The second stage will use the RD-0124M engine (developed by the Chemical Automatics Design Bureau and is currently part of the third stage of the Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket) instead of the RD-120 (produced in Ukraine).

In order to expedite flight tests, there are plans to use the launch pad of the Zenit carrier rocket at the Baikonur cosmodrome, which Kazakhstan will modernize under the Baiterek program for the new Russian rocket. The Sea Launch compound is also expected to be used for rocket launches.

The first launch of the Soyuz-5 carrier rocket from the Baikonur spaceport is scheduled for 2022.

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