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Russian space agency places orders for 8 Soyuz carrier rockets by 2021

The contract is worth almost $161 mln

MOSCOW, May 21. /TASS/. Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos has placed orders with the Samara-based Progress Space Rocket Center for the manufacture of eight Soyuz-2.1a carrier rockets by 2021, according to information posted on the government’s procurement website on Tuesday.

The contract is worth almost 10.45 billion rubles ($161 million). Roscosmos will use eight Soyuz-2.1a carrier rockets for the launch of Progress-MS resupply ships and manned Soyuz MS spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS).

The purchase of Soyuz carrier rockets will be financed from Russia’s federal budget. The government intends to allocate 6.15 billion rubles ($95 million) in 2019, 1.5 billion rubles ($23 million) in 2020 and 2.78 billion rubles ($43 million) in 2021 for the rockets’ manufacture.

"The main contractor [the Progress Space Rocket Center] is due to manufacture and deliver to the state customer three Soyuz-2.1a carrier rockets from the date of signing the state contract to November 25, 2020, five Soyuz-2.1a rockets from the date of signing the state contract to November 25, 2021," the procurement requirements say.

Russia currently launches Progress MS and Soyuz MS spacecraft to the orbital outpost using Soyuz-FG carrier rockets. After the operation of these rockets equipped with the Ukrainian control system is over, Russia plans to switch to launching domestically made Soyuz-2.1a rockets also from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

A source in Roscosmos earlier told TASS that Russia planned to launch the last Soyuz-FG carrier rocket equipped with the Ukrainian control system from the Baikonur spaceport on September 25 this year.