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Preparations for launching super-heavy rocket production to begin no earlier than in 2020

The project’s overall volume of financing will be known later

SAMARA, September 6. /TASS/. Russia’s Progress Rocket Space Centre plans to start preparations for manufacturing a super-heavy rocket no earlier than in 2020, a company spokesperson told TASS on Friday.

"Once the stage of detail design is over, the process of drafting work design documents and preparations for launch of production will follow. Preparations for production will begin no earlier than in 2020," the source said.

The project’s overall volume of financing will be known later, once other companies taking part in the project submit their technical and economic feasibility documents, he added.

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin earlier said that Russia’s super-heavy rocket will be four times cheaper than its US counterparts, but did not mention them by name. At present, Falcon Heavy rockets manufactured by Space X are used in the country.

In late March 2018, Roscosmos placed an order with the Energia Space Rocket Corporation for developing the conceptual design of a super-heavy carrier rocket. The contract was worth 1.6 billion rubles ($25 million), according to the price indicated on the government procurement website. The work under the contract is due to be implemented by October 31, 2019.

Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin earlier said the Yenisei new super-heavy carrier rocket would be assembled using the principle of a technological building kit where each part of the launcher should be an independent flight element. Under the designers’ plans, the rocket is intended to deliver more than 70 tonnes of cargo into the low near-Earth orbit at the first stage.

Under Russia’s federal target program, the first launch of the Yenisei super-heavy carrier rocket is due to take place in 2028. Russia will build the launch pad for the super-heavy carrier rocket at the Vostochny spaceport in the Russian Far East.

Russia intends to use the new rocket for missions to the Moon, including the landing of Russian cosmonauts on the surface of the Earth’s natural satellite. In Roscosmos’ estimates, the Yenisei will be able to deliver a 27-tonne payload to the Moon’s orbit.