SAMARA, January 16. /TASS/. The launch of a Russian rocket powered by methane is expected to cost half as much as the lift-off of a Soyuz-2 carrier, Progress Space Rocket Center CEO Dmitry Baranov said at a press conference in Samara on Thursday.
"The task is to make the rocket’s cost lower than the cost of a Soyuz-2. I can cautiously say the following: this should also apply to the launch service with the lift-off of this rocket. All this should be twice as cheap compared to the Soyuz-2. This is what we are seeking to achieve," Baranov stated.
The Progress Space Rocket Center is developing a rocket based on the methane propellant solely on its own initiative, he informed.
"We are not abandoning this theme and are working on various options of layouts, testing certain versions, certain technological issues but no customer has made any order for a methane-powered rocket to date yet. We hope very much that this customer will appear," he added.
Russia’s federal space agency Roscosmos earlier reported in its presentation that the launch of a methane-powered rocket would cost $40.5 mln compared to $45.5 mln for the blast-off of a Soyuz-2.1b carrier.
Roscosmos Executive Director for Long-Term Program and Science Alexander Bloshenko told TASS in November 2019 that the first launch of a new Russian medium-class carrier rocket with the methane propellant might take place in 2025. The Progress Space Rocket Center has developed the rocket’s layout as well as the launch pad options for it.
Compared to the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle, the methane-powered rocket will have a smaller lift-off weight but a larger lifting capacity: it will be able to deliver up to 10 tonnes to a low near-Earth orbit upon its launch from the Vostochny spaceport in the Russian Far East.