MOSCOW, April 20. /TASS/. Russia’s new Amur methane-powered rocket with a reusable stage will carry next-generation satellites under the Sfera program as its first payload, Roscosmos Executive Director for Long-Term Programs and Science Alexander Bloshenko told TASS on Tuesday.
"It is well-known that Roscosmos is simultaneously developing the Sfera program and that is why satellites of this cluster will be the first payload of the Amur carrier rocket," he said.
The Amur rocket is being designed at a given cost of a launch service (with a minimum price of $22 million) and, therefore, is intended for foreign customers as well, Bloshenko said.
"As soon as we get our conceptual design approved, we will be ready to demonstrate the rocket to the public at large in mock-ups and presentations and discuss some launch manifests," he added.
Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos and the Progress Space Rocket Center signed a contract in October last year on the conceptual designing of a space rocket system with Russia’s Amur first reusable methane-fueled rocket. The rocket will get a reusable first stage and will be launched from the Vostochny spaceport in the Russian Far East.
In February, Director of the Progress Space Rocket Center (part of Roscosmos) Dmitry Baranov said that the work on the conceptual design of the Amur methane-fueled rocket was due to be completed in the third quarter of 2021.
The Amur is a commercial carrier rocket. With its reusable stage, it will be capable of delivering up to 10.5 tonnes of payload into a low near-Earth orbit compared to 8.5 tonnes carried by Soyuz-2 rockets.