MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. The Progress Rocket and Space Center within the federal space agency Roscosmos submitted the conceptual design of the Amur methane-powered carrier rocket with a reusable stage to the space industry’s research institutes, the Progress press office told TASS on Tuesday.
"The sketch of the Amur-LNG space rocket system is currently undergoing an expert study at leading research institutes of the space industry," the press office informed.
Most research institutes have issued positive conclusions for the conceptual design, the Progress Rocket and Space Center specified. The space firm did not rule out that the timeframe of developing the new methane-powered rocket might be extended.
"The Progress Rocket and Space Center does not rule out that the final date of delivering the conceptual design may be altered, considering the need to finalize it," the press office said.
The project may be finalized and improved, considering the principal customer’s additional proposals on involving [Russian energy giant] Gazprom and its organizations in the project and the survey works carried out in advance at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, the Progress press office explained.
Amur methane-powered rocket
Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos and the Progress Rocket and Space Center signed a contract in October last year on the conceptual design of a space rocket system with the Amur first ever reusable methane-powered rocket. The rocket will get a reusable first stage and will be launched from the Vostochny spaceport in the Amur Region in the Russian Far East.
In February, Progress CEO Dmitry Baranov said that the work on the conceptual design of the Amur methane-powered rocket was due to be completed in the third quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, Roscosmos Executive Director for Long-Term Programs and Science Alexander Bloshenko said in a live broadcast of the Big Space TV program that the conceptual designing work would be completed in September.
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.