MOSCOW, July 27. /TASS/. The estimated cost of Russia’s moon mission involving the Orel spacecraft will be four times cheaper than a similar endeavor by the US-made Orion craft, according to a Russian research institute.
"Preliminary estimates for this type of launch [by the United States] indicate the cost of around $4 billion. It should be noted that assessments of a similar mission for a four-person crew aboard the Orel spacecraft (currently undergoing ground-based experimental tests), powered by a super-heavy Yenisei rocket (project design completed) demonstrated the possibility of accomplishing this task at a cost that would be at least four times cheaper," TASS has learned from the press service of Agat, the main economic research institute of the rocket and space industry of Russia’s state-run space corporation Roscosmos.
"It should also be said that carrying out large-scale projects of this kind would be feasible in cooperation with other states, choosing optimal technological solutions and allocating costs among the participants," the institute said.
The Orel spacecraft is developed for the Russian Moon program. Trials will begin in 2022. The first launch atop the Angara-A5 rocket from the Vostochny space center in Russia’s Far East is scheduled in April-June 2024, with no docking with the International Space Station (ISS) scheduled. In 2024, the spacecraft is to make the second unmanned flight and dock with the station. Orel’s first manned flight is scheduled for 2025.
Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin told TASS in late April the Russian space corporation was set to implement the project of creating a super-heavy carrier rocket for flights to the Moon after 2030.