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Roscosmos to buy three Soyuz-2.1 rockets from Progress Rocket Space Center

One rocket costs 1.218 billion rubles

MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. The Samara-based Progress Rocket Space Center has signed a $58-million contract with the Russian space agency Roscosmos to deliver three Soyuz-2.1a carrier rockets, according to information published by the database of state contracts on Tuesday.

The three rockets will be used in missions to take Progress-MS spacecraft into orbit.

"The value of the state contract is 3.65 billion rubles [about $58 million at the current exchange rate]," the document reads.

One rocket costs 1.218 billion rubles. The manufacturer will receive 2.444 billion rubles this year and 1.210 billion rubles next year.

The deal will expire on November 25, 2019.

Soyuz 2.1a is Russian-made carrier rocket of the Soyuz family, created on the basis of the first Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile, R-7 (first launded in 1957). It a modification of the Soyuz-2 rocket, designed in mid-1990s on the basis of the Soyuz-U rocket (in operation from 1973 to 2017). The first suborbital test flight of Soyuz 2.1a took place on November 8, 2004, from the Plesetsk launch facility. The first launch took place on October 19, 2006, from the Baikonur space center.

In total, 29 Soyuz 2.1a launches were held by February 17, 2018, including one failure (which led to the loss of the Progress M-27M spacecraft) and one partially successful launch to take the Meridian-2 satellite into orbit.

The rocket was launched 11 times from the Plesetsk space center in Russia’s north, 15 times from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan and twice from the Vostochny space center in Russia’s Far East.

The latest launch was held on February 13, 2018. The rocket, launched from the Baikonur space center, took the Progress MS-08 space freighter to the near-earth orbit.

According to Russia’s federal space program for 2016-2025, the rockets will be used for manned Soyuz-MS space missions, currently launched atop Soyuz-FG carrier rockets.