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Russian Space Agency Ready to Create Reusable Rocket

Easier to operate than Elon Musk’s Space Х

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

The Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, is ready to begin constructing a fly back primary stage carrier rocket flight unit. The experts who designed the Soviet Buran shuttle came together again at the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center for this job.  

Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, which landed the first stage rocket Falcon 9 on a platform in the Atlantic Ocean didn’t inspire Russian engineers. The Khrunichev Center is designing a first stage with wings, which will be able to return to the spaceport like an aircraft, landing on a flight strip.

“I’m sure the fly-back first stage with wings is the best solution for Russian conditions,” - said Alexander Medvedev, Constructor General of Roscosmos space rocket complexes. – “The plan according to which SpaceX locates the first stage, isn’t right for us, because the rocket doesn’t fly over the sea, and we can’t locate the platform where we need it. Even if there was such a possibility, it wouldn’t necessarily mean that this would be the best option: cross winds and rolling almost are always a problem at sea.”

The idea of the first stage with wings has been worked on for a long time – the agency exhibited different versions in Russia and abroad.  

“We have been discussing the idea of fly-back first stage for about 20 years,” - Alexander Medvedev explained. – “In 2001, I first presented a pilot model– the Baikal system – at the aerospace salon in Le Bourget. We drew plans, constructed dummies, and tested ? them at TsAGI (the Zhukovsky Central Aero-hydrodynamic Institute. – Izvestia) with good results. It’s time to switch from drawings and dummies to the real thing, the construction of a flight demonstrator.”

The first stage rocket is the most expensive to produce, with cruise engines that identify the rocket capabilities. priced at $10-$70 million depending on the specific item.

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