Russia Working on Reusable Rocket to Compete with Elon Musk’s SpaceX

Vladimir Koshlakov, head of the Keldysh Research Center, recently revealed details about a project by Energomash and S7 Space to develop a reusable launch vehicle, TASS reports.

“Recently, we had a conference on present-day problems of rocket engine-building. [S7 Space head Sergei] Sopov delivered a speech. He said: we need engines that can be switched on about 100 times,” Koshlakov said, adding that the question of how many launches will be optimal remains open.

According to the official, the rocket’s “cooldown” period should not exceed 48 hours.

“In other words, a rocket blasts off, then returns and is ready for the next launch with the same engine within 48 hours,” he said. “Here are the requirements set by the market.”

S7 Space, which purchases the assets of bankrupt Sea Launch, is developing a reusable rocket based on the design of the Soyuz-5 booster that NPO Energia is developing to launch the Russia’s new crewed Federatsiya spacecraft.

  • SamuelRoman13

    They should use the X-34 as a guide.

  • SamuelRoman13
    Looks like a Mini BFS to me. No fairing to recover. Some solar arrays might be on the doors.

  • Robert G. Oler

    what a joke…of course Elon is making some humor these days as well

  • ThomasLMatula

    Why copy old technology when it’s just as easy to copy new technology?

  • Ignacio Rockwill

    Russia cannot make up its mind about space. Didn’t Rogozin say like two days ago that Musk’s tech was obsolete so they were working on nuclear engines?

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    I was wondering what S7 had in mind for Sea Launch. For a while I wondered if they were going to rent the facility out to SX as an equatorial launch option, or as a means of offering dry landings for GEO launches had the drone ship landings turned into a problem. Given the confusion between business and state in the Russian psyche something along these lines makes sense for them.

  • Pete Zaitcev

    Rogozin is not the only person in Russia working on rockets, and there is a difference of opinion.

  • Pete Zaitcev

    The intent is noble, but I suspect the project may be beyond Russia’s technical capability at present, at least in a cost-effective way. The S7 will run out of money before the first flight.

  • SamuelRoman13

    Looks like Musk is changing BFR-BFS again.

  • publiusr

    The Russians do flying cars well

    And I’d rather ride those as SS2