Recently more and more companies are moving from the obsolete formula of creating “disposable ships” to spacecraft, which can not just reach the orbit of the Earth and back. Of course, all of us at the hearing Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos with their projects. But I am glad that such initiatives are taken and our countrymen. For example, according to the editors of the portal “RIA Novosti”, a group of Russian researchers planning to develop a reusable cargo transport ship.
Who builds a reusable spacecraft in Russia
The initiative was made by representatives of the private Russian company “International space transportation system” (reusable), which is created by immigrants from S7 Space. While reusable will not work in splendid isolation. The company enlisted the support of state corporations “Rosatom”, or Rosatom and rostec.
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As part of an ambitious project to be built space cargo ship called “Argo”. If you remember Greek mythology, the Argo is the name of the ship of the Argonauts, where the latter went in search of the Golden fleece. In this case the analogy is more than obvious, because the exploration of space with reusable spacecraft is a very promising “gold mine”.
But back to the ship. According to the specs, the space ship will consist of returned reusable unit and a disposable engine compartment. It is expected that “Argo” will be able to deliver simultaneously up to 2 tons of cargo to the International space station (ISS) and return to 1 ton of payload back to Earth. It is expected that the resource of the ship will be 20 times takeoff–landing. The hull is built from composite materials, which the actual plans to build a manufacturing and Assembly complex. As potential sites are considered of Kazakhstan, Voronezh and the Moscow region. The chief designer of the new ship and appointed Nikolay Bryukhanov, previously created for the Corporation “Roscosmos” spaceship “Federation”.
The cost of a cycle of use of the vehicle (including the manufacturer) will be approximately 11.5 million U.S. dollars. The first test flights and flight-testing “Argo” is scheduled to begin in 2023, and 2026 subject to the successful testing should begin regular launches the first Russian reusable space cargo ship. How you consider, whether creation of Russian engineers-konstruktorov to compete with projects of the same SpaseX? write about it in our chat in Telegram.
It is also worth noting the fact that at the moment of cargo delivery to the ISS in Russia used ships “Progress MS”, which, according to the website of public procurement, costs the Treasury at 29.5 million dollars. While “Progress” is able to export to Earth orbit 2.6 tons of cargo, but return he can not do anything. Other cargo ships from Russia, so “Argo” could become not just a good alternative to Western development, but also a space ship for much less cost will be to perform much more functions.