Recently, more and more companies are movingfrom a clearly outdated formula for creating “one-time ships” to spacecraft that can not only fly to Earth’s orbit, but also come back. Of course, all of us have heard Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos with their projects. But I am glad that our compatriots are taking up such initiatives. For example, as the editorial office of the RIA Novosti portal reported, a group of Russian researchers plans to develop a reusable cargo transport ship.
Who builds reusable spaceships in Russia
The initiative was made by representatives of privateRussian company "International Transport Space Systems" (MTKS), which was created by immigrants from S7 Space. At the same time, MTKS will not work in splendid isolation. The company secured the support of the state corporations Roscosmos, Rosatom and Rostec.
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An ambitious project will be builtspaceship called Argo. If you remember Greek mythology, then “Argo” is the name of the ship of the Argonauts, on which the latter went in search of the Golden Fleece. In this case, the analogy is more than obvious, because space exploration using reusable spacecraft is a very promising gold mine.
But back to the ship. According to the specifications, the spacecraft will consist of a reusable return vehicle and a disposable engine compartment. It is assumed that Argo will be able to deliver up to 2 tons of cargo at a time to the International Space Station (ISS) and return up to 1 ton of payload back to Earth. The ship’s life is expected to be 20 take-off and landing cycles. At the same time, the ship's hull will be assembled from composite materials, for which purpose it is actually planned to build an assembly and production complex. As possible sites are considered Kazakhstan, Voronezh and Moscow region. Nikolay Bryukhanov, who had previously created the Federation spacecraft for the Roskosmos Corporation, was appointed chief designer of the new ship.
Cost of ship utilization cycle (including andits manufacture) will be about 11.5 million US dollars. The first test flights and flight tests of Argo are planned to begin in 2023, and from 2026, subject to successful tests, regular launches of the first Russian reusable space cargo ship should begin. In your opinion, will the creation of Russian structural engineers be able 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 thisAt the moment, Progress MS ships are used to deliver cargo to the ISS in Russia, the manufacture of which, according to the data of the government procurement website, costs the treasury $ 29.5 million. At the same time, “Progress” is capable of taking 2.6 tons of cargo into orbit of the Earth, but it cannot return anything. Russia does not have other transport cargo ships, so Argo may not only be a good alternative to Western development, but also a space ship, which will perform much more functions for a much lower cost.