Russia wants to compete with SpaceX rockets


Roscosmos is working on a lightweight version of the Proton rocket. It is planned that it will compete with rockets of the American company SpaceX.

The first launch of Proton Light might happen in 2018.

Director General of the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center Andrew Kalinowski said that the project is at the decision-making stage.

“Procedures that are required to make a decision are on the go, we are discussing necessary forms and specifications,” Kalinowski said.

The first launch of Proton Lite might be performed in 2018.

“Of course, it will be cheaper. The rocket will compete with SpaceX,” Kalinowski said, adding that a number of options is considered.

“The goal is to utilize as much as possible the components we already have. We are expanding the range of payloads, taking into account the trends that are on the market. We extend the capabilities of Proton not only for lifting heavier vehicles, but also in the opposite direction,” he explained.

SpaceX is an American company founded by Elon Musk in 2002. The company is engaged in manufacturing spacecrafts. SpaceX has successfully developed and launched into space a booster of the light class Falcon 1, and of the middle class Falcon 9. The company is also accounted for a number of successful attempts to land the first stage of a Falcon 9 on a floating platform. Currently the company is in development of a heavy class rocket Falcon Heavy

Source: RBC