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the space launch price war

Published on : 04/12/2020 – 18:40Modified : 04/12/2020 – 23:11

59 years ago this April 12, Youri Gagarin became the first man to perform an orbital revolution around the earth. Almost sixty years later, the battle for the conquest of space is still ongoing. And the competition has now taken on a commercial scale. The head of the Russian space agency accuses SpaceX of dumping.

Roskosmos is working to cut prices by more than 30%, said the director of the Russian agency to Vladimir Putin: the price to pay to increase its market share. Indeed, the American society ofElon Musk broke the prices for commercial launches.

Difficult to know with precision as trade secrets are well kept, but a launch by Space X would cost around $ 60 million. According to the American Aviation Federation, the FAA, cited by The world in 2018, the bill of its competitors amounted to an average of 93 million.

SpaceX has bet on reusable material

Main reason for this discrepancy: Elon Musk has bet on reusable launchers. Part of the rocket lands on a platform at sea and can take off into space. These rockets are ” reusable up to 80% “, Assures the entrepreneur, without specifying the amount saved thanks to this recycling technique.

But the Russian agency accuses SpaceX of being able to display these prices only thanks to funding from the Pentagon, an important client of the American company. According to Dmitri Rogozine, NASA would pay up to four times more than a private customer. This assumption that the rates paid by public agencies would allow SpaceX to lower its other prices is also not considered in Moscow.

SpaceX sends its first manned flight to the ISS

However, beyond commercial flights, Space-X comes to walk on Russian flowerbeds towards the International Space Station. For the first time next month, a reusable Falcon 9 is to send astronauts to the ISS.

Since 2011, Russia was the only one able to do so and it would invoice NASA 70 million dollars per astronaut. A few years ago, the director of the Russian agency had ironicized the dependence of the United States and suggested to NASA, if necessary, to send its astronauts with a trampoline.

She may now have found another way to avoid the Soyuz trip!

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