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.