Russia is to invest $800 million on a new rocket system to compete directly with SpaceX and its reusable Falcon 9 launchers according to Russian news agency TASS.
The Russian rocket system, called Amur, was signed with a contract between Russia’s Space Agency Roscosmos and the Progress Space Rocket Center on the conceptual design of the Amur-SPG space rocket centre for a new Amur reusable methane-fuelled rocket.
Roscosmos Executive Director for Long-Term Programs and Science, Alexander Bloshenko, confirmed the news to the news agency.
The Amur rocket with a reusable stage will be able to deliver up to 10.5 tonnes of payload to a low near-Earth orbit while its expendable version will have the capacity to orbit 12.5 tonnes.
Price will be significantly lower than SpaceX and much less then Arianespace, and the cost of a medium-weight payload will cost $22 million. The first launch is slated for “no earlier” than 2026 said TASS.