Russian space chief weighs in on SpaceX's historic astronaut launch

Oct 21, 2019
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Interesting comments by the Russian space chief. He's justifiably proud of the record of the Soyuz spacecraft, it is a reliable workhorse that proved itself over many years. However I think he is straining credulity when he tries to make the claim that Soyuz (which charges $90million for a seat) is a better deal than SpaceX's Dragon which charges $50million. It's irrelevant that the Falcon 9 rocket which is used to launch Dragon is a bigger rocket than the Soyuz2.1a carrier rocket, what matters is the bottom line price for launching an astronaut into orbit, and Space X charging $50million is obviously the better deal (the cheaper price being presumably due in no small part to the fact that the SpaceX 1st stages are recovered and re-used). It would however be interesting to see how much Boeing will be charging for a seat on their Starliner which uses a non re-usable Atlas V launcher ;)

His comments on future Russian space developments are also interesting, including developing methane burning engines (something already being done by SpaceX for their Raptor engines to be used on the SpaceX starship as well as other US companies) and developing nuclear powered tugs for deep space (at long last), if the Russians do deploy such nuclear powered propulsion (almost certainly nuclear thermal rockets) the US won't want to be left behind. :)
 
Jun 13, 2020
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The Russian said that "hardly any one" attended the Dragon Demo 2 launch in person! I guess he was looking from far away in Russia because I was actually there and it took me an extra two hours to get home after the launch because there was hardly anyone causing the massive traffic jams leaving the Cape
 
Jun 14, 2020
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Pretty ungracious response that only shows why there will continue to be tension between the two space agencies regardless of who is president. The Russians are not our friends.
 
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Jun 14, 2020
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Big talk from the head of an agency that hasn't had a significant technological achievement since their last space station caught fire and had to be abandoned. While the Shuttle program is open to a lot of criticism, since the Russians relied on it to get their ISS components into orbit, maybe he shouldn't be someone making those criticisms. A shuttle, that the Russians weren't technically advanced enough to match, even though they had managed to steal all of the plans. As for their number of dead Cosmonauts; four is the acknowledged number. There have been rumors of other fatalities over the decades that occurred under circumstances where they could be denied. Rumors that successive governments have never addressed, despite their pathological need to look like the West's equal or better in all areas; regardless of the truth. Bottom line, he's envious of the prospect of high reusability launch systems and capsules and upset at the budget cuts loosing the NASA contract will cause.
 
Jun 14, 2020
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Pretty ungracious response that only shows why there will continue to be tension between the two space agencies regardless of who is president. The Russians are not our friends.
Your conclusion is contradictory to what NASA Administrator James Bridenstine told in this interview with Mat Kaplan on Planetary Radio


"James Bridenstine: ... to go forward. Even though we have our own access to the International Space Station, it becomes a partnership. The goal is that our partners would launch with us, um, and we would launch with our partners.

We would want to launch, you know, our crews with some of our cosmonaut, uh, partners. And, and then when, when Soyuz launches, we would wanna see Americans on those, on those Soyuz launchers as well.

Remember, the International Space Station really has two major parts. That, one half of it is the U.S. segment and the other half of it is the Russian segment. So we wanna make sure that, that our crew and their crew are always present on the International Space Station. And so that requires that... u- us to continue to collaborate not just at the ISS, [00:31:00] but also getting to and from of the ISS.

If only Americans launch on American rockets and only Russians launch on Russian rockets, we're gonna end up in a situation where the ISS's crew, exclusively by Americans or exclusively by Russians at certain points-

James Bridenstine: ... in time. Uh, so we wanna make sure that the partnership goes forward, uh, but we also wanna make sure that it's not a dependency.

That, uh, that we do have our own access, um, and that the partnership will remain strong."
 
Jun 15, 2020
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Big talk from the head of an agency that hasn't had a significant technological achievement since their last space station caught fire and had to be abandoned. While the Shuttle program is open to a lot of criticism, since the Russians relied on it to get their ISS components into orbit, maybe he shouldn't be someone making those criticisms. A shuttle, that the Russians weren't technically advanced enough to match, even though they had managed to steal all of the plans. As for their number of dead Cosmonauts; four is the acknowledged number. There have been rumors of other fatalities over the decades that occurred under circumstances where they could be denied. Rumors that successive governments have never addressed, despite their pathological need to look like the West's equal or better in all areas; regardless of the truth. Bottom line, he's envious of the prospect of high reusability launch systems and capsules and upset at the budget cuts loosing the NASA contract will cause.
There may or may not have been additional fatalities, but there certainly have been near misses, such as the Soyuz 5 accident.

Of course, STS-8 very nearly suffered an SRB failure, STS-27 nearly suffered a Columbia-type disaster, and if that Draco design flaw had shown itself during a manned mission...
 
Jun 15, 2020
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"The new American spacecraft are more than double the weight of a Soyuz while offering only one additional seat," Rogozin said.

This is not correct.

Crew Dragon was initially called DragonRider[11][12]and it was intended from the beginning to support a crew of seven or a combination of crew and cargo.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_2

That is more than twice Soyuz can carry, not mention cargo.

Soyuz can only carry a couple of kg cargo per person.

Payload capacity for crew Dragon according above source.
6,000 kg (13,000 lb) to orbit[4]
3,000 kg (6,600 lb) return cargo[4]
800 kg (1,800 lb) disposed cargo[5]

Dmitry Rogozin clearly is comparing two spacecrafts with totally different capabilities....
 
Oct 21, 2019
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Interesting comments by the Russian space chief. He's justifiably proud of the record of the Soyuz spacecraft, it is a reliable workhorse that proved itself over many years. However I think he is straining credulity when he tries to make the claim that Soyuz (which charges $90million for a seat) is a better deal than SpaceX's Dragon which charges $50million. It's irrelevant that the Falcon 9 rocket which is used to launch Dragon is a bigger rocket than the Soyuz2.1a carrier rocket, what matters is the bottom line price for launching an astronaut into orbit, and Space X charging $50million is obviously the better deal (the cheaper price being presumably due in no small part to the fact that the SpaceX 1st stages are recovered and re-used). It would however be interesting to see how much Boeing will be charging for a seat on their Starliner which uses a non re-usable Atlas V launcher ;)
I've now seen prices quoted for a seat on Boeing's Starliner - it's $90million (same as Soyuz charges)! https://www.space.com/spacex-boeing-commercial-crew-seat-prices.html

So not only were Boeing given far more money than SpaceX to develop a manned spacecraft it looks like Boeing will be charging over 50% more per seat than SpaceX. If I were a US taxpayer I would definitely know which company has provided the better deal....
 

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