Russia will be investing $800 million on a new rocket system that will compete directly with SpaceX and that company’s 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 center for a new Amur reusable methane-fueled 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 tons of payload to a LEO while the rocket’s expendable version will have the capacity to orbit 12.5 tons.
According to the report, the price will be significantly lower than SpaceX and much less then Arianespace — the cost of a medium-weight payload will be $22 million. The first launch is slated for “no earlier” than 2026, said TASS.