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Russia's Space Leader Blusters About Mars in the Face of Stiff Budget Cuts

Accepted submission by takyon at 2020-08-11 05:48:06

Russia's space leader blusters about Mars in the face of stiff budget cuts []

The leader of Russia's civil space program appears to be increasingly disengaged from reality. In recent months Dmitry Rogozin, the chief of Roscosmos, has given a series of interviews in which he has made all manner of big promises about the supposedly bright future of Russia's space program.

For example, in an interview published just today [], Rogozin made the fantastical claim that his country's space program has the technical means to reach Mars and land cosmonauts there within eight to 10 years. If Russia is ready to finance such a plan, Rogozin guaranteed that Roscosmos stands ready to deliver.

Russia, Rogozin also recently said [], is ready to do reuse better than SpaceX and the United States. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, he said, is only "semi-reusable," and Russia aspires to build a 21st-century rocket capable of 100 flights. He then reiterated that Russia would like to develop a version of its Soyuz rocket that has a methane-fueled engine.

SpaceX has flown its Falcon 9 first-stage rockets five times, and it plans to push toward reusing each booster 10 times. It is not clear what, if any, steps Russia has taken toward reuse. The reality is that Russia depends on reliable but decades-old technology to get into space. And while Rogozin talks a good game about sending his cosmonauts to the Moon or to Mars, and about competing with SpaceX on reusable rockets, this appears to be mostly bluster.

If you are still under any illusions about the state of Russia's space program, now is the time to dispel them.

Previously: Russian Space Agency Abolished and Replaced Following Financial Violations []
Price War Between SpaceX and Russia []
Russian Rocket Builder May Have Replaced Special Alloys With Cheap Metals []
NASA and Roscosmos Release Joint Statement on ISS Leak Amid Rumors []
Head of Russian Space Agency Roscosmos Wavers on Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway []
Russia Space Chief Spars with Elon Musk Over Launch Pricing []

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