The Russian space agency Roskosmos, buffeted by competition from SpaceX of Elon Musk, announced on Friday that it planned to bring back samples of the soil of Venus, and to develop a reusable spacecraft for a hundred of launches.
“To replace the current Soyuz-2, we are building a rocket in the methane. It will be developed from the beginning as a set reusable. Not semi-reusable as in at Space-X, but reusable, the first floor will be reusable over a hundred times,” said the boss of Roskosmos, Dmitri Rogozin in an interview to the news agency Ria Novosti.
SpaceX has just passed its first launch and return to Earth of a spaceship Crew Dragon with two astronauts on-board the Nasa. Its rocket Falcon 9 is a partially reusable, as the capsule inhabited, what reduce the costs.
“Our engineers (…) do not want to repeat what their colleagues at SpaceX are doing, but surpass them,” said Mr. Rogozin.
He also mocked the landing “coarse” of Crew Dragon, believing that only an arrival on the “land” is “as it should”, using the French expression.
The company of billionaire Elon Musk, who has the ambition to colonize Mars one day, was a blow to the space industry of the Russian, already undermined by scandals and corruption, putting an end to the monopoly of human spaceflight to the international space Station, held for nearly ten years by Moscow.
“You know how”
Another priority is Russian, according to Mr. Rogozin, back on Venus, a planet where only soviet probes were posed. The objective would be to bring back samples and to study and to understand its atmosphere where the greenhouse effect is significant, at a time when the Earth is threatened by climate change.
“Venus is more interesting than Mars (…) if we do not understand the process (climate), how to understand, how to prevent such a scenario on our planet?”, said the head of Roskosmos.
According to him, it is not enough to ask a device on Venus, but also bring back samples of its soil to Earth. This would be a real breakthrough.”
“We know how to do it,” said Mr. Rogozin.
He had thought it better to act “independently” rather than in the framework of a cooperation with the United States.
Flat, Dmitry Rogozin noted, however, that budget cuts threaten his ambitions.
The ministry of Finance is planning to reduce by 60 billion rubles (€690 million) the budget for space Russian, which adds to previous cups even more important than that.
“I don’t understand how people could work under such conditions”, said Mr Rogozin, noting that “the final amount can only be determined by the president” Vladimir Putin.