Prior to this, the founder of SpaceX claimed that the engine of his company had overtaken the Russian RD-180 in pressure in the combustion chamber.
Russia has excellent rocket engineering & best engine currently flying. Reusable version of their new Angara rocket would be great. https://t.co/6RLvf5R4ni
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 7 March 2019
Elon Musk said on Twitter that Russia has “excellent and the best flying rocket engine.” So he commented on the material of the publication Ars Technica c criticism of the “Union” and the actions of Roscosmos during the docking Crew Dragon.
The analysis of Ars Technica was devoted to the “passive-aggressive” reaction of Roskosmos on the successful mission of the test version of the manned Crew Dragon. For example, the Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko was isolated in the domestic segment for the period of docking in case the ship becomes uncontrollable and crashes into the ISS.
The publication also noted that after the successful docking Roskosmos congratulated not SpaceX, but NASA. Moreover, the department did it in two languages - Russian and English , which is extremely rare. Later, Roskosmos published another entry in which it emphasized not the first successful docking of Crew Dragon, but that the astronauts had experienced it in Russian gas musks.
3 марта на Международную космическую станцию прибыл корабль Crew Dragon. Его встречали Олег Кононенко, Энн Макклейн и Давид Сан-Жак.
— РОСКОСМОС (@roscosmos) 4 March 2019
After that, an unnamed source told the state publication Sputnik about the “unusual smell” on the ISS after the Crew Dragon docking. An anonymous interviewee claimed that alcohol concentrations had been detected at the station. As noted in Ars Technica, this is normal on the ISS.
The material also included an interview with Russian cosmonautics expert Vadim Lukashevich, who was fired from the Skolkovo center in 2015 after criticizing the transformation of Roskosmos from a government agency into a state corporation.
In a conversation with the publication “Moscow 24”, Lukashevich spoke about the reasons for such a reaction of Roskosmos and suggested what it might threaten the Russian space program. In his opinion, the launch of SpaceX “offended” someone from the leadership of the department and showed who is who.
Lukashevich explained that the Russian ship is actually “not able to compete” with the development of the company Musk. According to the expert, the Soyuz was ideologically created in the 1960s, and even despite the modifications, this is the same ship.
But Musk built the ship of the future. It is seven-seater, it can be reused, it is a new technology. It bypasses the “Union” for each technological parameter. ” He needed to prove his utility for manned space launches and then in July he would make the first flight with people.
As Lukashevich explained, Musk will “take away” from Roscosmos not only launches of foreign cosmonauts on the ISS and large deductions that Russia received every year, but also space tourists.
Every year, Russia received 400 million dollars and now it will end. Most likely it will force us to transport tourists, but Musk will be able to offer lower prices and he has a ship for seven places. So what are we talking about?
At the same time, according to Lukashevich, this will not necessarily end badly for Russia. The expert believes that the situation may force the country to develop its space program.
Lukashevich explained that so far the launches for Russia were “free of charge” if at least one foreigner was delivered to the ISS. One seat in the Soyuz cost about $ 90 million: the expert claims that this is more than the cost of a rocket, a ship and a launch combined.
For us, it was not just a freebie – it became a drug. This allowed us to receive money and do nothing. And now the drug is over and we will have to do something.
We will have to get off the needle: if our economy is sitting on the “oil” needle, then the space program was sitting on the needle of American money.
On February 11, Musk declared that the Raptor engine from SpaceX had overtaken the Russian RD-180 in terms of the pressure level in the combustion chamber. After that, the chief designer of Energomash, producing the RD-180, called the comparison of engines incorrect. He noted that we are talking about different types of fuel, and the Raptor engine did not show an outstanding result for its scheme.
The Russian Angara rocket, mentioned by Musk, made only two flights. Both launches were test and passed in 2014. Since then, the production of rockets moved to Omsk, to reduce the cost of its production and speed up the assembly. The estimated cost of development of “Angara” was at least 110 billion rubles, its creation involved in 1995.