January 08, 2016

"Speaking in an interview with Russia-based Rossiya 24 TV, Dmitry Rogozin, deputy prime minister in charge of the country’s defense, said that while his country is seeking ways to make space exploration cheaper, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is proving to be a roadblock."

Fortune: “The main goal today is to make space cheap,” Rogozin said, according to Bloomberg, which obtained a copy of the interview. “Competitors are stepping on our toes. Look at what billionaire Musk is doing with his projects.” by Don Reisinger

'Rogozin’s comments refer to SpaceX’s successful liftoff and landing of a reusable rocket. The company earlier this month launched a Falcon 9 rocket that successfully deployed 11 suborbital satellites and subsequently returned to earth and landed upright, allowing it to be used again.

'The reusable spacecraft concept is an important one for all space agencies and companies around the world. The cost to deploy a spacecraft and complete a mission is astronomical. Indeed, NASA’s now-defunct Space Shuttle program cost the agency $1.6 billion per flight by the end of 2010, creating an untenable cost that the U.S. government controversially decided to cut. Having a reusable rocket, however, dramatically reduces the costs and expands the possibilities of space exploration.

'Despite his concerns about SpaceX, Rogozin brought himself to compliment Musk’s efforts. He said what SpaceX has done is “very interesting,” adding that it was “well done” and his agency treats “this work with respect.”'

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