11:45 GMT25 June 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian state space corporation Roscosmos is working on a cheaper version of the Soyuz rocket to cut launch costs for commercial satellites, Russian space travel operator Glavkosmos (GK) Launch Services CEO Alexander Serkin said.

    Speaking at the World Satellite Business Week in Paris, Serkin noted that GK Launch Services, in partnership with Roscosmos, is working on ways to reduce the Soyuz rockets' costs, as reported by the spacenews.com media outlet.

    According to the CEO, a modification of the Soyuz-2M rocket is being developed for this purpose on the basis of the Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle, but without a Frigate upper stage. The cost of launching the Soyuz-2M will be about $30 million, and it will be able to take 2-3 tonnes of payload into orbit.

    "The price has gone down in the past few years. It’s a trend that will continue", Serkin said at the conference.

    In October 2018, GK Launch Services announced that the cost of the commercial launch of the Soyuz-2 rocket with the Frigate upper stage was $48.5 million, and $35 million without it.

    GK Launch Services is an operator of commercial launches. The company was established by the decision of Roscosmos and is authorised to conclude and implement commercial contracts for the launch of spacecraft using Soyuz-2 family launch vehicles from the Russian spaceports.


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