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    Russia Plans to Develop Reusable Stage for Carrier Rocket by 2023, FPI Says

    Press service of the Russian Defense Ministry
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A fully-functioning prototype of the return stage of a reusable launch vehicle will be built in Russia within the next four years, an official from Russia's Advanced Research Foundation (FPI) told Sputnik.

    "As for the whole project, we are counting on four years from the start of the fully-fledged work…According to our estimates, the work will begin in the first half of next year," the official said.

    He clarified that the project to create a reusable stage was dubbed "Wing-SR" (stage reusable).

    The official said that the winged stage of the reusable carrier rocket would be capable of returning to a space center at a hypersonic speed.

    "The subsonic prototypes that are planned to be built within the next four years will be used to practice automatic landing and flight at subsonic speeds, while the hypersonic prototypes, will be used, respectively, to practice flight at hypersonic speeds," the official said.

    "The development and testing should result in a fully-functioning demonstrator with a rocket engine that will be able to perform the entire test cycle, starting with the launch and flight to the required altitude, and ending with the return landing," the official added.

    READ MORE: Russia's Khrunichev Center Develops Concept of Reusable Rocket

    He specified that the Baikal booster project, which was developed by the Khrunichev Center, was taken as the basis for the prototype of the reusable winged stage of the future carrier rocket.

    He also noted that the experience of Elon Musk's SpaceX company would be taken into account in the development the winged stage.

    "We analyzed absolutely all the designs that are in the world today… including the ones developed by SpaceX," the official said.

    "Having studied all such projects, we came to the conclusion that the most appropriate way for Russia is the return to the development of a winged stage," he added.


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