Elon Musk’s tweeting has once again garnered him media attention, this time after he offered Russian rocket scientists some advice in the design of a new partially reusable rocket known as the Amur SPG.
This a good path, but I recommend aiming for full reusability— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 4, 2021
“This is a good path, but I recommend aiming for full reusability,” Musk wrote in response to a tweet about the new Russian rocket, the design of which is expected to be completed in September, and which is expected to start taking payloads of between 10.5 and 12 tonnes to space from 2026.
Musk’s tweet was instantly responded to by dozens of fanboys (and girls), asking him questions related to the future of space travel and Dogecoin, begging him to send their artwork into space, and even suggesting that Russia’s rocket engineers were “following” in his footsteps.
At least they are following in your steps. You influence more important people than you know.— Jesse Range (@JesseRange3) April 4, 2021
Not everyone was so enthused, however, with some reminding the billionaire about the bugs yet to be worked out in SpaceX’s Starship rocket design which give it a tendency to explode, while others reminded him that Russia has a wealth of experience with reusable spacecraft going back to the 1980s, among them the Energia II Uragan fully reusable rocket and the semi-reusable Energia-Buran heavy-lift rocket and space shuttle, which famously shot to space and returned safely to Earth in fully automatic mode in 1988.
Is that why you keep making yours single use by crashing them into shit or blowing them up?— Alex Holmes 💙 (@AlexJH1973) April 4, 2021
You could solve world poverty; stop pricking around with rockets. There’s already a perfectly good reusable space vehicle. Do something useful.
Others suggested that the billionaire should use his genius not only for projects in space but to make life on Earth better, as well.
As smart as you are Musk, why aren't there more inventions working towards cleaning our oceans, or forest management, or repurposing garbage to eliminate waste?— Anti Girl Code (@Ebonys_Circle) April 4, 2021
I like space, but I LIVE on Earth
Some Russian users felt slighted by Musk’s comments, with one suggesting that he should “first grow to our level and only then begin giving advice.” “How can someone give advice when his own rockets keep blowing up during launch?” another quipped.
Others came to his defence, however, with one user saying Musk “is not doing anything bad against Russia and is quite sympathetic to it,” and that Russia’s Roscosmos should cooperate with him.
Musk’s tweet isn’t the first time the billionaire has commented on the Amur SPG rocket. Last year, he similarly suggested that full reusability should be the goal, and proposed larger rockets to create economies of scale.
Along with the Amur SPG, which is developed by the Samara-based Progress Rocket and Space Centre, partially or fully reusable rocket designs are being developed by the Russian Foundation for Advanced Research Projects in the Defence Industry, and the aerospace division of S7 – a Russian airline. The US’s Blue Origin, and multiple companies in Europe and China are also working on reusable rocket technology.