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Angara, and the Future of Russpace


Sturgeon
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It looks like a reasonably good design to me; the RD-191 appears to be a pretty solid engine, and the basic architecture looks sound. Ultimately, I think its future is going to be more dependent on the state of the Russian economy and future Russian actions in the political/military sphere rather than any major technical issues. Another (somewhat related factor) is going to be how well the private spaceflight sector develops; if Elon Musk manages to launch Falcon 9s as cheaply and as regularly as he claims,  it will probably cut into the Angara's non-government customer base. Although it likely won't eliminate it entirely, given that the A5 has quite a bit more payload to LEO than the non-Heavy version of Falcon 9.

 

Overall, though, the design looks good, and congrats to Roscosmos and friends for putting together a whole new launch vehicle design, especially after the hilarity that was Russia in the 90s and early 2000s.

 

Bonus RD-191 diagram

 

infograph_1.jpg

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