Enlarge / The head of Roscosmos, Igor Komarov (right), talks to former cosmonaut Alexander Volkov. (credit: NASA)
For a long time, with its low production costs and efficient fleet of rockets, Russia has been the leading player in the global market for satellite launches.
Some recent failures with its Soyuz and Proton boosters have not helped, but the biggest threat to Russia’s preeminence now clearly comes from SpaceX.
Publicly, at least, Russian officials were slow to acknowledge the threat from SpaceX.
Even last year, the country’s space leaders dismissed SpaceX’s efforts to build reusable launch systems to lower overall costs.
But that tone has started to shift in 2017, as SpaceX has begun to fly used boosters and demonstrate this emerging capability.
Now, in a new interview posted on the site of the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, its chief executive Igor Komarov acknowledges that SpaceX poses a “serious challenge” to his country’s launch industry.
Accordingly, Komarov outlined a strategy for how he believes Russia will compete with SpaceX over the next five years, and his response to this is pretty telling.
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