A Soyuz 2.1B rocket was launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome on Friday, taking the payload of its 36 OneWeb satellites into space. Although Russia’s newest spacecraft is located in the far eastern part of the country, it is still hundreds of kilometers away from the Pacific Ocean.
This means that as Soyuz rockets ascend into space from this space, they drop their phase down into the sparsely populated Yakutia region. With the Soyuz rocket, there are four boosters that act as the “first stage” of the rocket, and they drop about two minutes after the lift. Then, “Block A” lands after the second stage flight.
Although the Yakutia region is geographically complex and sparsely populated, the Russian government is doing a good job of establishing drop zones for these phases and keeping them away from residential areas. With Friday’s opening, this happened as usual.
However, as he shared photos and videos of these operations Twitter And FacebookDmitry Rogozin, head of Russia’s space program, could not help but get what he thought was a swipe at SpaceX. In his remarks, Rogozin referred to Boca Chika, where SpaceX is building a prototype of its Starship Mars rocket, and wondered if SpaceX would be able to operate in the same harsh conditions as its Russian experts.
“It’s not Boca Chika. It’s Yakutia, and in the winter. The team was deployed in the fall zone of the second phase of the OneWeb mission two days before the start of yesterday. Temperature – minus 52,” Rogozin wrote. Facebook “I wonder if Komal SpaceX is able to work in such situations?”
Ironically, As noted by some users In Rogozin’s response, is it that “soft” spaceX engineers don’t need weather bravery to regain their rocket stages? They have built a smart rocket. SpaceX designed the first phase of the Falcon 9 rocket to return to land or land itself on a self-propelled drone for future reuse. And the second stage can be ordered to return to the environment and ignite.
In addition, in Boca Chika, the company is trying to build a fully reusable rocket, with the first stage of Super Heavy as well as the upper stage of Starship being able to land and be reused. And while temperatures in South Texas rarely drop below freezing, the mercury in Boca Chika regularly rises above 100 degrees during the summer – when the company’s engineers are working day and night.
Rogozin has been a difficult year. As Falcon 9 continues to attract commercial launch business away from Russia’s Proton rocket, SpaceX’s Curry Dragon also needs to buy seats on its Soyuz spacecraft for its astronauts to reach NASA’s International Space Station. Is over. For the most part, Rogozin has responded to these changing financial conditions With denial.
But it seems clear that, although “gentle” may be SpaceX, the company’s success has upset Russia’s space chief.