In six decades, Russia will build its last Proton rocket this year
Proton had reliability issues and couldn't compete with the Falcon 9 SpaceX.>

In a press release, Roscosmos said that the four missiles are on the assembly line at the plant of the State Space Research and Design Center in Khrushchev in the Fili region of Moscow. Once production is complete, these four missiles will be added to the existing stock of 10 Proton-M missiles ready to fly. (This story was translated by Rob Mitchell for Ars.)

Russia has announced that it intends to launch the remaining 14 Proton missiles over the next four to five years. During this time, Russia plans to transfer cargo such as military communications satellites fired by Proton blasters to the new Angara-A5 missile.

The last flight of the Proton rocket will be completed. For a long time, the first Proton rocket was launched in 1965, that is, almost 57 years ago, amid a space rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States. Proton rockets have been launched 426 times, with a failure rate of about 10 percent internationally. But the missile, which has a capacity of 23.7 metric tons, is entering an increasing competition for commercial launches. As a result, while Proton amplifiers have been launched 10 or 12 times a year, flight rates have fallen to three or fewer times a year since 2015.

International demand is partly due to the decline of the A Series. One of the most common failures At the end of 2010 was when a Proton rocket sank in the ocean due to improperly overloading its thruster. In 2013, another vehicle performed a dance of fire a few seconds after takeoff as the flight control sensors were flipped upside down in the missile's casing. (This astounding disaster is worth watching.)

These technical problems arose at a time when competitors, especially SpaceX and its Falcon 9 rocket, were reducing the Proton in terms of cost and improving reliability. this will reduce costs to satellite operators through lower premiums. Read more, Russia's replacement of the Proton missile will cost a lot

Russia hopes to regain part of this international satellite launch market with the Angara-A5 missile to take. However, it depends on whether Russia can reduce the production cost of the Angara-A5 missile from $100 million per launch to $57 million by 2024.

Even this ambitious goal of the fully expendable missile exists. probably. However, it will not help Russia much in the competition for trade. SpaceX has already shown that it can relaunch the Falcon 9 Booster for less than $30 million. How to design a comfortable and cozy desk for yourself?

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