Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
The competition heats up? Russia’s giant aerospace monopoly Roscosmos has given formal permission for the development of a suborbital space tourism project, proposed by the formally independent company, KosmoKurs.
Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos has admitted the private space company KosmoKurs to working out a project for the development of a reusable system for space tourism flights, KosmoKurs Director General Pavel Pushkin said on Friday. “Our technical design specification was approved by Roscosmos two days ago. The system’s preliminary design will be created with this document,” Pushkin said at the InSpace forum.
According to him, the technical design specification has also been approved by the Central Research Institute of Machine Building (TsNIIMash) and the Keldysh Research Center. In addition, Pushkin said, Roscosmos chief Igor Komarov has already approved the project. “Igor Anatolyevich has taken the project with enthusiasm and gave orders to promote this project”, Pushkin said.
So, if I understand this right, this private company had to get approvals from Roscosmos’s bureaucracy, two other competitive groups within Roscosmos, plus the head of Roscosmos itself, before it would be allowed to proceed with building its independent suborbital operation. I wonder how many bribes KosmosKurs had to pay along the way. I also wonder what kind of quid pro quo deals that had to make in order get those other institutes to give their okay.
With Russia’s aerospace industry function under this kind of set-up, I doubt they are going to get much done in the coming decades.