Vladimir Putin noted today, the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s spaceflight, that the new Russian spaceport being built in Vostochny will be open for use by other countries.


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The competition heats up: Vladimir Putin noted today, the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s spaceflight, that the new Russian spaceport being built in Vostochny will be open for use by other countries.

Putin’s announcement is a bit vague, in that it is not clear whether he means the spaceport could be used by outside private companies or merely that American or European payloads will be launched from the site using Russian rockets. I suspect the latter. Regardless, Putin’s statement both to the Russian public and to the rest of the world illustrates his desire to sell the new spaceport, which in turn will bring Russia business.

Isn’t competition a wonderful thing?

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4 comments

  • JGL

    What a paradox, the Russians and Chinese are embracing and move toward the power of capitalism and America moves toward the darkness of communism. One move makes perfect sense to do what works and the other move indicates that too much success makes you fat and you tend to believe that you no longer are constrained by the laws of nature and good business practices.

    This to me is a representation of social / economic evolution and the one critical thing that is required for it to take place? The American Constitution. Without it I do not believe any of this could take place at these levels.

    Q: Is the Constitution and capitalism a natural result of the universe and evolution ?

    Q: Will the people of America be able to wake up, understand their responsibilities related to their exceptionalism / Constitution in time to prevent their country from going too far down the dark road of communism?

  • wodun

    The former would also be good but maybe not so great for us because of ITAR?

    The best part about NASA working with SpaceX is that SpaceX can have other customers. I am not sure if Orbital is looking for other customers and Orbital does have a finite supply of engines.

    The best way for NASA to help grow the industry is to have a COTS like procurement strategy for technologies that can be used by other customers besides NASA, like a tug that could either refuel satellites or tow them to the ISS (or someplace else) for repairs. Certainly would be nice to be able to fix Keplar or other satellites when they break.

  • Pzatchok

    I thought Russia was already fully comersial with their launch facilities and vehicles?

    We have to pay every time we want a new astronaut in space don’t we?
    And they have been lifting other private companies satellites into orbit for years.

    Why would they cut their own throats now and stop one of the few things they have that almost, if not fully, pays for itself they have in their government?

    The old launch facility was a wreck. It needed rebuilt anyways. So moving it out of K-stan was a no brainer. Russia was never going to rebuild something in another country when they could just as easily built a new one inside their own.

    Telling the world that they are joining to keep running things just they always have is not really unexpected but it is a relief in that they can always be used as an emergency back up for astronaut recovery.

    Now we just have to see what the new prices are.

  • JGL

    The Russians are going to have to compete with the likes of Space X, Elon Musk and other billionaires with launch ambitions would be my guess.

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