The European Space Agency (ESA) has started talks with US company SpaceX to replace Russia’s Soyuz rockets with Falcon 9s, Reuters writes.
The fact is that due to sanctions against Russia, many foreign companies have lost access to Soyuz. For this reason, ESA is considering alternative options. Among them are cooperation with Japanese and Indian space companies, as well as with the French Arianespace, which is considered one of SpaceX’s main competitors. According to ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher, cooperation with Elon Musk’s company will be the most efficient.
Aschbacher notes that negotiations are at an early stage. Parties need to ensure that the interfaces of satellites and launch vehicles are compatible. In addition, it is important to check that the payload launched into space will not be subjected to unfamiliar types of vibrations.
This spring, some former Roscosmos clients have already established cooperation with SpaceX. If ESA finds a common language with the American company, then it will be a big success for the Falcon rocket manufacturer.
Recall that in March, the British company OneWeb signed an agreement with SpaceX, thanks to which, after the termination of the contract with Roscosmos, the organization retained the opportunity to complete the launch of satellites to ensure secure industrial communications around the world.
In March 2022, the former head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, announced that the state corporation would not launch a rocket with OneWeb satellites without confidence that they would be used only for civilian purposes. Soon, OneWeb’s board of directors voted to suspend satellite launches from Baikonur. As a result, cooperation between Roskosmos and the British company ceased.
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