The head of International Launch Services, Kirk Pysher, said that in the next 10 years, most of their space cargo deliveries will be performed by Proton Medium rocket. By its characteristics and one flight price, Russian development will become a worthy competitor to the Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX.
The medium weight launch vehicle Proton-M is a lightweight version of the Proton heavy duty model. Because of the third stage rejection, it lost 5 tons of service load, but became more affordable for operation. ILS estimates the launch cost at about $55-65 million, while Falcon 9 launch costs $62 million.
The American-Russian organization ILS has exclusive commercial rights to operate the Angara complex and Proton rocket in the United States. Thanks to the Proton-M model, company plans to increase the number of space launches in 2018.
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