Open the Space Frontier, Buy Russian
Presentation by C.F. Radley to
the International Space Development Conference (ISDC), in Cleveland, OH, May 1995
"Russian Launch Costs"
The Goal: To Create a Spacefaring Civilization
The Problem: High Launch Costs
The Plan: Reduce Launch Costs
The next problem: Massive investment in new launchers
The Holy Grail: Massive reduction in launch costs with zero investment cost
The Holy Grail already exists !!
Russian/CIS launchers are 4 times cheaper TODAY with no investment cost
So what is stopping us ?
The USA government does not permit commercial use of cheap CIS (or Chinese) launchers.
To protect high-priced US and French launch vehicle industry
Russian Launch Costs - Why so cheap ?
low wages, PhD engineer makes $ 100-200 / month
fully amortized infrastructure
high launch rates - economies of scale
But costs in Russia will rise...yes, but not much
Real wages/costs cannot rise faster than GDP
For the last 15 years, Russian GDP has been falling
High Rouble inflation (10 - 20 % / mo) but Rouble devaluation means dollar DEflation - costs falling.
Some sectors growing, eg banking, retail, consumer goods
But Russian aerospace sector is shrinking, many layoffs and wages falling. Many workers are not paid.
Even if Russian GDP expands 10 % per year, it will be 40 years before Russian aerospace costs reach western levels.
International Space station:
Lockheed quoted over $ 1.5 billion for Bus-1 module
Russia quoted $ 200-400 million for FGB tug module (Boeing/Lockheed buying FGB for NASA)
Proton versus Ariane-5 versus Titan-IV
Similar payload capability for each.
Titan-IV $ 315 Million plus (3 flights)
Ariane-5 $ 105 million plus (not flown)
Proton $ 35 to $ 70 million (negotiable) 190 flights !!
||Payload LEO kg (lbs)
||Payload Polar kg (lbs)
||Payload GTO kg (lbs)
||Price (ROM 1994 US$)
|Ariane AR5 (ESA)
||18,000 (39,600) [300nm]
|Titan IV/SRM (USA)
|Titan IV/SRMU (USA)
|Titan III (USA)
Resrictions on Using Russian launch vehicles:
October 1993 agreement between USA (Vice Pres Al Gore) and Russia (Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin)
USA permits 2 launches per year until 2000(?)
Russia prices must be within 7% of USA/Western prices
(Similar to agreement between USA and China)
Primary beneficiary is: ARIANE !!!
Ariane is the vehicle of choice for commercial users, - cheaper than US vehicles.
60% of all the world's commercial satellite business flies on ARIANE.
Why is USA promoting the Ariane LV industry ? This is a bad deal !!
About 90 % of world's commercial satellites are made in USA.
Payloads business per launch is 2 or 3 times the launcher value.
USA is good at payloads, bad at launchers.
Access to cheap Russian/Chinese launchers will dramatically boost the lucrative US payload industry.
Dramatic net benefit to USA economy !!
Loss of $ 1 billion/year launcher business offest by $10 billion/year increase in payload business.
*** THIS IS GOOD FOR AMERICA !! ****
This is also good for Russia - a WIN WIN scenario !
(Losers - Ariane - Oh well....)
USA can LEVERAGE its payload industry using cheap Russian launchers
ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS TEAR UP A PIECE OF PAPER !
FOREIGN POLICY FACTORS:
Reward Russia for improvement in Human Rights.
Russia sells Nuclear reactors to Iran
- offer to remove launcher restrictions in exchange for cancelling nuclear reactor deals.
(similar dollar value to Russia)
Friendship through commerce
Increased commerce between USA and Russia will improve relations, contribute to world peace.
Commerce with Russia will improve their economy, and stablize their country - promote democracy
THE CASE FOR REMOVING RUSSIAN LAUNCHER RESTRICTIONS IS OVERWHELMING