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


Russian Launch Costs - Why so cheap ?

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.