Russian space agency Roscosmos has offered the European Space Agency (ESA) to continue using Russia’s Soyuz carrier rockets from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana for different payloads, and the talks are ongoing, ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher told Sputnik.
“The extended use of Soyuz is one of the topics we’re considering right now. In fact, I have discussed it with Mr. [Dmitry] Rogozin during our last video conference,” Aschbacher said on the margins of the 36th Space Symposium.
“We do not yet have the answer to Mr. Rogozin’s offer for extended use of Soyuz from Kourou for different payloads, including from international partners. One option is to continue the service of Roscosmos as we are using it today. But one could also expand the service. For the time being no decision made but I appreciate the offer made by Roscosmos – to further increase the Soyuz launch base in Kourou.”
Aschbacher pointed out that such an expansion of services would require investments in order to upgrade some of the facilities in Kourou.
“This is something that, of course, our member states will have to consider because investments in ESA are always decided by the member states,” he added.
The Director General stressed that the cooperation between ESA and Roscosmos on the use of Soyuz has always been sound and fruitful for both sides.
“ESA and Russia have a long-standing cooperation in several domains. The most visible is certainly the use of Soyuz,” he said.
“We have launched quite a few satellites with the Russian Soyuz, both from Kourou and Baikonur, but also with Rokot in the past. And this was always very reliable, very successful and going very well. We have longstanding and I am glad to say, a very fruitful cooperation with Russia on this domain.”
Roscosmos launch vehicles, chief among them Soyuz , have long been on the spacefaring market as a stable delivery system to the Earth’s orbit. Roscosmos is currently in the testing phase of the Angara class of launcher, set to deliver the largest payloads ever sent to space.
Source: RIA Novosti