First Reusable Rocket with Payload Launching in 2026: Roscosmos

Russia will launch its first Amur reusable methane-fueled rocket in 2026, State Space Corporation Roscosmos Executive Director for Long-Term Programs and Science Alexander Bloshenko told TASS on Monday.

Roscosmos and the Progress Space Rocket Center signed a contract on Monday on the conceptual designing of the Amur-SPG space rocket center for a new Amur reusable methane-fueled rocket.

“Under the adopted plan, we are due to ensure the launch minimum and, correspondingly, the first launch of the Amur rocket in 2026. This will be a launch with a payload,” the space agency’s official said.

The ground tests of the rocket’s engines based on the methane propellant are expected to be completed by late 2024. The infrastructure for the Amur reusable rocket will be built at the Vostochny spaceport in the Russian Far East alongside the work to develop the rocket and should be completed immediately before the date of the carrier’s first launch, Bloshenko said.

As Roscosmos specified for TASS, Russia’s first reusable rocket will have a take-off weight of about 360 tonnes and will be 55 meters high and 4.1 meters in diameter. The launch vehicle will comprise a reusable first stage and a non-recoverable second stage. Both of them will use methane-fueled engines.

The Amur rocket with a reusable stage will be able to deliver up to 10.5 tonnes of payload to a low near-Earth orbit while its expandable version will have the capacity to orbit 12.5 tonnes.