Roscosmos Chief Slams Elon Musk’s SpaceX over Pricing for Launches

The head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos on Saturday accused Elon Musk’s SpaceX of predatory pricing of space launches, which is pushing Russia to cut its own prices, AFP reported

“Instead of honest competition on the market for space launches, they are lobbying for sanctions against us and use price dumping with impunity,” Rogozin wrote on Twitter.

Rogozin, who is often outspoken on social media and previously engaged in online banter with Elon Musk, raised the issue on Friday during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

He said the Roscosmos space agency “is working to lower prices by more than 30 percent on launch services to increase our share on the international markets.”

“This is our answer to dumping by American companies financed by the U.S. budget,” he said.

The market price of a SpaceX launch is $60 million, but NASA pays up to four times that amount, he said.

SpaceX plans to send astronauts to the International Space Station next month for the first time onboard its Falcon 9, a rocket that can be reused, lowering the cost of missions. Musk also announced last month that SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsules will start transporting tourists to the ISS next year.

Rogozin has claimed, however, that SpaceX’s low pricing is only possible due to lavish funding from the Pentagon.

After NASA retired its space shuttles in 2011, Russia became the sole carrier of humans to space, charging the space agency for launching U.S. astronauts to the ISS at reportedly $70 million each.