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Elon Musk Advises Russia to Use ‘Fully Reusable’ Rockets

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has pushed for reusability in both stages of its rockets as a way to limit raw material consumption and maximize the company’s resources. Jae C. Hong / AP / TASS

Elon Musk has advised Russia to work toward “full reusability” in its Amur rockets similar to that of his SpaceX corporation’s rockets. 

Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos last year announced the development of the Amur carrier rocket as a successor to its Soyuz rocket. According to Roscosmos, the first stage of the Amur launch vehicle can be reused up to 10 times.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO’s comment comes in response to a Roscosmos director’s televised remarks describing the Amur’s partially reusable first stage.

“This [is] a good path, but I recommend aiming for full reusability,” Musk tweeted Sunday. 

The Amur, which is still in the preliminary design stage, is expected to be completed by September. It will be produced by the Progress Rocket Space Center, which also produces the Soyuz, under a 407 million ruble ($5 million) contract. 

Musk’s SpaceX has pushed for reusability in both stages of its rockets as a way to cut launch costs and maximize the company’s resources. SpaceX performed the first successful launch and landing of the Falcon 9’s reusable first stage in December 2015.

In response to a question from a Twitter user, Musk said that the Falcon 9 booster has no “practical” limit on the number of times it can be reused — it “will just get increasingly difficult to service.”

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