New Info on Russia’s New Private Spacecraft ARGO – Is It Better?

  • The cost of ARGO production will be under $12 million.
  • The test flights are scheduled in 2023.
  • Scheduled flights are expected to start in 2026.

The Russian private company International Commercial Space announced a concept of ARGO in the Fall of 2019. The majority of the staff is from the S7 Space company, which is the first Russian commercial company providing a full service launching of spacecrafts with the use of the launch vehicles Zenit. Only now is new information pertaining to the ARGO project becaming available. ARGO will be a conjoined project between Roscosmos, Rosatom and Rostec.

ARGO Design.

The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities, commonly known as Roscosmos, is a state corporation responsible for a wide range and types of space flights and cosmonautics programs for the Russian Federation.

ROSATOM and also known as the Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation, the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, or the Rosatom State Corporation, is a Russian state corporation headquartered in Moscow that specializes in nuclear energy.

State Corporation for Assistance to Development, Production and Export of Advanced Technology Industrial Product (Rostec) is a Russian conglomerate.

The above partnerships clearly indicated that this is not a private project. The private company is just another Kremlin proxy. There is no such thing as true private business on any large scale in Russia.

The main purpose of ARGO is to be a cost efficient alternative for space transport. The approximate cost of the ship, including manufacturing, is close to $11.5 million. The cost of production will be 65% cheaper than the Progress MS spacecraft.

 ARGO details:

  • ARGO will be able to deliver 2 tonnes of cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).
  • It will able to bring back up to 1 tonne of cargo.
  • The duration of the ARGO stay near earth station is up to 300 days.
  • Cargo compartment 11 cubic m.
  • Diameter 4.1 m.
  • Height 5.6 m.
  • Total weight 11.5 tonnes.
Northrop Grumman Cygnus Spacecraft Launch.

The ARGO project will have an assembly facility built in the next year. It is highly likely that it will be located in Voronezh. At this time there are other municipal contenders for the production complex within Russia. For the prototype, the composite body of ARGO will be produced in Germany since Russia does not have such capabilities at present.

The ground tests of ARGO are planned for 2021. The flight tests are scheduled to start in 2023 and the commercial flights are expected to start in 2026.

It is plausible that ARGO will be an alternate to the Russian Soyuz, a series of spacecraft designed for the Soviet space program by the Korolev Design Bureau in the 1960s that remains in service today, having made more than 140 flights.

US Northrop Grumman launched its own Cygnus Spacecraft in February 2020.

Space X Cargo spacecraft Dragon launch was postponed this week due to bad weather. The back up dates are scheduled for this weekend.

Strategies for space travel continue ahead.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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