On Friday, December 18, a Soyuz 2.1b rocket was launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome, the Russian spaceport in the nation’s far east in Amur. Aboard the rocket was a payload of 36 OneWeb satellites, which is similar in concept to Elon Musk’s Starlink broadband service.
When the Russian space agency Roscosmos launches its rockets, four boosters fall after a few minutes, followed shortly after by the second “Blok A” stage.
Since rockets generally fall to earth in the largest country on the planet, Roscosmos has established launch zones where rockets can safely fall.
Making launches from Russia more difficult are conditions well below zero, which means that Roscosmos has to fight time and earth during launch.
The head of the Russian space agency, Dmitry Rogozin, said that “kind” SpaceX would not be able to do what Roscosmos does.
SpaceX usually launches from California and Florida, as well as from its Starship facilities in Boca Chica, South Texas, where weather conditions are almost always perfect.
Mr. Rogozin said on Facebook: “This is not Boca Chica. This is Yakutia, and in the winter.
“The OneWeb 42 mission 2 safety management calculation was implemented two days before yesterday’s launch. Temperature: minus 52 ° C.
“Temperature restrictions on launches for the Union-2-minus 40 degrees.
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“Yes, landing on this stage in the middle of the ocean on a tiny target is a lot easier than pulling up trucks with curtains just to track where this part of the rocket crashes.”
Twitter user David Willis said, “Would it be worth putting parachutes on board to attempt recovery and reuse?”
This isn’t the first time Mr. Rogozin has given SpaceX a shot.
In 2014, he said the US could also “deliver its astronauts to the ISS using a diving board,” a reference to how the US has had to rely on Russian spacecraft to launch astronauts into space since 2011.