The European Space Agency (ESA) is now considering SpaceX rockets as potential replacements for Roscosmos’ Soyuz spacecraft. After Russia decided to bar Western access to its advanced spaceships, the European Space Agency announced this plan.
Because of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the Russian government made this decision. ESA has now stated that it has begun preliminary technical discussions with the American aerospace company.
However, this will still depend on the recovery of the delayed Ariane 6 rocket, the launch system project created by the partnership between ESA and ArianeGroup.
SpaceX Rockets to Take the Place of Roscosmos’ Soyuz?
According to the most recent CNBC report, ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher explained that the European Space Agency is currently debating two options.
These are designed to use SpaceX rockets and Japanese launch systems.
“Japan is waiting for the inaugural flight of its next-generation rocket. Another option could be India,” Aschbacher shared.
He also stated that SpaceX is their primary option because Elon Musk’s independent company’s launch systems are more efficient than other models.
However, the ESA official clarified that they would first verify the compatibility of SpaceX’s rockets. Naturally, the aerospace company must also reach an agreement with the European Space Agency.
One of their concerns is whether SpaceX’s rockets are suitable for interacting with ESA satellites. Other payloads, on the other hand, should be unaffected by the vibrations produced by SpaceX’s launchers.
The ESA’s Dependence on Soyuz
According to Channel News Asia, ESA has been relying on Roscosmos’ Soyuz rockets for the past few years.
These advanced spacecraft are used by the European Space Agency to launch medium-sized payloads.
However, it also makes use of other spaceships, such as the Italian Vega. This rocket model, however, can only launch small payloads into orbit.
ESA’s heavy space packages, on the other hand, are carried by the existing Ariane 5. As of press time, officials at the space agency were still waiting for the delayed Ariane 6.
This new launch system is expected to be finished by 2023. However, the effectiveness of the development will remain the deciding factor.
Meanwhile, the SpaceX Falcon 9 collided with a bridge, causing extensive damage.
The SpaceX Polaris Dawn mission’s launch date was recently confirmed.