Russia loses monopoly on manned spaceflight

The termination of the monopoly of the corporation for manned flights to RSC Energia is awaited after the commissioning of American spacecraft Starliner and Crew Dragon.
Origin source
The monopoly of Russia in the world market of manned space flights, which it received after the closure of the US Space Shuttle program, will not last long, this forecast is contained in the report of the Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC) Energia for the fourth quarter of 2017.

The destruction of the monopoly in RSC Energia is associated with the plans of private American companies to launch their spacecraft Starliner (Boeing) and Crew Dragon (SpaceX).

"After the commissioning of American commercial ships, the Corporation's unconditional monopoly on manned flights to low Earth orbit will cease," the report says.

Crew Dragon ship (also Dragon 2), developed by Ilon Mask company SpaceX, is planned for the first time (to begin in unmanned mode) to be launched into space in August 2018, and in December a manned flight should take place. After the test, the ship is planned to be used to deliver astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), and in the future also for tourist flights around the Moon.

In the autumn of 2018, the first manned flight should be performed by the Boeing-developed Starliner ship, which is also planned to be used to deliver astronauts to the ISS, where they are now being delivered to the Russian Soyuz. Also, Russia plans to launch its own manned spacecraft, the Federation. However, his first launch with the crew is scheduled for the end of 2024, said Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

"In connection with the ongoing plans of American commercial companies to create manned spacecraft, Russia's monopoly on the manned space flight market is predicted to be short-lived, and competition will increase," the Energy report says.

The document notes that the launch of American launches of cargo ships Dragon and Cygnus has already led to a reduction in the number of NASA orders for cargo transportation with the help of Russian Progress ships. Nevertheless, there is still no further decline in demand for their ships in RSC Energia due to the presence of Russia's international obligations for the delivery to the ISS of members of international crews and cargoes for the supply of the station.

The report also notes the growing demand in the world market of space services for launches of automatic space vehicles. Among the main risks in this segment of the market, RSC Energia includes the emergence of new players (China, India, Japan) in the market of production and launching of satellites and the "trend towards the integration of the world market of space services into a single space of free partnership in the production and application of space services and technologies ", as well as political instability in some countries that are considered potential customers of the corporation.