Russia space chief spars with Elon Musk over launch pricing

“Instead of honest competition on the market for space launches, they are lobbying for sanctions against us and use price dumping with impunity,” Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin (pictured October 2018) wrote on Twitter

The head of Russia’s space agency on Saturday accused Elon Musk’s SpaceX of predatory pricing for space launches, which is pushing Russia to cut its own prices.

“Instead of honest competition on the market for space launches, they are lobbying for sanctions against us and use price dumping with impunity,” Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin wrote on Twitter.

Rogozin, who is often outspoken on Twitter and previously engaged in online banter with Elon Musk, on Friday raised the issue during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

He said the Roscosmos  “is working to lower prices by more than 30 percent on launch services to increase our share on the .”

“This is our answer to dumping by American companies financed by the US budget,” he said.

The market price of a SpaceX launch is $60 million, but NASA pays up to four times that amount, he said.

Musk responded to the criticism Saturday by saying on Twitter: “SpaceX rockets are 80% reusable, theirs are 0%. This is the actual problem.”

SpaceX plans to send astronauts to the International Space Station next month for the first time on board its Falcon 9, a rocket that can be reused, lowering the cost of missions.

Musk also announced last month that SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsules will start transporting tourists to the ISS next year.

Rogozin has claimed, however, that SpaceX’s low pricing is only possible due to lavish funding from the Pentagon.

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