Russia, France to team up on ‘hi-tech rockets’

Russia and France will pool their efforts to build cutting-edge reusable space rockets, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

“Russian and French engineers are already working in this direction under Project Ural,” Putin told a news conference after a meeting of the Russian-French cooperation commission.

The Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos and its French counterpart, Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), are expected to work out a roadmap for bilateral space cooperation.

The 15-year Ural program to build advanced reusable carrier rockets was adopted in 2005.

CNES Director Yannick d’Escatha has said Project Ural is part of a new rocket launch system that will replace existing carriers.

The project is still at the conceptual stage as the type of rocket engine – hydrogen, kerosene or methane fueled – has yet to be determined.

It was earlier reported that the future Ural rocket will be a reusable one, fueled by liquid hydrogen and liquid methane, and should supersede the Russian Soyuz and French Ariane carriers some time in 2020-30.

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