The obvious wikipedia articles...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_orbital_launch_systems http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_orbital_launchers_families

...don't have this info. I'm not sure why; there must be reliable estimates somewhere, but not even tables at Astronautix have the flyaway costs: http://www.astronautix.com/articles/costhing.htm

The only estimate I can think of right now is that Soyuz Rocket's flyaway cost must be something less than $50 million, because that's currently the widely reported price to take a ride on Soyuz to the ISS for a few days.

For Proton Rocket, I expect it to be higher not only because it launches 20 tons, but also because it uses those hypergolic propellants that are very dangerous and require a lot of extra safety on the ground, costing money.

Can anyone help us find reliable estimates for flyaway costs for these 2 rockets?

To be clear: Flyaway cost is the cost of manufacturing the rocket plus servicing and doing whatever else is necessary to launch it. It does NOT include payload costs, so don't add the cost of Soyuz spaceship to Soyuz rocket.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Those \$50 Million are for a single seat out of three. And it would depend on the standard of service or whatever that's called, since NASA pays \$70 Million per seat and IIRC it was Bolden that recently mentioned in one of the Senate hearings that the price for that might increase. $\endgroup$
    – TildalWave
    May 28 '15 at 22:09
  • $\begingroup$ With the US launchers, aside from Orbital or SpaceX it is almost impossible to get a straight answer on the cost of a launch. How much does a Delta IV launch really cost? Does the sustainment cost count? (Shuttle costs? Fawged-aboutit). Ariane seems simpler, but does the ESA supplement count? You think you will get an honest cost out of the Russians? $\endgroup$
    – geoffc
    May 29 '15 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ @geoffc umm, that's why i was asking for a good estimate. There must be a good estimate out there somewhere... $\endgroup$
    – DrZ214
    May 30 '15 at 17:14

There is a decent compilation at wikileaks (references a few now-missing resources and the astronautix page). Also, the russian wiki page has the prices table, the numbers are:

Soyuz U: \$48M
Soyuz ST: \$61M
Proton: \$68M
Proton/Block DM: \$95M

It worth mentioning that, since the most of the rockets are produced at the state-owned enterprises, and launches are made by the state-owned space forces, there is a different price tag for the own government programs w/o any margin profit, for example the price tag for Soyuz 2.1a is just \$24M.


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