Senior researcher at the Central Institute of Motor Engineering, Hamlet Khanyan, said in a short interview with Pravda.Ru that space sanctions would cause bigger damage to the United States, rather than to Russia.
"Due to rising tensions in the US-Russia relations, NASA speeded up the development of its own manned spacecraft to compete against Russia's Soyuz spaceships. The space agency signed contracts for the construction of a new generation of spacecraft with Boeing and SpaceX. The contracts total $6.8 billion dollars. The new ships are planned to be launched from the territory of the United States (Florida). Will this experience be successful?"
"As the saying goes, good luck." I do not think that the Americans will outdo the performance of Russian RD-180 engines. If you have ever watched Russian rockets and US shuttles taking off, you can see the difference. From an American shuttle, when it takes off, there is a large tail left, and the smoke in the tail is very thick, because the combustion of fuel is incomplete, so it falls down. When a Proton rocket takes off, it leaves a thin plasma column in the air that is barely visible, with an intermittent fiery stream of the purple color. This means that our fuel burns completely, and the propulsive effort is stronger.
"With the Russian technology, two tons of fuel burn in one second. I do not know when the Americans can achieve this. The Proton rocket, in general, becomes a matter of the past, because we have already developed a new rocket called Angara that will fly on another type of fuel. The fuel that is used in Proton is highly toxic as it burns heptyl. This is a very good, effective fuel, but a very toxic one. Should a catastrophe occur, the contamination of the area nearby will be serious. The Angara rocket will be just as efficient, and maybe even more efficient, while using completely non-toxic fuel."
"Will corporations be able to cheapen production, given the fact that, for example, Boeing buys titanium for aircraft construction in Russia?"
"Boeing makes civilian aircraft. Russian companies lag behind them in terms of comfort and efficiency, but take the lead in terms of military aircraft and missiles. Cheaper production? I do not think so. The USA just wants to set us up so that Russia does not receive $70 million, for which they would buy our RD-180 engines."
"How did you assess NASA's chances to deliver astronauts to the ISS, independently of Russia?"
"NASA without Russia? This would be a very expensive and ineffective way to go, but they can do it. Rogozin once offered them to send astronauts to the ISS from bouncers. The USA's sudden love to Ukraine, apparently, justifies negative consequences for the industry, including in the field of space."
"One of the reasons to shelve the space shuttle program in 2011 was said to be considerable spending. Is the United States now ready to invest huge sums in the space program, given the current spending on wars?"
"They have money, they just print it, so they will invest. Yes, of course they can, although I do not know where it can happen. The shuttle program was closed because it was heavily advertised. It was a beautiful rocket and an impressive ship, but it was very ineffective. The cost of one Proton launch in comparison with that of a shuttle is ten times as low, so the Americans got addicted to our engines."
"Will the Russian space industry suffer?"
"I do not think so. It will only be relieved of freeloaders."
"Will there be another space race between the USA and Russia?"
"Well, we must try, because on the moon, there are enticing reserves of helium-3. This material is highly effective in thermonuclear reactions. On Earth, it is impossible to produce it, but one can fly to the moon and take it from there. This would solve the problem of controlled thermonuclear synthesis. So the current situation is a challenge for humanity, because it can give a boost to the development of the helium technology, and we will be able to set fire to the water."