The Russian company MTKS (Reusable Transport Space Systems) has launched a project to manufacture a private cargo spaceship prototype, the Argo, capable of delivering up to two metric tons of cargo to the ISS. The ship will be 58% made of composites to reduce its weight.
MTKS Chairman of the Board Sergei Sopov said the company’s engineers teamed up with their colleagues from the manufacturer as soon as the contract was signed to work on the design and manufacture of the tooling package to build the spaceship.
To speed up the process, the composite hull was ordered from Germany because Russia does not yet own the necessary technologies. Later on, the production of such hulls and components is to be launched in Voronezh.
The prototype hull can be supplied and ready for the installation of equipment and ground tests in the first half of 2021. The first pilot launch of the Argo is scheduled for 2024.