Does anyone have a guess as to how much the Russians spend per Soyuz launch these days? Just curious.
Well, if you want a guess...
In August 2007, Roskosmos talked prices a bit.http://www.kommersant.com/t795701/r_3/n_25/Space_Rocket_Launch/
Agency officials said that each Soyuz seat was *priced* at $23 million at that time, which works out to $69 million if all three seats were sold. The dollar has fallen 9-10% or so against the Russian Ruble since then, so the prices in dollars have do doubt risen.
Indeed, the following recent story tells us that tourist seats on Soyuz are now going for "more than $35 million", meaning that a flight could theoretically bring in more than $105 million if all three seats could be sold. http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080614/NEWS02/806140319/1007
In 2007, NASA signed a $719 million contract for 15 Soyuz seats (15 up, 15 down) as well as for 5.6 tonnes of cargo. That works out to nearly $48 million per seat, or $144 million for a three seat flight, but the numbers are muddled by the addition of several Progress flights. It would take three Progress flights to handle the cargo, which by some reports would total $150 million. That leaves $569 million for the 15 seats, which is $38 million per seat or $114 million for a Soyuz mission - roughly in line with the most recent tourist seat costs.
How much does a launch actually *cost* the Russians? I have no idea, beyond the obvious statement that it must cost less, and probably substantially less, than the publicized prices. Standard retail markup is 100% in some businesses. So, if I had to guess, I would guess 800 million Russian Rubles.
- Ed Kyle