Rogozin: Russia Won’t Play Second Fiddle on Lunar Gateway

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: A. Savin)

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin does not appear to be a fan of the planned Lunar Gateway.

During his meeting with young people, Rogozin said that a lunar program was the peak of the world space powers’ scientific efforts.

“The United States is developing their program called Deep Space Gateway. They have been suggesting our participation in that program, but believe it is theirs,” Rogozin said. “It is such a great American national program but everybody must take part in it.”

Rogozin said he did not like the idea “very much”, since “Russia simply cannot afford to take a back seat in foreign projects” and added that Russia was developing “its own transport system.”

The remarks caused some consternation that Russia was going to pull out of the NASA-led international venture. Roscosmos Spokesman Vladimir Ustimenko denied the report, saying talks remain underway on Russia’s participation in the project.

  • Robert G. Oler

    good luck with that. the Russians are out of money, almost out of the US having to pay them money…and to be fair while the space station has been dependent on them, the need for everyone to learn Russian in stifling…and they dont work and play well with others

    I look for the Russians to swing back to the Chinese and become more a part of their show…

  • Ignacio Rockwill

    Do you think the Chinese would be content to go it alone and say “thanks but no thanks” to a joint Russian venture? The Chinese government doesn’t strike me as the cooperating type.

  • Terry Stetler

    Let ’em ,both put a tin can in LLO. They can wave at BFS and whatever Blue Origin builds on their way to the surface. However, Orion won’t be there as its radiators are insufficient for LLO ops.

  • newpapyrus

    There’s no logical reason for an– international– space station at LEO (ISS) and no logical reason for an– international– gateway at NRO. Such international efforts really don’t save any nation any money. And the US only ends up outsourcing some of our space jobs to foreign nations.

    The Russians really shouldn’t have abandoned their old space station– in the first place, IMO.

    The US needs to follow Russia’s lead– and start charging– foreign space agencies if they want their astronauts to participate in our deep space missions. I’d charge $150 million for every– foreign astronaut– allowed to participate in a US mission to NRO or to the lunar surface or to Mars. So two foreign astronauts participating in a single US deep space mission would shave off $300 million in cost to NASA and US taxpayers for a single mission. That’s a significant amount of savings per mission!

    Spending just $150 million for a foreign astronaut to travel to the Moon would also be an absolute bargain for foreign space agencies– especially if their astronauts are also allowed to return with up to 10 kilograms of material from the surface of the moon for study by their foreign space agencies.

    Marcel

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Well he’s in luck. He won’t be playing second fiddle he will be playing third fiddle behind the lunar gateway, which itself will second fiddle behind BFR.

  • 76 er

    “The Russians really shouldn’t have abandoned their old space station”

    It’s been a while since I’ve heard someone mention the ‘Mir’. Hearing that word makes me think of astronaut Jerry Foale’s frightening experience while on board. That happened way back in ’97. Check out his story in the book: “Dragonfly, NASA and the Crisis Aboard Mir” by Bryan Burrough.

    It is an interesting book and reading it might just change your opinion.

  • Zed_WEASEL

    The Russians abandon their previous space station because they were past their service lifetime and they have no money for any space station.

    It will not be $150M per seat in an Orion lofted up by a SLS. Will be much much more.

    Foreign astronauts will not pay anything for the ride to LOP-G. It will be a barter for the various LOP-G components that is supplied by non-NASA entities. There is a NASA graphic that shows the components of the LOP-G and who pays for them.
    https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/gateway-configuration-20180705.jpg

    By the way how does anyone get access to samples from the Lunar surface to NRHO without a Lunar lander that have a means to ascent to LRHO? AFAIK there is no such lander in development.

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    Foreign foreign foreign foreign foreign foreign foreign….perhaps you need a space wall

  • Jeff Smith

    I sure hope that’s just bluster for a better bargaining position, or some concession. It would be a shame to throw away 2 1/2 decades of cooperation and return Cold War acrimony.

  • Aerospike

    The rhetoric of types like Rogozin etc. is just poison to any international relations.

    This whole concept of “first/second” etc. regarding national contribution to something (as well as national pride to some degree) is so hopefully out of date in a world that is run by multinational megacorporations…

  • Robert G. Oler

    the US/Russia “post cold war dream” is collapsing…

  • Michael Halpern

    Plus he doesn’t seem to get ISS is really two stations slapped together, the US orbital lab and the Russian segment

  • Jeff2Space

    I’ve read articles on other space sites saying Russia is trying to court the Chinese again. Unfortunately for Russia, I don’t think China needs them anymore. The Chinese launch vehicles, crew capsules, spacesuits, and space stations all show that China is more than capable of pretty much anything Russia has already one in crewed space travel.

    Russia has rested on their laurels for far too long and is now paying the price. No one needs them anymore.

  • Jeff2Space

    The upside to that rhetoric is that when the Russians wouldn’t cooperate with Elon Musk, by providing a launch vehicle at a reasonable price, Musk got ticked off and decided to build his own launch vehicles. The rest, so they say, is history.

  • 76 er

    I wonder how far along Russia’s “own transportation system” really is. The news out of Russia is either really slick RT propaganda or it’s from lower-level opinion news sites. Recall that item last month where someone said their space program was in “the dark ages”. Their leadership coveted Crimea at the expense of pretty much everything else.

  • 76 er

    Sorry, it should be Michael Foale, I got his name mixed up.

  • Steve

    it’s the barter system that we keep losing out on. Sure, the Canadian ARM was great. Letting the ESA design and build 2 Orion service modules, stupid idea. Unless you are a SLS/Orion hater and really like delays or enjoy the fact that Orion missions are dependent on the ESA. You may not like Trump, but he is correct when he says we are on the losing end of all of these international agreements. If they want to be partners in this, then open the checkbook.

  • Robert G. Oler

    I think that they would have the desire to have the Russians on board solely for political reasons

  • Robert G. Oler

    BFS is a decade away

  • Vladislaw

    The people forming policy are not looking at it as “losing out on” it is more like bribing them to come on board. If the U.S. takes off on it’s own and doesn’t play nice and bring friends then the friends can tie up UNRELATED policies as a pay back for not playing nice. So in relative terms it is VERY CHEAP to spend a few billion a year to keep internationals in the loop, or in the case keep them in the LOP-G.

  • Vladislaw

    Actually the very last thing NASA wanted was Mir being “saved” as there were plans to commercialize it and NASA squashed it.

    Documentary: Orphans of Apollo
    https://vimeo.com/21830340

  • Vladislaw

    Well except for the fact China doesn’t really like spending money on space. Just look at their human space launch cadence… They are capable but they would rather spend money on consumer factories selling goods to the west then spending it on launching humans.

  • windbourne

    We were not just paying them money. At ~$40M/seat and 2 out of 3 seats, we were covering the cost of their sending 1 person up to space. IOW, they really had no real costs associated with the ISS.
    Now…..

  • windbourne

    That is not really true. China is spending LOADS of money on space. They are building multiple bases, and testing loads of equipment.
    Right now, it appears that they are spending at a higher level than America is, in terms of % of GDP(ppp).

  • windbourne

    political? Hmm.
    More like access to Russian tech.

  • windbourne

    I seriously doubt that. I really think that by 2021, they will have a BFR into LEO and landed.
    And yeah, lunar mission in 2023 should be easily possible.

  • Robert G. Oler

    in terms of money per flight hour it has to be one of the most expensive programs in the world…almost like ours

  • duheagle

    Let’s hope Rogozin can make this view stick. I don’t know if Russian non-participation would be enough to scupper Lunar Gateway, but one can always hope.

  • duheagle

    Agree entirely with your first paragraph. But if Rogozin has his back up about playing second fiddle to the U.S., what do you imagine his attitude would be about doing the same anent China?

  • duheagle

    Hard to see what Russian tech the Chinese might covet at this point except maybe engines. But the Russians haven’t built a really new engine in quite awhile and the Chinese have so even that’s a bit of a stretch.

  • duheagle

    No, it isn’t.

  • duheagle

    Putin returned Russia to a state of “Cold War acrimony” anent the U.S. pretty much the day he was sworn in as President. He put that acrimony up in lights over a decade ago when he invaded and annexed part of Georgia. He put the icing on the cake with his equally bloody-minded Ukrainian misadventures. As long as space cooperation continued to benefit Russia, it was allowed to be an exception. As Windbourne points out above, the ISS gravy train is winding down and Russia has neither the inclination nor – quite soon – the ability to put any real money into anything major and new anent space.

    Wake up and smell the borscht, Dude!

  • duheagle

    “The US” – aka the US gov’t. – shouldn’t be setting prices for foreign participation in space via US-based means. That job properly belongs to the private US providers of such means.

  • duheagle

    The US doesn’t need a “space wall” but it also doesn’t need to be subsidizing foreign participation in space activities. The traditionally high costs of anything space-related done by the US gov’t. acted as a pretty effective “wall” to participation by most foreign nations for many decades. If US-based space product and service providers are allowed to continue along the current track of supplanting the US government as the go-to entity for space-related products and services, said wall will come down as fast as market forces allow.

  • Terry Stetler

    Soyuz 5/Fenix/whateveritscalledthisweek is essentially a Russian reimagining of Ukraine’s Zenit (3.9m) using Proton’s 4.1m tooling. Cluster cores for higher payloads. Stick the new Federation/Federatsiya capsule on top and that’s their new vehicle.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/780e7ec83561cf291ea49b56afb8c5ebc96af146f8d6b68f73fd12c770eacacb.jpg

  • Terry Stetler

    They’re already building the BF Spaceship test vehicle, and the Raptor engine has hit 300 bar. New reusable boosters are no longer their long pole.

  • windbourne

    Well, it is. BUT, it is EXPENSIVE to build the systems on the ground that are needed.
    Heck, I suspect that the Chinese have a vaccumm chamber that is 2-3x the size of our test chambers.

  • windbourne

    I would not be surprised if it takes less a year of testing for launching and landing. After all, they did all the real testing with F9.

  • windbourne

    Careful there.
    We own some of the responsibility for cold war return with Russia. We agreed that Ukraine would be independent, but first Putin, and America under both W/O, interfered with them.

    Personally, I would have let Putin go when he grabbed Crimea, but he also did Georgia, and now messes with eastern ukraine.

  • windbourne

    Humm.
    The ISS was supposed to give us great info on variable Gs, but that failed when We killed Japan’s unit.
    However, we have learned a great deal about space biology, assembly in space, etc.

    Most importantly, the ISS has allowed a number of space agencies to work together. This will make the moon possible.
    While private space will make it cheap, they need multiple customers. NASA is really not enough.

  • windbourne

    MIR was ready to be ditched. Great learning experience, but still had to go.

  • windbourne

    Western Vs Russian.

  • windbourne

    Oh, I had not thought of that. Clever.

  • windbourne

    Russia and America are lightyears ahead of china in terms of space stations.

  • Michael Halpern

    An extreme example of the importance of customer service

  • Michael Halpern

    Not sure we ever really left the cold war just turned it down a notch for a while, their handling of the Kursk shortly after Putin was sworn in would suggest to them the cold war was still very much alive

  • Michael Halpern

    Yeah a lot of people don’t get ISS is as much a political asset as a scientific one

  • Michael Halpern

    Yeah this competition in measuring 70m+ tall phallic objects in the US is really impressive…

  • Vladislaw

    Russians still remember the “Mongol Yoke” and will never really be on board with China .. in my opinion. They will side with them in cold war politics but philosophically they are still divided.

    “The Mongol Yoke – 13 to 15 Century

    In 13th century Kievan Rus’ was attacked by Mongol Empire. The separate armies of principalities were defeated one by one.

    As a result most of the Russian principalities were vassalized by Mongol Empire. This was a seminal moment in Russian history, which defined its future development for centuries.

    Republic of Novgorod was the only region which remained independent and was not devastated by the Mongol forces.

    This is why Novgorod is often considered to be one of the “purest” Russian towns, which still retained a lot of the ancient Rus’ charm.”
    https://waytorussia.net/WhatIsRussia/Mongol-Yoke-History.html

    If you google mongol yoke you will be amazed how they still talk about it ..

  • Vladislaw

    Oh come on .. they could have flown humans a MINIMUM of 3-4 times per year for the last DECADE instead they launch 3 people every couple years… hardly a frantic pace that is over taking us.

    I have cited it before on Ex NASA Administrator Griffin’s comments about the number one question for human space flight managers “how do you keep getting money to fly humans”. It was there number one concern NOT ever flying .. and nothing has changed since Griffin visited there.