Roscosmos-ESA to Cooperate on Human Launchers

ROSCOSMOS PR — On June 30, Roscosmos Head V. Popovkin and ESA DG J.J. Dordain met at ESA-ESTEC, the Netherlands, to discuss space cooperation issues.

The parties have signed the protocol which defines establishment of two bilateral working groups. The first one will deal with space science. It will investigate feasibility of common missions to Jupiter moon Europe, asteroids, LEO objects, exploration of the other galaxies, etc.

The other working group is to submit proposals on bilateral cooperation in development of space launchers for human missions. For both branches, the agencies will involve industry. Enhancement of cooperation under human spaceflight programs imply involvement in the multilateral working group which includes Roscosmos, ESA, NASA, ASI, DLR, France.

“The protocol confirms intention of Roscosmos and ESA to improve cooperation and represents the evidence of transition to real activities under space initiatives,” Roscosmos Head Vladimir Popovkin stated.

Medvedev Wants Vigorous Deep Space Exploration Program, But Where Are the Rubles?

Russia should have its own deep space program – Medvedev

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev believes that Russia should develop its own program for the exploration of deep space in general and the Moon in particular. “I think this is a very important topic, even in terms of our scientific ambitions. If we fail to address it at all, we shall degrade and will be pushed to the sidelines,” the president said at a meeting with young scientists on Tuesday.

Medvedev admitted that he could not promise such a program would be ready in one year’s time, “which would let us catch up with the Americans.”


Perminov Sees International Human Mars Mission in 2035 Using Nuclear Propulsion

Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov


Mission to Mars shall be implemented under international cooperation, Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov stated, answering the questions from the Twitter in Echo-Moscow web.

“No country is able of performing Martian mission by its own in the nearest future. That’s an issue of propulsion. In our program, we have human flight to Mars no earlier than 2035. On the other hand, advanced nuclear propulsion can be developed in 8 years or so, provided necessary funding. With this system, you can get to Mars in about 90 days,” Roscosmos head said.


Partners Meet to Coordinate Increased Use of ISS for Research

International Space Station


The International Space Station partner agencies met Thursday, Feb. 3, by video conference to discuss coordinating the increased use of the space station as a research laboratory. The agencies want to continue using the station as a test-bed for exploration and find innovative ways to reduce costs while increasing use.

The Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB) meeting included senior representatives from NASA; the Canadian Space Agency (CSA); the European Space Agency (ESA); the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos); and the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). As the senior management board, the MCB meets periodically to ensure coordination of station operations and activities among the partners.


Perminov: We’re Staying at Baikonur Forever

Soyuz rocket

There’s a great scene in the 1988 movie, Married to the Mob, in which Connie Russo (Mercedes Ruehl) explains the facts of Mafia life to Angela de Marco (Michelle Pfeiffer).

“We’re your friends, Angela, whether you like it or not,” she declares.

Angela was family, and there was no escaping it. Not even after Connie’s covetous husband, Tony “the Tiger” Russo (Dean Stockwell), rubbed out Angela’s hit man husband, “Cucumber” Frank de Marco (Alec Baldwin).

The situation is not so different for Kazakhstan. Nearly 20 years after it became the last Soviet republic to declare independence, the nation remains joined at the hip with Russia through its Baikonur Cosmodrome. And don’t expect that to change — ever.


Russia Plans Ambitious Year in Space

Soyuz rocket

Speaking to media editors-in-chief today, Roscosmos Head Antaoly Perminov laid out plans for a very busy year in space that includes four dozen launches, Russia’s first interplanetary probe in 15 years, a greater role in the International Space Station, and the development of new rockets and infrastructure.

During an appearance at the Club of the Leading Russian Media Editors-in-Chief in Itar-Tass, Perminov discussed the country’s space plans, which include:

  • 48 launches, an increase from 31 last year
  • October launch for Phobos-Grunt, an ambitious mission to return samples from the Martian moon Phobos
  • assumption of the sole role in transporting crews to and from the International Space Station once the American space shuttle retires
  • construction of roads, railways and worker housing for Russia’s new Vostochny spaceport in the Amur Region
  • completion of the GLONASS navigational satellite constellation
  • debut of the Soyuz launcher in French Guiana
  • development work on the Angara and Rus-M launchers
  • launch of the Resource-P remote sensing spacecraft, which will have  0.4-0.6 meter resolution
  • operation of the Electro-L satellite launched earlier this year
  • design work on the Arctica space system.


Roscosmos: No Contracts Signed Yet With Space Adventures for Billionaut Flights

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft in orbit

An interesting notice from the Roscosmos website:

Space Adventures, which had announced the conclusion of an agreement with Russian Federal Space Agency and Rocket Space Corporation Energia (RSC Energia) to commercially offer three seats on the Soyuz spacecraft bound for the International Space Station (ISS), beginning in 2013, has not signed any contract neither with Roscosmos, nor with RSC-E, Roscosmos Human Spaceflight Directorate Head Alexey Krasnov told Marker.

According to Krasnov, the a.m. negotiations may commence in spring, provided that Space Adventures finds funding for increasing of Soyuz production, from four to five space vehicles per year.


Russia to Spend $6 Billion on New Spaceport, Rocket and Human Spacecraft

Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov

Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov told the media that Russia will spend $6 billion through 2015 to build its new Vostochny spaceport and to develop replacements for the Soyuz rocket and spacecraft, Interfax reports.

“The total cost of building a promising manned transport system, a new space rocket complex, Rus-M, the ground processing facility will be about 180 billion rubles by 2015,” he said.

Perminov said that the new Rus-M rocket being developed by TsSKB Progress will be capable of launching up to 24 metric tons into orbit. The new rocket will be tested in 2015, with human launches of a new six-person spacecraft being built by RSC Energia planned to begin in 2018. Designs for the new rocket and spacecraft were drawn up last year.


Russians Visit China to Promote IGMASS Cooperation


In early 2011, International Public Committee on IGMASS (international global natural and industrial emergency aerospace monitoring system) (IGMASS IPC) has made steps to promote the project in China.

Roscosmos representatives, Russian experts of Space Systems R&D presented IGMASS in Beijing on Jan. 10-13, IPC executive secretary Sergey Cherkas informed.


Perminov Gets a New Deputy

Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov has a new deputy. Alexander P. Lopatin was appointed to the post on Jan. 13. He replaces Victor Remishevsky, whom President Dmitry Medvedev fired last month in the wake of a Proton launch failure that send three GLONASS navigation satellites to the bottom of the Pacific.

Roscomos PAO posted his bio:

Lopatin was born on April 14, 1956. Formerly, he served in Space Forces as Deputy Commander (2005 -  2009), Deputy Director General at TSNIIMASh and Deputy Chairman of the State Board (2009-Jan. 2011).

He graduated from Zhitomir High Command Radio Electrical Engineering School in 1978, and Dzerzhinsky Military Academy in 1987. From 1974 to 2005 he served in Russian Military Forces in various positions, including Deputy Chief of Mozhaisky Military Academy.

Lopatin has several state awards, including Order For Military Merit, The Order of Honor, Governmental science and engineering awards.

Russians Gear Up for Gagarin 50th Anniversary Celebrations

Russia will name the Soyuz spacecraft scheduled to launch to the International Space Station on March 30 after Yuri Gagarin, who became the first human in space almost 50 years before on April 12, 1961.

This is just one of many commemorations being planned to mark the historic anniversary. The Voice of Russia reports that Roscosmos has invited the heads of 49 space agencies as well as astronauts and cosmonauts who have flow on Soviet and Russian spacecraft to attend gala celebrations in Moscow on April 12.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Organizational Committee at the Mission Control Center on Tuesday. Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov gave him a briefing on the status of preparations. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center Chief Sergey Krikalev reported about the celebrations set for Star City. Smolensk Region Gov. Sergey Antufiev told Putin about events planned for Gagarin’s native land.


Russia Allocates $3.8 Billlion for Space Program in 2011

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin tours RSC Energia in July. (Credit: Russian Federation Government)

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has announced that the government will spend 115 billion rubles ($3.8 billion) on national space programs in 2011, RIA Novosti reports. Putin said that Russia’s space plans include:

  • Launch of about 50 spacecraft in 2011
  • Long-range development of the GLONASS navigational system until 2020
  • Long-term plan to increase global market share through development of new automated and human spacecraft
  • Construction of a new spaceport in the Russian Far East.