RSC Energia

Cool Pics: Russians Show Next-Generation Human Spacecraft to Vladimir Putin

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Vladimir Putin inside of a full-size mockup of Russia's six-passenger "Rus" spacecraft. (Credit: RSC Energia)

MOSCOW¬† — August 19, 2011 (Energia PR) — In Zhukovsky, Moscow region, the 10th International Aerospace Show (MAKS-2011), which was held on August 16 through 21, has completed its work.

The Corporation’s stand, which was a part of the joint exhibit of the Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos), was a continuous focus of attention for a great number of visitors, among whom there were specialists from aviation and space companies of Russia and other countries, scientists, representatives of business circles, university students and teachers, veterans of the industry, journalists, aerospace aficionados.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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Medvedev Fires Roscosmos, Energia Officials Over Proton Failure

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev fired RSC Energia’s vice president Vyacheslav Filin and Roskosmos Deputy Head Victor Remishevsky over the Dec. 5 failure of a Proton rocket, which sent three expensive GLONASS navigation satellites to the bottom of the Pacific. The Russian leader also reprimanded Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov.

The failure resulted from the fourth stage transfer module being overloaded with fuel, causing the first three stages to under perform. The failure was deeply embarrassing to the Russian government because the three satellites would have completed the 24-satellite GLONASS constellation, allowing it to provide full global coverage for the first time. GLONASS is the Russian equivalent of the American Global Positioning System (GPS).

The Russian government has been eager to recover its Soviet-era space prowess and to prove that it can equal the technological achievements of the United States and other Western powers. Officials are making a major push to install receivers on buses, cars and other vehicles both domestically and aboard. The government is working with India and a number of countries that formed the former Soviet Union to install receivers there.

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Energia Wants to Spend $1.9 Billion on Orbital Pod to Clean Up Space Debris

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Some interesting news via the Chinese Xinhua news agency that RSC Energia plans to build a nuclear-power “orbital pod” to clean up space debris. The details include:

  • cost: 600 billion rubles ($1.9 billion USD)
  • cleanup 600 satellites by dropping them in the ocean over 10 years
  • begin operations by 2023
  • 15 year lifespan.

The report also indicates that Energia has been developing plans for a “space interceptor designed to destroy dangerous space objects heading toward the Earth.” These presumably would be near Earth objects.

As with many Russian projects, it’s not clear if there is money available or this is a proposal looking for funding.