ExoMars Highlights Radiation Risk for Mars Astronauts

ExoMars orbiter and rover (Credit: ESA/ATG medialab)

BERLIN, Germany (ESA PR) — Astronauts on a mission to Mars would be exposed to at least 60% of the total radiation dose limit recommended for their career during the journey itself to and from the Red Planet, according to data from the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter being presented at the European Planetary Science Congress, EPSC, in Berlin, Germany, this week.

The orbiter’s camera team are also presenting new images of Mars during the meeting. They will also highlight the challenges faced from the recent dust storm that engulfed the entire planet, preventing high-quality imaging of the surface.
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Robotic Systems to Help Astronauts

Testing of Russian space robot. (Credit: Roscomos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Interplanetary expeditions of the near future put forward new requirements to the safety and effectiveness of the participants in space flights. That is why the use of robotic systems (RTS) both on board spacecraft and when carrying out “on-plan” activity of crews is among the promising areas of manned programs.

Testing of Russian space robot. (Credit: Roscomos)

From 10 to 19 September 2018 on the basis of the scientific management of the Cosmonaut Training Center. Yu.A. Gagarin passed the acceptance tests of the universal computer stand (UCS) of robotic systems with the participation of specialists from the CPC and JSC “NPO” Androidnaya Tekhnika “.

UTS RTS, created on the basis of a single set of software and hardware tools for modeling and visualizing virtual interactive 3D robot models and their external environment, is successfully mastered by the Center’s specialists for further application in training cosmonauts. The stand will be used for carrying out ergonomic studies and working out the interaction of participants of long expeditions with various RTS space applications.

Testing of Russian space robot. (Credit: Roscomos)

In the implementation of promising interplanetary flight programs associated with the colonization of the Moon and Mars, anthropomorphic robotic systems will become reliable assistants to cosmonauts.

Report: Hole in Soyuz Spacecraft Caused by Drill, Not Debris Strike

Soyuz TM spacecraft in orbit

A story in the normally authoritative RIA Novosti website says that the leak in the orbital module of a Soyuz transport docked to the International Space Station was caused by a worker who mistakenly drilled a hole through the hull during production, not by a debris strike as originally believed.

The story says the worker patched the hole with glue. However, the glue was apparently sucked out into the vacuum of space, causing a small leak that lowered the atmospheric pressure on the space station that houses six people.

Astronauts aboard the station have patched the leak. The astronauts were never in any danger from the slow leak.

Russian officials have vowed to find the RSC Energia worker responsible for the mistake.

ISS Crew Repairs Small Pressure Leak in Soyuz

Soyuz TM spacecraft in orbit

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The International Space Station’s cabin pressure is holding steady after the Expedition 56 crew conducted repair work on one of two Russian Soyuz spacecraft attached to the complex. The repair was made to address a leak that had caused a minor reduction of station pressure.

After a morning of investigations, the crew reported that the leak was isolated to a hole about two millimeters in diameter in the orbital compartment, or upper section, of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft attached to the Rassvet module of the Russian segment of the station.

Flight controllers at their respective Mission Control centers in Houston and Moscow worked together with the crew to effect a repair option in which Soyuz commander Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos used epoxy on a gauze wipe to plug the hole identified as the leak source. As the teams were discussing options, flight controllers in Moscow performed a partial increase of the station’s atmosphere using the ISS Progress 70 cargo ship’s oxygen supply. Flight controllers in Houston are continuing to monitor station’s cabin pressure in the wake of the repair.

Meanwhile, Roscosmos has convened a commission to conduct further analysis of the possible cause of the leak.

Throughout the day, the crew was never in any danger, and was told no further action was contemplated for the remainder of the day. Flight controllers will monitor the pressure trends overnight.

All station systems are stable and the crew is planning to return to its regular schedule of work on Friday.

Russians to Launch Long-Delayed Module to Space Station Next Year

Multifunctional Laboratory Module (Credit: Khrunichev)

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin has announced a new launch date — November 2019 — for the launch of its long-delayed Nauka multi-functional module to the International Space Station. Whether this new date will hold is anyone’s guess; the module’s launch will be a dozen years behind schedule by that point.

Nauka will serve as a scientific laboratory as well as a rest area for Russian astronauts aboard the space station. The module will include an airlock for experiments, crew quarters, a galley and a toilet. Nauka also includes a docking port for Soyuz and Progress spacecraft and a European-supplied robotic arm.

Construction of the Nauka module began in 1995. It was originally a backup for the Zarya module, which was the first element of space station launched in November 1998.

With Nauka no longer needed to back up Zarya, plans were made to convert it to a multi-purpose module with a launch scheduled for 2007. However, technical problems repeatedly delayed the launch.

In 2013, RSC Energia engineers found a leaking valve and contamination in Nauka’s fuel system.  The module was shipped back to Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center for repairs and cleaning.

The following year, Russian officials announced that Nauka would be further delayed because it needed a new propulsion system. The propulsion unit installed on the module had exceeded its warranty.

Russian to Spend Decade, $25 Billion on Super Heavy Launch Vehicle

Ergonomic testing has been conducted for the new Federation spacecraft. (Credit: RSC Energia)

Russia is moving ahead with a decade-long, $25 billion (1.6 trillion ruble) program to create new super-heavy launch vehicles capable of lifting up to 100 metric tons into low Earth orbit (LEO), Tass reports.

The new boosters, known as Energia-3 and Energia-5, will incorporate technologies and elements of the Soyuz-5 medium-class rocket, which is now under development.

Soyuz-5 is designed to launch Russia’s new crewed spacecraft, Federatsiya (Federation), into Earth orbit. The Energia rockets will be used for lunar missions.

RSC Energia, which is developing the boosters, plans to test the Soyuz-5 rocket from 2022-25. The super-heavy booster would then be tested from 2028-2035 from the Vostochny Cosmodrome.

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Rogozin Accuses Musk of Dumping Below-Cost Boosters on Market

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: A. Savin)

Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin says Russia is working on a reusable launch vehicle that would land back on the runway and accused the U.S. government of letting Elon Musk’s SpaceX of dumping below-cost boosters on the international market to kill competition.

The new heavy Soyuz-5 rocket, currently developed by Russia, must become more powerful yet remain cheaper than the products supplied by the competitors, the recently-elected head of the Russian space corporation told TASS in an extensive interview on Thursday.

While Moscow is looking into adding reusable elements to the Soyuz-5 to further lower launch costs, reusability is not a universal solution to achieve this goal, Rogozin believes. Musk’s SpaceX, which is currently the only company to have launched reusable rockets commercially, manages to cut the costs by other means, the Russian space boss pointed out.

“Musk’s advantage is not the reusability but that the US government gives him opportunities for dumping [prices] on the market. Musk sells his launches twofold to the Pentagon, covering his losses on the commercial market and killing competitors, who lack such a generous state behind them,” Rogozin said.

Due to its geography, Russia is largely unable to make Falcon-style reusable boosters that would make vertical powered descent to a movable platform at sea, and so it has to follow an alternate path sticking to horizontal landings or relying on parachutes, he said.

Meet Russia’s New Cosmonaut Candidates

Russia’s newest class of cosmonaut candidates. (Credit; Roscosmos)

Roscosmos has selected eight candidates to begin training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. Below are their biographies.

Borisov Konstantin Sergeevich (Credit; Roscosmos)

Borisov Konstantin Sergeevich
He was born on 14.08.1984 in the city of Smolensk.
Marital status: married, no children.

Education:

  • June 27, 2005 graduated from the Russian Academy of Economics. Plekhanov with the qualification “Bachelor of Economics” in the direction of “Economics”.
  • From September 27, 2006 to December 3, 2007, he studied at Warwick University (Cowen-three, UK). After graduation, he was awarded the “Master of Science” qualification in the direction “Operations Research and Systems Analysis”.
  • In June 2018, I completed my studies at the MAI on the Master Program “Life Support Systems for Aircraft” (2016-2018), with the qualification “Master” in the direction of “Aircraft Building”.

Experience:

  • 01.07.2005-04.08.2006 – assistant to the business controller in CJSC “Volvo Vostok”, Khimki;
  • 01.12.2007-20.07.2011 – an analyst in the Moscow office of the company “A. T. Kar-ni GmbH, Moscow;
  • 10.01.2012-11.03.2013 – Consultant in the Moscow representative office of the company “Booston Consulting Group Limited”, Moscow;
  • 01/09/2014-n. at. – the head on introduction of innovations in LLC “Ferronordic Mashiny”, Khimki.

Military service in the army did not pass.
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Russia Selects 8 New Cosmonaut Candidates

Russia’s newest class of cosmonaut candidates. (Credit; Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — By results of the meeting of the interdepartmental commission (MVK) announced the results of the selection of candidates for the cosmonaut detachment in 2017-2018. Named eight new candidates who will continue training in the Yuri A. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center for further support of the Russian space manned program.

The results of MVK’s work were announced by Dmitry Rogozin, Director General of the Roskosmos State Corporation, Sergey Krikalev, Executive Director for Manned Space Programs at Yuri Gagarin Pavel Vlasov, and the director of the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems (IBMP) RAS Oleg Orlov.

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Disruptive New Entrants Lead Small-satellite Launch Race

CubeSats deployed from the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

On-demand launch services and global ground station service expansion drive multiple growth opportunities that could take demand launch services revenues past $70 billion by 2030, finds Frost & Sullivan

LONDON, Aug. 7, 2018 (Frost & Sullivan PR) — Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Small-satellite Launch Services Market Quarterly Update Q2 2018, reveals that the market is abuzz with major service providers such as PSLV, CASC, Rocket Lab, JAXA, SpaceX, Roscosmos, and others launching a total of 62 small-satellites in the first quarter of 2018.

Frost & Sullivan now expects launch demand to increase to 11,740 small-satellites by 2030 with revenues reaching $70.10 billion. Commercial players will offer and enable real-time imagery, digital transformation, and seamless global connectivity.

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Mars Express Detects Liquid Water Beneath Planet’s South Pole

Mars Express detects water buried under the south pole of Mars. (Credit: Context map: NASA/Viking; THEMIS background: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University; MARSIS data: ESA/NASA/JPL/ASI/Univ. Rome; R. Orosei et al 2018)

PARIS, 25 July 2018 (ESA PR) — Radar data collected by ESA’s Mars Express point to a pond of liquid water buried under layers of ice and dust in the south polar region of Mars.

Evidence for the Red Planet’s watery past is prevalent across its surface in the form of vast dried-out river valley networks and gigantic outflow channels clearly imaged by orbiting spacecraft. Orbiters, together with landers and rovers exploring the martian surface, also discovered minerals that can only form in the presence of liquid water.

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Putin: Russia Needs “Breakthrough Success” in Space

Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting with executives of State Space Corporation ROSCOSMOS. (Credit: Russian Government)

Meeting with Executives of State Space Corporation Roscosmos

Vladimir Putin discussed plans for developing the missile and space industry and measures aimed at making the corporation more efficient with the executives of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon.

I have invited you – this practically new Roscosmos team – to discuss plans for the development of the missile and space industry and specific decisions aimed at making your corporation more efficient.

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UAE Space Agency, NASA Sign Agreement for Human Spaceflight Cooperation

The UAE is in the midst of creating an astronaut corps, with nine finalists vying for four spots in the program. The nation has already signed an agreement with Roscosmos to fly an astronaut to the International Space Station in 2019.

Felix & Paul Studios Launch Space Explorers: Taking Flight Virtual Reality Experience on Oculus Store

Academy-Award Winning Actress Brie Larson Narrates Latest Space Explorers VR Experience

MONTREAL — July 13, 2018 (Felix & Paul Studios PR) — Felix & Paul Studios, the EMMY® award-winning creator of immersive entertainment experiences, today premiered Episode Two of their groundbreaking virtual reality series, Space Explorers, on the Oculus Store.

This latest episode in the series was produced in conjunction with Facebook’s Oculus with participation from NASA, the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, and leading private space transportation companies. The first episode of this made-for-VR series, Space Explorers: A New Dawn, premiered at the 2018 Sundance New Frontier exhibition to wide critical acclaim. Academy Award-winning actress Brie Larson provided narration for both Episodes 1 and 2 of Space Explorers.

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Rogozin Lays Out 10 Principles to Guide Roscosmos

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: A. Savin)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Today, June 28, 2018, Moscow hosted the scientific and practical conference “The main tasks and prospects for the development of Roscosmos”, at which the General Director of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin announced ten principles on which the State Corporation and enterprises of the industry will operate.

At the event, not only the heads of Roscosmos, but also all the enterprises of the industry gathered, there were altogether more than 250 people. The moderator of the conference was acting. Nikolay Sevastyanov, First Deputy General Director of Roscosmos State Corporation, who outlined the program of the meeting.

Opening speech delivered by Dmitry Rogozin, at the very beginning of which he cited Academician Andrei Sakharov: “Life is an expansion.” He also stressed that the Russian cosmos is the crown of self-identification of our people.

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