Tag: Roscosmos

Bold Russian Space Plans Endangered by Plunging Ruble

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

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

Russia’s growing economic problems — the result of falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine — are beginning to threaten the nation’s efforts to resurrect its decayed space program:

Russia’s federal space exploration agency Roscosmos could be forced to close down or indefinitely delay whole projects due to the worsening economic situation in the country. The plummeting Russian rouble has rendered the agency incapable of planning their spending ahead of time, national daily newspaper Izvestia reported on Monday.

According to Izvestia, Russia’s Gonets satellite system, launched by the Ministry of Defence and intended to restore Russia’s status as a major aerospace power, may not meet its upcoming deadline for government funding from 2016 to 2025.

“Due to the complete unpredictability of prices in November the scientific engineering council was not able to reconcile anything concerning the orbital system of communication Gonets,” the anonymous source from the central strategic planning of Roscosmos told Izvestia.

Roscosmos’s dependence on EU imports for its satellites and other aerospace projects has made it very sensitive to the exchange rate of roubles to the euro.

Read the full story.

Russia Space Consolidation to Include Significant Wage Hikes

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Vladimir Putin inspects construction at Vostochny. (Credit:  Presidential Press and Information Office)

Vladimir Putin inspects construction at Vostochny. (Credit: Presidential Press and Information Office)

Russia’s consolidation of its space industry will include efforts to boost salaries and worker recruitment:

United Rocket and Space Corporation (URSC) was created by presidential decree earlier this year in response to that crash. It has been tasked with reforming and consolidating most of the industry under its auspices. Reforms are expected to begin next year, and by 2016 the numerous companies that make up Russia’s space sector will employ 196,000 people, the corporation said in a statement on Friday.

“By 2025 plans are to increase productivity threefold, while real wages will double,” the statement said.

According to the corporation, which bills itself as “a socially responsible employer,” the planned productivity improvements hinge on the development of “a motivation system based on key performance indicators,” as well as housing and pension programs.

Although a single space industry employee brings his employer on average 1.6 million rubles ($32,000) in revenue, monthly salaries are around 44,500 rubles a month ($900), or just over $10,000 a year, the corporation said. The average Russian salary is just over 30,000 rubles a month.

URSC is also pledging to take recruitment of young talent seriously by creating special programs to attract young talent to work on challenging and interesting projects, increasing spending on training threefold by 2016.

Read the full story.

Reports: Russia Planning Alternative to ISS

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From left, Expedition 38 Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin of Roscosmos, and Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio of NASA, smile and wave as they hold an Olympic torch that will be flown with them to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingals)

From left, Expedition 38 Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin of Roscosmos, and Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio of NASA, smile and wave as they hold an Olympic torch that will be flown with them to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingals)

Russian media are reporting on plans for the country to pull out of the International Space Station by 2020:

The Russian space agency is reportedly considering construction of a high-altitude orbital station starting from 2017. This means that Moscow may walk away from the ISS after 2020, when its obligations under the current project are fulfilled.

Kommersant newspaper reported that the manned space exploration program for the period until 2050 implies step-by-step assembly of a new scientific space station, citing its sources in Central Research Institute for Engineering Technology, Roscosmos space agency’s leading space scientific and research enterprise.

The principal difference from the currently operating International Space Station will be the new Russian station’s high-altitude orbit with a 64.8-degree inclination, which would make up to 90 percent of the Russian territory visible from on board, including Arctic shelf seas.

From the ISS, which has an orbit inclination of 51.6 degrees, no more than 5 percent of the Russian territory is currently visible.

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Roscosmos Gets New Deputy Director General

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Mikhail_Khailov (Credit: Roscosmos)

Mikhail_Khailov (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — By decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of October 7, 2014, Mikhail Khailov was appointed the deputy head of Roscosmos.

Mikhail Khailov was born in Moscow on July 7, 1973.

In 1996 he graduated from the Moscow State Aviation Institute – spacecraft and upper stages, a mechanical engineer.

In the space industry for more than 24 years. Passed the way from apprentice mechanic mechanical-assembly operations to the deputy head of the bureau “Scientific and Production Association. SA Lavochkin. ”

Since 2008, the structure of the Federal Space Agency.

Prior to his appointment to the post of deputy head of the Federal Space Agency – headed the unmanned space systems. Has a class rank of counselor of state civil service of the Russian Federation 2 class.

Putin Takes Direct Control of Russian Military Industrial Complex

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Vladimir Putin inspects construction at Vostochny. (Credit:  Presidential Press and Information Office)

Vladimir Putin inspects construction at Vostochny. (Credit: Presidential Press and Information Office)

Russian Leader-for-Life Vladimir Putin has tightened his already tight control over Russia’s military industrial complex, taking personal control of the commission responsible for carrying 0ut Russia’s defense orders and demoting Dmitry “Trampoline Rocket” Rogozin in the process.

The Moscow Times reports that Putin warned of burgeoning security threats facing Russia as he took personal control of the Military-Industrial Commission. Under Rogozin, the commission has been unable to break a cycle of “widespread corruption, inefficiency and incompetence” that have made it difficult for contractors to deliver as promised.

“I hope the commission’s new status [under the presidential administration] and its broad powers will allow it to better coordinate the interaction between the Defense Ministry and other departments and enterprises of the military-industrial complex,” Putin said Wednesday.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, the commission’s previous chief, has been dumped down to the position of deputy following the reshuffle.

The new arrangement “will increase the efficiency of state policy in the military-industrial sphere and the … security of the country,” Putin said during a meeting of the commission, according to a transcript on the Kremlin’s website.

Rogozin’s role had been to oversee the defense and space sectors. Despite his demotion, he will continue to have a major role in the space industry, which is being consolidated under a single government-run corporation. Last week, Putin gave him the responsibility for overseeing the completion of the new Vostochny spaceport, which had been managed by Roscosmos.

Putin’s move was made amid a major effort to modernize Russia’s military forces and capabilities. Russia also wants to reduce its dependence on foreign suppliers at a time when it’s facing sanctions over its annexation of Crimea and hostile actions in eastern Ukraine.

NanoRacks Continues Investigation of ISS CubeSat Deployer Problems

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International Space Station solar array panels, Earth’s horizon and the blackness of space provide the backdrop for the Feb. 11 deployment of the first of 33 small satellites using the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer. (Credit: NASA)

International Space Station solar array panels, Earth’s horizon and the blackness of space provide the backdrop for the Feb. 11 deployment of the first of 33 small satellites using the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer. (Credit: NASA)

NanoRacks Update

The investigation of the anomalies on the CubeSat deployers continues and has three main components:

  1. To understand the root cause of the behavior of the deployers
  2. To put corrective actions into place
  3. To plan a resumption in CubeSat deployments

We believe we are making progress in understanding the root cause of the anomalies. The team of NanoRacks and the CubeSat deployer manufacturer Quad M are now able to duplicate on the ground the anomalies observed in space.

Yesterday we showed the results to a NASA working group. In addition, NanoRacks has brought in a team from the Aerospace Corporation to assist NanoRacks in the investigation and in finding a pathway for future deployments. All parties are reviewing historical and new test data to validate the preliminary root cause we have identified. At the same time, the broad root cause analysis continues as NASA and NanoRacks explore all possible causes.

NanoRacks is appreciative of the hard work of NASA and the other ISS partners, including Roscosmos and JAXA, as they examine and seek to help resolve the situation. We are also appreciative for the many notes and calls we have received from the industry in support for this ground-breaking effort to stimulate the CubeSat market.

We will provide further information when appropriate.

Thanks,

The NanoRacks Team

Report: Russia Won’t Meet 2018 Launch Date From Vostochny

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OKA-T spacecraft (Credit: RSC Energia)

OKA-T spacecraft (Credit: RSC Energia)

A Russian plan to launch cosmonauts into orbit from the new Vostochny spaceport in 2018 appears to have been abandoned, but officials have come up with a way to sort of meet that deadline.

‘RussianSpaceWeb.com reports the current plan is to launch a human-tended microgravity laboratory called Oka-T into space in 2018. The free-flying laboratory will conduct material sciences experiments and would be periodically serviced by cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station.

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Putin Visits Vostochny, Tells Officials to Hurry Up

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Vladimir Putin inspects construction at Vostochny. (Credit:  Presidential Press and Information Office)

Vladimir Putin inspects construction at Vostochny. (Credit: Presidential Press and Information Office)

Russian President for Life Vladimir Putin paid a visit to the new Vostochny spaceport on Tuesday, telling officials there to get back on schedule, hire more workers and stay within budget.

“I would like to stress that at this point construction work at the launch pad and technical support facilities is lagging behind 30 to 55 days,” Putin said. He called for paying “due attention to that.”

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Russians Excelling at Killing Creatures in Space Lately

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Foton M4 capsule after landing. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Foton M4 capsule after landing. (Credit: Roscosmos)

It can’t be easy being either a gecko or a deputy prime minister in Russia these days.

If you’re a gecko, the chances are that some idiot scientist is going to stick you in a capsule and launch you into space with a bunch of other geckos. They will stick a camera in there and film you having space sex.

If that’s not humiliating enough, the chances of you coming back alive from such a trip is roughly 50-50 because the engineering geniuses who designed the spacecraft don’t seem to know what the hell they’re doing.

Continue reading ‘Russians Excelling at Killing Creatures in Space Lately’

Russian Space Geckos Die in Space

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Foton M4 capsule after landing. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Foton M4 capsule after landing. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Sad news to report from Russia after the Foton M4 capsule landed on Monday:

Every last one of Russia’s famed reptilian cosmonauts, known affectionately as the “sex geckos” owing to the carnal nature of their space voyage, has died, the Federal Space Agency revealed Monday.

The geckos had been on a two-month mission launched to facilitate research on the effects of zero-gravity on reproductive systems.

Last week, Roscosmos announced abruptly that the mission had reached completion earlier than anticipated — after a mere 44 days…

“All the geckos, unfortunately, died,” the statement said, adding that the exact date, time and cause of death will be determined by specialists in Moscow, the Federal Space Agency said in a joint news release with the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute for Medical-Biological Problems on Monday.

In happier news, the gecko’s fellow space-travelers — a team of flies — survived the flight and reproduced successfully, the statement said.

Read the full story.