Tag: Roscosmos

Roscosmos Compensated for Progress Loss

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Progress 60P on approach to ISS. (Ctedit: NASA TV)

Progress 60P on approach to ISS. (Ctedit: NASA TV)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Roscosmos has received 1.9 billion rubles [$29.8 million] in insurance compensation from Sogas and Ingosstrakh due to the destruction of Progress spacecraft. Sogaz and Ingosstrakh insurance companies have fully compensated for the damage caused by the emergency launch of Progress M-27M cargo transport spacecraft on April 28, 2015, from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

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Russia Commits to Operating International Space Station Until 2024

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Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

Some good news for NASA came last week when the Russian government formally committed to operating the International Space Station until 2024. The orbiting facility had been previously slated to be decommissioned in 2020.

The Russian space agency Roscosmos is reportedly to have fought hard for the four-year extension despite tensions between the United States and Russia over Ukraine.

Earlier this year, the Canadian government agreed to continue participating in the program until 2024. The European Space Agency and Japanese government have made similar commitments yet. Japan is widely expected to sign on to the extension.

 

Putin Approves Roscosmos Reorganization as Officials Eye Export Sales to China

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Roscosmos_logoRussian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law to consolidate the nation’s space industry under the control of a revamped Roscosmos as officials eye export sales to China as a way to offset budget cuts in the nation’s space program.

The law will combine the United Rocket and Space Corporation with Roscosmos, which will become a state corporation. The new company will be led by former auto industry executive Igor Komarov.

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Russian Duma Unanimously Approves Space Industry Consolidation Plan

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Roscosmos_logoMOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — On July 1, 2015, a draft federal law “On the State Corporation for Space Roskosmos” and amendments to some legislative acts in connection with the creation of the Civil Code “Roskosmos” in the third reading the deputies of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

The draft federal law the deputies of the State Duma voted unanimously.

Further, according to the procedure of negotiation, the bill within three working days will be sent to the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation for consideration at the plenary session. If approved by the Federation Council, the document will be submitted for approval to the President of the Russian Federation.

Law is aimed at improving the management of space activities, preservation and development of scientific and production potential of the Russian space industry.

A Look at the ISS Flight Manifest

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Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

There was a lot of discussion on Sunday about the impact of the loss of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft on the International Space Station. NASA officials said the ISS crew was in no danger from a supply standpoint, and they said they would stick to the existing schedule for crew rotation but might change the cargo manifest.

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Russian Space Program Looks to Mass Recruitment, Consolidating Engine Manufacturers

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Dmitry Medvedev meets with Igor Komarov. (Credit: Government of Russian Federation)

Dmitry Medvedev meets with Igor Komarov. (Credit: Government of Russian Federation)

A couple of updates from Russia.

Recruitment Drive: Russia’s crumbling, accident prone space program needs to recruit more than 110,000 university graduates over the next 10 years to work in jobs that currently average 44,500 rubles ($820) per month. But not to worry, the Russian government has pledge to double that average wage to $1,640 per month by 2025.

Oh, good luck with that. I’m sure people will be rushing to take jobs where they can be prosecuted and jailed for screwing up and wonder whether their pay is being stolen by their bosses.

Industry Consolidation Continues:  Russia’s rocket production companies will be consolidated under one roof, Roscosmos head Igor Komarov said on Wednesday.

“Industry reform means the elimination of redundancies and the strengthening of enterprises’ horizontal connections. And today we have taken the first step toward this,” Komarov told the Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper. The consolidation will include NPO Energomash, which makes the RD-180 rocket engine used in United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket.

Any sort of large consolidation is by nature a very messy process that causes a lot of confusion and layoffs while tanking morale until things settle down again. One wonders if this will cause more problems with reliability in the short and even long term.

Roscosmos Reaches Milestone in Soyuz Launch Complex Construction

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Soyuz launch complex at Vostochny. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Soyuz launch complex at Vostochny. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The experts of Roscosmos’s contractor organizations have finished the assembly of Soyuz-2 carrier rocket launch system at Vostochny cosmodrome one month ahead of the schedule and performed the first commissioning.

In particular, they have checked the operability of the electrohydraulic equipment and metal constructions, the sensors and the terminal switches have been set up. The supporting service towers of the top chord, holding the carrier rocket before the launch, have been brought together and folded back for the first time.

The object’s commissioning was performed by the launch system developer, FSUE TsENKI division NIISK, electric equipment developer FSUE TsENKI division TsENKI North-West, hydraulic equipment developer Sigal research institute (Kovrov city), TsENKI-North, representatives of the Tyazhmash launch system manufacturer, ST-1 assembly organization, and FSUE TsENKI division NIISK operation department. The tests were carried out successfully and without irregularities.

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Russia Heavily Dependent on U.S. for Satellite Components

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

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

The problems in the Russian space industry run much deeper than launch vehicle quality control.

Much has been made of the fact that the US has become dependent on certain Russian rocket motors and Russian space vehicles to service the International Space Station, but Nikolay Testoyedov, a specialist on the Russian space program, says that the dependency is actually the other way around.

According to him, up to 75 percent of the electronic components for Russian satellites come from the US. Consequently, if it retaliates should Moscow refuse to sell RD-180 rocket motors to Washington – which Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has threatened – Russia’s satellite program would be frozen for at least two years.

“The imported electronic components in our satellites represent 25 to 75 percent of the total in communications; in military ones, somewhat less; in commercial ones, more,” Testoyedov says. Of these imported components, approximately 83-87 percent come from the United States thus giving Washington the whip hand.

This issue has heated up in recent days given that the United States has suggested that it will intensify its sanctions regime against Russia because of Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. Testoyedov says he expects sanctions to be imposed on precisely this sector of production because of its national security implications.

Alleged Vostochny Embezzler Captured Driving Extremely Expensive Car

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Construction at Vostochny. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Construction at Vostochny. (Credit: Roscosmos)

So much for keeping a low profile.

Balarus security forces captured a man accused of embezzling 4 million rubles ($75,000) from Russia’s Vostochny spaceport project as he was driving his diamond-encrusted Mercedes. Officials have not named the man, who is described as a 45-year old Georgian national.

Police in the Amur region put the shamed director on the international wanted list and he was located in Minsk, where he drove a luxury Mercedes car decorated with Swarovski diamonds. According to local media, it cost $300,000 (16 million roubles) to have the vehicle covered.

It was inside this car that he was detained by Belarus Special Forces on Monday, with the arrest recorded by officers and then distributed on the Internet.

In the recording it is clear that the director promises to give all the money back within a week. He will now be sent to Russia where police will continue their investigation.

Read all about it here.

Roscosmos Wants to Speed Up Transition From Proton to Angara

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FAILI! A Proton takes a nose dive at Baikonur. (Credit: Tsenki TV)

FAILI! A Proton takes a nose dive at Baikonur. (Credit: Tsenki TV)

The head of the Russian space agency, Igor Komarov, wants to speed up the replacement of the trouble-plagued Proton launch vehicle with new Angara rockets, TASS reports.

‘It is necessary to expedite the transition of launches from Protons to the Angara rocket,” he said at a meeting held by Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin in the Siberian city of Omsk.

Vice-Premier Rogozin said last week Russia should switch to digital designing in the space rocket industry, gradually giving up Proton boosters and opting for other models, like the Angara rocket.

“Generally, our conclusion is also related to the need to switch exclusively to digital designing and modelling of this sort of situations and, of course, it is necessary to expedite the transition to modern carrier rockets like the Angara, gradually giving up the Protons,” Rogozin said.

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