Tag: Roscosmos

Russia Cuts Space Spending Forecast, Dumps Super Heavy Booster

22 Comments
Inaugural Angara A5 launch (Credit: Khrunichev)

Inaugural Angara A5 launch (Credit: Khrunichev)

With Russia facing a severe economic downturn, Roscosmos’ 10-year spending plan for 2016-2025 will be cut by 10 percent to 3.4 trillion rubles ($58.6 billion). A major casualty is a $12 billion plan to develop a super-heavy booster capable of lifting 70 metric tons into low Earth orbit (LEO).

Continue reading ‘Russia Cuts Space Spending Forecast, Dumps Super Heavy Booster’

Roscosmos to Restart Space Tourist Flights to ISS

55 Comments
Expedition 37 takes off for the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

Expedition 37 takes off for the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

Faced with the loss of a NASA contract to transport astronauts to the International Space Station, Roscosmos plans to restart a program to fly tourists to the orbiting laboratory in 2018:

“We plan compensating for the fall of demand for manned spaceships of the Soyuz family after 2018 by resuming short-term commercial expeditions to the Russian segment of the ISS,” Izvestia daily quoted a quarterly report posted by Energiya space corporation, the federal agency’s main subsidiary in the field of manned orbital flights.

Continue reading ‘Roscosmos to Restart Space Tourist Flights to ISS’

One-Year ISS Crew Set to Launch

Comments
The prime crew members for International Space Station Expedition 43 take a break in training for a crew portrait. From left are Flight Engineers Scott Kelly of NASA, Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos. Kelly and Kornienko will be spending an entire year in space on board the ISS. (Credit: Roscosmos/GCTC)

The prime crew members for International Space Station Expedition 43 take a break in training for a crew portrait. From left are Flight Engineers Scott Kelly of NASA, Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos. Kelly and Kornienko will be spending an entire year in space on board the ISS. (Credit:
Roscosmos/GCTC)

NASA PR — The first one-year crew for the International Space Station is set to launch Friday, March 27. NASA Television will provide extensive coverage of the launch and the crew’s arrival to the orbital laboratory.

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will spend a year living and working aboard the space station and will launch with cosmonaut Gennady Padalka. The trio will become part of the station’s Expedition 43 crew.

Continue reading ‘One-Year ISS Crew Set to Launch’

Roscosmos Linked Bank Placed in Bankruptcy

11 Comments
Vladimir_Putin

Vladimir Putin

While the body count of prominent critics of Leader-for-Life Vladimir Putin rose again last week, the re-nationalization of Russia’s space industry continued to gather steam with a financial move that shows the benefits of being a friend of the Russian president.

The move involved FundServisBank, which was placed in administration (bankruptcy) under the Deposit Insurance Agency. The move was portrayed as an urgent response to a banking crisis caused by western sanctions over Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the fall in value of the ruble.

Or was it?

“From a purely economic point of view the bank has no problems … you start to wonder who is behind this,” spokesman Grigory Belkin told The Moscow Times.

Yes, who indeed might be behind it? And why?

Continue reading ‘Roscosmos Linked Bank Placed in Bankruptcy’

Russia Looks to Extend ISS Operations to 2024 Before Splitting Off

145 Comments
The International Space Station, backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth's atmosphere. (Credit: NASA)

The International Space Station, backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth’s atmosphere. (Credit: NASA)

The Russian space agency Roscosmos is looking to continue operations of the International Space Station (ISS) until 2024, giving a boost to NASA’s effort to extend the life of the facility from the current 2020 deadline.

However, Roscosmos’ Scientific and Technical Council (STC) said the space agency plans to remove the Russian elements of ISS in 2024 in order to form the basis of a separate space station. That decision would end NASA’s hope of extending station operations to 2028.

Continue reading ‘Russia Looks to Extend ISS Operations to 2024 Before Splitting Off’

Russia Severing Ties With Ukraine on Dnepr, Zenit Launch Programs

Comments
Dnepr launch vehicle. (Credit: ISC Kosmotras)

Dnepr launch vehicle. (Credit: ISC Kosmotras)

Roscosmos officials made announcements this week that they would be suspending a joint program with Ukraine to launch Dnepr rockets and were no longer interested in buying Ukrainian Zenit boosters, deepening problems for that embattled nation’s space program and its struggling Yuzhmash factory.

Dneprs are converted SS-18 ballistic missiles that are converted into satellite launchers by Ukraine’s Yuzhmash launch vehicle manufacturer. The boosters are launched by the Moscow-based Moscow-based Kosmotras International Space Company, which is Russian-Ukrainian joint venture.

Russian media report three Dnepr launches scheduled this year will be carried out. However, The Moscow Times reports the future of the venture remains cloudy. It is possible the program will end, or Russia will convert the missiles to satellite launchers without Ukrainian participation.

Continue reading ‘Russia Severing Ties With Ukraine on Dnepr, Zenit Launch Programs’

Is Russian Space Industry Consolidation Creating a Black Hole?

55 Comments
Russian President Vladimir Putin looks over plans for Vostochny. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Russian President Vladimir Putin looks over plans for Vostochny. (Credit: Roscosmos)

A couple of stories in The Moscow Times provide some insight into the re-nationalization of Russia’s space industry.  One story claims the changes will create a giant black hole that will suck in billions of rubles while producing little of value. The other spotlights the firing of a prominent space analyst who dared oppose the changes.

Continue reading ‘Is Russian Space Industry Consolidation Creating a Black Hole?’

Roscosmos Merged With United Rocket & Space Corporation

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

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

The  Russian space agency Roscosmos is being merged with the United Rocket and Space Corporation, the government-owned company that is consolidating all of the nation’s space assets under its control. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin Tweeted:

The Government expects Roscosmos to put forward a draft law on creating a state corporation in the coming days http://t.co/U0RHdqg6Yg Putin supported Medvedev’s proposal to create a state corporation on the basis of Roscosmos and United Rocket and Space Corporation

He is, of course, referring to President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The Russian government has Tweeted a picture of Medvedev meeting with URSC Director General Igor Komarov, who is apparently now the head of Roscosmos. That means Oleg Ostapenko is out as Roscosmos chief.

The appears appears to be modeled on the Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation, which consolidated Russia’s nuclear industry. It’s an interesting move given that the United States and Europe are looking to the private sector to be innovative and carry more of the burden in space.

Video Look at Upcoming Year-Long Mission on ISS

35 Comments

Video Caption: The launch of Soyuz TMA-16M will return three veteran space fliers to the International Space Station, with two of them embarking on the first ever yearlong mission to this vehicle.

Roscosmos Deputy Throws Cold Water on New Space Station, Chinese Visit to ISS

24 Comments
The Shenzhou 10 crew prior to launch. (Credit: CNSA)

The Shenzhou 10 crew prior to launch. (Credit: CNSA)

Roscosmos deputy head Sergey Savelyev said Russia has no current plans to build a successor to the International Space Station before 2025. He also characterized the possibility of the Chinese Shenzhou crewed spacecraft docking at ISS as highly improbable, the Russian news agency TASS reports.

“A possibility of creating a new Russian space station does exist in principle. Such project may be implemented in international cooperation, with China for example. But neither the current, nor the draft of a future federal space program have such provisions. Such project can be linked with the lifecycle of the International Space Station,” he said.

Continue reading ‘Roscosmos Deputy Throws Cold Water on New Space Station, Chinese Visit to ISS’