Tag: Roscosmos

Roscosmos COO Arrested on Theft Charges

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Roscosmos_logoFrom the Here We Go Again Department:

Roscosmos COO Vladimir Evdokimov has been arrested Thursday on fraud charges. He has been accused of stealing over $3 Mln, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the court proceedings on Thursday.

On Thursday, Moscow’s Basmanny district court arrested Roscosmos COO Vladimir Evdokimov for two months until January 30. “Meet the investigator’s request and implement a measure of restraint in the form of detention,” judge Artur Karpov said when announcing the court’s decision.

Evdokimov faces up to 10 years of imprisonment under large scale fraud charges if found guilty. The investigation has found that Evdokimov has committed fraud, stealing more than $3 million from the Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG.

The investigator said that Evdokimov should be put into a pre-detention center as he could flee the country to hide elsewhere like other defendants in this case have done.

Evdokimov himself said that he does not admit his guilt. He pointed out that he provide his testimony and is willing to cooperate with the investigation.

The Russian space program has been plagued by repeated corruption scandals and numerous launch failures in recent years. On Thursday, a Progress supply ship bound for the International Space Station burned up in the atmosphere after its Soyuz booster failed.

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Another Year, Another Russian Launch Failure

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The Progress 65 spacecraft is pictured at its launch pad Nov. 29 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Credit: Roscosmos)

The Progress 65 spacecraft is pictured at its launch pad Nov. 29 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Credit: Roscosmos)

They came so close this time.

In another four days, the Russians would have gone a full year without losing a spacecraft in a launch mishap. That’s something that hasn’t happened since 2009-10. In another 30 days, they would have gone an entire calendar year without a launch failure.

The loss of the Progress 65 cargo ship during its launch aboard a Soyuz-U rocket today marks the latest in a string of failures stretching back more than seven years. Since May 2009, Russia has suffered 13 launch failures and four partial failures involving its stable of satellite boosters. (See table below)

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Soyuz Launcher Suffers “Anomaly” During Progress Launch

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The Progress 65 spacecraft is pictured at its launch pad Nov. 29 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Credit: Roscosmos)

The Progress 65 spacecraft is pictured at its launch pad Nov. 29 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Mission Update From NASA
Dec. 1, 2016 — 11:29 a.m. EST

Launch of the ISS Progress 65 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan occurred at 9:51 a.m. EST (8:51 p.m. Baikonur time). An anomaly occurred sometime during the third stage operation. As we get updates from Roscosmos, we will provide them.

Our astronauts and the Russian cosmonauts are safe aboard the station. Consumables aboard the station are at good levels.

An H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)-6 from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is scheduled to launch to the space station on Friday, Dec. 9.

To join the online conversation about the International Space Station and Progress 65 on Twitter, follow @Space_Station. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/connect.

Editor’s Note, 9:32 a.m. PST: Reliable Twitter reports say Mission Control in Houston has informed International Space Station Commander Shane Kimbrough that the launch of the Progress supply ship has failed. The Russians have sent their Progress team home for the day and are forming a state commission to investigate the failure.

Editor’s Note, 9:11 a.m. PST: It appears the third stage may have cut out early, which would have put Progress in lower than planned orbit. There are unconfirmed social media reports from Russia of a large explosion in the sky, a large bang and falling debris, so Progress may have reentered the atmosphere. Let me stress these are unconfirmed reports at this time.

I’ll update this story as we learn more. You can also follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/spacecom.

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New Crew Launches to Space Station

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In this one second exposure photograph, the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft is seen launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

In this one second exposure photograph, the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft is seen launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (NASA PR) — Three crew members representing the United States, Russia and France are on their way to the International Space Station after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:20 p.m. EST Thursday, Nov. 17 (2:20 a.m. Nov. 18, Baikonur time).

The Soyuz spacecraft carrying Peggy Whitson of NASA, Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), is scheduled to dock with the space station’s Rassvet module at 5:01 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. NASA TV coverage of docking will begin at 4:15 p.m. Hatches are scheduled to open about 7:35 p.m., with NASA TV coverage starting at 6:45 p.m.

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New ISS Crew Set to Launch on Thursday

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A Soyuz rocket ready to launch a new crew to the International Space Station. (Credit: ESA–Manuel Pedoussaut)

A Soyuz rocket ready to launch a new crew to the International Space Station. (Credit: ESA–Manuel Pedoussaut)

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (ESA PR) — On Thursday, ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and Roscosmos commander Oleg Novitsky will take a lift to the top of this 50 m-tall rocket, climb aboard and wait for the trip of a lifetime. At 20:20 GMT the engines will ignite and propel the trio 1640 km in less than 10 minutes – averaging a 50 km/h increase every second for nine minutes.

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Roscosmos Publishes ISS Crew Rotations for 2017

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The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) experiment aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) experiment aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

PRIME CREWS

ISS-51/52

  • YURCHIKHIN, Fedor — on board engineer of ISS-51, commander of ISS-52, commander of Soyuz MS manned transportation spacecraft (ROSCOSMOS)
  • FISCHER, Jack — on board engineer of ISS-51, ISS-52, on board engineer-1 of Soyuz MS manned transportation spacecraft (NASA)

ISS-52/53

  • RYAZANSKY, Sergey — on board engineer of ISS-52, ISS-53, commander of Soyuz MS manned transportation spacecraft (ROSCOSMOS)
  • BRESNIK, Randolph — on board engineer of ISS-52, commander of ISS-53, onboard engineer-1 of Soyuz MS manned transportation spacecraft (NASA)
  • NESPOLI, Paolo — on board engineer of ISS-52, ISS-53, on board engineer-2 of Soyuz MS manned transportation spacecraft (ESA)

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Space Station Crew Returns Safely to Earth

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Kate Rubins after her return to Earth. (Credit: NASA TV)

Kate Rubins after her return to Earth. (Credit: NASA TV)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA astronaut and Expedition 49 crew member Kate Rubins, who became the first person to sequence DNA in space, returned to Earth Saturday after a successful mission aboard the International Space Station.

Rubins and her crewmates Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, touched down in their Soyuz MS-01 at 11:58 p.m. EDT (9:58 a.m. Oct. 30, Kazakhstan time) southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.

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NASA TV to Air Return of Space Station Crew Members

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Expedition 49 crew members Kate Rubins of NASA, Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are concluding a 115-day mission of science and research aboard the International Space Station and are set to return to Earth Oct. 29, 2016. (Credit: NASA)

Expedition 49 crew members Kate Rubins of NASA, Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are concluding a 115-day mission of science and research aboard the International Space Station and are set to return to Earth Oct. 29, 2016. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Three crew members on the International Space Station are scheduled to depart the orbital outpost Saturday, Oct. 29, with coverage of activities beginning the day before on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Expedition 49 Commander Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Flight Engineers Kate Rubins of NASA and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, will undock their Soyuz spacecraft from the space station at 8:37 p.m. EDT Saturday and land in Kazakhstan at 11:59 p.m. (9:59 a.m. Oct. 30, Kazakhstan time).

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New Crew Arrives on International Space Station

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Video Caption: After launching on Oct. 19, in their Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Expedition 49/50 Soyuz Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos and Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough of NASA arrived at the International Space Station on Oct. 21 to complete their two-day journey.

New Crew Launches to Space Station

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The Soyuz MS-02 rocket is launched with Expedition 49 Soyuz commander Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos, flight engineer Shane Kimbrough of NASA, and flight engineer Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.  Ryzhikov, Kimbrough, and Borisenko will spend the next four months living and working aboard the International Space Station.  (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

The Soyuz MS-02 rocket is launched with Expedition 49 Soyuz commander Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos, flight engineer Shane Kimbrough of NASA, and flight engineer Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Ryzhikov, Kimbrough, and Borisenko will spend the next four months living and working aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (NASA PR) — Three crew members representing the United States and Russia are on their way to the International Space Station after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:05 a.m. EDT Wednesday (2:05 p.m. Baikonur time).

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Next Space Station Crew Set for Launch, Live on NASA TV

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At the Integration Facility at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Expedition 49 crewmembers Shane Kimbrough of NASA (left) and Sergey Ryzhikov (center) and Andrey Borisenko (right) of Roscosmos pose for pictures Sept. 9 in front of their Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft during a pre-launch training fit check. Kimbrough, Ryzhikov and Borisenko will launch Sept. 24, Kazakh time on the Soyuz MS-02 vehicle for a five-month mission on the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Three crew members of Expedition 49/50 are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station at 4:05 a.m. EDT Wednesday, Oct. 19 (2:05 p.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Live launch coverage will begin at 3:15 a.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

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Soyuz Repaired, Crew Flight Reset for Oct. 19

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

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

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — After reviewing the documents on operations that were carried out to repair the technical malfunction of the Soyuz MS-02 manned transport vehicle (MTV) the State Commission resolved that the space ship may be launched to the International Space Station (ISS).

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Next ISS Crew Launch Postponed

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Expedition 49-50 crew members (from left) Shane Kimbrough, Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko.

Expedition 49-50 crew members (from left) Shane Kimbrough, Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko.

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Roscosmos decided to postpone the planned September 23, 2016 launch of the manned spacecraft Soyuz MS-02 for technical reasons after tests at the Baikonur Space Center.

The launch date of the spacecraft will be announced later.

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RSC Energia Designing New Cargo Ship to Replace Progress

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Energia_logoMOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — RSC Energia plans by the end of 2016 to complete the preliminary design of the cargo spacecraft with increased lifting capacity (TGC GHG) for the transport and logistics of the International Space Station (ISS).

The new ships will be delivered in a single flight to the station more cargo than the Progress MS, which are able to take on board not more than 2,600 kg.

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Russia Looking to Reduce ISS Crew Size

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ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Timothy Peake, NASA astronaut Timothy Kopra and Roscosmos cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko (front) are set to depart the International Space Station and return to Earth June 18, 2016. Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Jeff Williams (back) will be joined in July by NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. (Credit: NASA)

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Timothy Peake, NASA astronaut Timothy Kopra and Roscosmos cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko (front) are set to depart the International Space Station and return to Earth June 18, 2016. Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Jeff Williams (back) will be joined in July by NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. (Credit: NASA)

Roscosmos is looking to reduce the size of Russian crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) from three to two, Izvestiya reports.

“We sent a letter to the participants of the ISS program – we want to hear their views on how we reduce the crew and when, there are nuances,” Sergei Krikalev, director of manned programs of the state corporation Roscosmos told Izvestia. “We are interested in the opinion of the Mission Control Center, the Institute of Biomedical Problems (RAS lead agency on the subject of Human Spaceflight — Izvestiya), our ISS partners. The intention to reduce the crew due to the fact that we have reduced the number of cargo ships sent to the ISS, as well as awareness of the need to increase the effectiveness of the program.”

The story says Roscosmos’ budget for space station operations was reduced as part of a severe cut in the space program’s funding. Russia’s national budget has been under severe pressure due to a reduction in oil revenues and Western sanctions over its annexation of Crimea.

Another factor is that the three cosmonauts aboard the station apparently don’t have enough to do. This problem is a result of the severe quality control problems that  have bedeviled the Russian space program in recent years.

Russia had planned to expand its part of the station by adding the Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) and two related modules to support it between 2013 and 2015. However, Khrunichev botched the job manufacturing the MLM. An inspection of the module after it was completed found debris in pipes and other flaws. Now, the launches are planned for 2018 and 2019.

“If you look at the original plan, we have assumed the launch multipurpose laboratory module for the International Space Station, and only then increase the crew,” Krikalev explained in an interview with Izvestiya. But MLM launch postponed several times, and the crew nevertheless increased. From my point of view, three people in the Russian segment, taking into account a set of equipment, which is now – it’s a bust.”

Reducing the crew size will free up seats on the Soyuz transport to carry space tourists, which would bring in funding for the hard-pressed space program. Russia has not been able to fly tourists since the American space shuttle retired in 2011, forcing the Soyuz to shoulder the entire burden of taking crews to the space station.

At a press conference earlier this week, NASA officials acknowledged they had received Russia’s proposal for the crew reduction.

“At this point it’s strictly a proposal they put on the table, and we’ll look at it,” said Kenny Todd, NASA’s space station operations integration manager. “As we do with all these kinds of things, we’ll trade it against whatever risk it might put into the program. First and foremost, the risk to our crew on board and the station itself. And then from there we start looking at the options and see what we can do as a partnership to try to either accommodate it, or help them realize why that’s a bad thing.”