Khrunichev Center to End Production of Proton Rockets This Year

Proton rocket lifts off on July 31, 2020. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Within the framework of the planned program of launches of the Proton-M heavy class launch vehicles, the State Space Research and Production Center named after M.V. Khrunichev (part of the Roscosmos State Corporation) has four rockets left to manufacture. Currently, ten Proton-M launch vehicles are in storage, and this year it is planned to complete the manufacture of the last four rockets.

The Proton is being replaced by the Angara-A5 heavy-class launch vehicle, which successfully launched in 2014, 2020 and 2021. as part of flight design tests. The launch of a full technological cycle for the production of Angara launch vehicles on the basis of the Omsk branch of the Khrunichev Center of the Polet Production Association (part of Roscosmos) is a priority task for the Roscosmos State Corporation.

Angara-A5 launch (Credit: Russian Aerospace Forces)

The operation of the Proton space rocket complex at the Baikonur Cosmodrome began in 1965. At present, 426 launches of the Proton launch vehicle have been made in its various configurations. The main configuration for launching federal and commercial payloads is the Proton-M launch vehicle with the Breeze-M upper stage.

New Chairman Takes Charge as India Space Agency Struggles to Launch Satellites and Begin Human Spaceflight

New ISRO Chairman Shri. S. Somanath (left) takes over from K. Sivan. (Credit: ISRO)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A new chairman has taken over the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) at a crucial time as the space agency continues to struggles with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the challenge of becoming only the fourth nation capable of launching astronauts into orbit.

(more…)

Russian Government Funds Marathon IoT and Skif Satellite Projects

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Projects for the creation of multi-satellite systems named Marathon IoT and Skif, implemented by the company Information Satellite Systems named after academician M.F. Reshetnev (ISS, part of the State Corporation Roscosmos), received government funding.

For the implementation of two large-scale space projects, the ISS company was provided with subsidies from the federal budget, allocated in the direction of “Development of promising multi-satellite systems” of the state program “Space activities of Russia”.

The project of the low-orbit system Marathon IoT, designed to provide IoT services, provides for the launch of 264 microsatellites into an orbit with an altitude of 750 km. The workplaces for their assembly and testing are supposed to be located at the existing production facilities of the enterprise. The launch of the first prototype spacecraft is scheduled for 2024.

The multi-satellite system Skif to provide broadband Internet access is planned to be created on the basis of 12 small satellites, which will operate in an orbit with an altitude of 8,070 km. To date, within the framework of this project, the ISS company has already launched work on the creation of the Skif-D experimental spacecraft for testing the main technical solutions and protecting the orbital-frequency resource. Its launch is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2022.

NASA Sets Coverage for Russian Spacewalk Outside Space Station

Pictured from left are the Soyuz MS-19 crew spacecraft and the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module with the Prichal docking module attached as the International Space Station orbited 266 miles above the Indian Ocean off the western coast of Australia. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Two Russian cosmonauts will venture outside the International Space Station at about 7 a.m. EST Wednesday, Jan. 19, to conduct a spacewalk to ready the new Prichal module for future Russian visiting spacecraft.

Live coverage of the spacewalk will begin at 6 a.m. on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

(more…)

The Second Life of the Gagarin Start Launch Complex

Gagarin Start launch complex at Baikonur Cosmodrome. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Translated from Russian by Google Translate

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — The place where modern cosmonautics was born is known for sure: it is the legendary “Gagarin Launch”, site No. 1 of the Baikonur cosmodrome. It was here that the launch of the first satellite opened the Space Age of mankind. It was from here that Yuri Gagarin ascended into orbit on April 12, 1961.

(more…)

RKS to Use Photonic Technologies to Control Space Debris

Location of the 24,000 debris larger than 10 cm in low orbit in 2020. (Credits: NASA)

Translated from Russian by Google Translate

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — To control near-earth space and observe artificial objects in near-earth orbit, specialists of Russian Space Systems (RKS, part of the Roscosmos State Corporation) propose to use the latest photonic technologies and original methods of ground processing of optical information. The corresponding system for monitoring “space debris” was developed and patented by the RKS to solve one of the most urgent tasks today – cleaning the orbit from exhausted artificial Earth satellites, various space objects and their fragments.

(more…)

Roscosmos’ Oxana Wolf: “We Want Private Companies to Succeed”

Oxsana Wolf (Credit: Roscosmos)

Translated from Russian by Google Translate

Oxana Wolf, Roscosmos Deputy Director of the Department of Advanced Programs and the Sphere Project, told the Russian Space publication about the progress of the process in terms of easing the administrative requirements for the work of business, the balance between desires and real opportunities, and how space universities can help entrepreneurs.

***

Q: Oksana Valerievna, have you managed to bring clarity this year with regard to the normative and legal documents governing cooperation between Roscosmos and private business?

A: Business is progressing, but not as fast as we would like. During this time we did not sit idly by, but the volume of tasks is very large!

(more…)

Russia’s Sphere Satellite Constellation Moves Toward Implementation

Sphere constellation satellite orbits. (Credit: Roscosmos)
  • 264-satellite constellation will provide broadband and Earth observation capabilities
  • Russia’s first mega constellation would be deployed in medium orbit
  • Government plans to spend US $370 million through 2024

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — After several stages of discussions and approvals in the government, the Federal Sphere project received a development plan supported by funding. In the coming years, emphasis will be placed on developing technologies and creating the first samples of spacecraft. The final decision on the number and composition of satellite constellations will be made based on the results shown.

(more…)

What We Learned from the Space Station this Past Year

This image shows the planned configuration of six iROSA solar arrays intended to augment power on the International Space Station. The roll-up arrays arrive on the SpaceX-22 resupply mission. (Credits: NASA/Johnson Space Center/Boeing)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — As the International Space Station enters its third decade of continuous human presence, the impact of microgravity research conducted there keeps growing. The months between Nov. 2020 and Nov. 2021 saw publication of more than 400 scientific papers based on studies aboard the orbiting lab.

Here are some highlights of recent results from groundbreaking space station science:

(more…)

Russia Designed New Space Station, Continued Development of Vostochny in 2021

Russian Orbital Space Station will follow the International Space Station. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — In 2021, a decision was made to start the preliminary design of the Russian space station. The creation of a Russian space station will allow the Russian Federation to maintain its presence in low Earth orbit and ensure the fulfillment of a wide range of tasks. Based on the results of the preliminary design of the station, decisions on its appearance and orbit will be made. It is not excluded that foreign partners will be allowed to participate in the project of the new orbital station.

(more…)

Roscosmos Looks Back at Successful Launch Year

Soyuz rocket launches 36 OneWeb satellites from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Dec. 27, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — For the third year in a row, Roscosmos ensured trouble-free launches of spacecraft from the Baikonur, Plesetsk and Vostochny cosmodromes. Russia has achieved the best indicators of accident-free launches in 5 years (about 97 percent) among the leading space powers (Russia, USA, China).

As of the end of 2021, 25 launches of space rockets were carried out, including 14 launches from the Baikonur cosmodrome, 5 launches from Vostochny, 5 from Plesetsk and 1 from the Guiana Space Center.

(more…)

NASA Announces Extension of International Space Station to 2030

This image shows the planned configuration of six iROSA solar arrays intended to augment power on the International Space Station. The roll-up arrays arrive on the SpaceX-22 resupply mission. (Credits: NASA/Johnson Space Center/Boeing)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced today the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to extend International Space Station (ISS) operations through 2030, and to work with our international partners in Europe (ESA, European Space Agency)Japan (JAXA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), Canada (CSA, Canadian Space Agency), and Russia (State Space Corporation Roscosmos) to enable continuation of the groundbreaking research being conducted in this unique orbiting laboratory through the rest of this decade.

“The International Space Station is a beacon of peaceful international scientific collaboration and for more than 20 years has returned enormous scientific, educational, and technological developments to benefit humanity. I’m pleased that the Biden-Harris Administration has committed to continuing station operations through 2030,” Nelson said. “The United States’ continued participation on the ISS will enhance innovation and competitiveness, as well as advance the research and technology necessary to send the first woman and first person of color to the Moon under NASA’s Artemis program and pave the way for sending the first humans to Mars. As more and more nations are active in space, it’s more important than ever that the United States continues to lead the world in growing international alliances and modeling rules and norms for the peaceful and responsible use of space.”

Over the past two decades, the United States has maintained a continuous human presence in orbit around the Earth to test technologies, conduct scientific research, and develop skills needed to explore farther than ever before. The unique microgravity laboratory has hosted more than 3,000 research investigations from over 4,200 researchers across the world and is returning enormous scientific, educational, and technological developments to benefit people on Earth. Nearly 110 countries and areas have participated in activities aboard the station, including more than 1,500,000 students per year in STEM activities.

Instruments aboard the ISS, used in concert with free-flying instruments in other orbits, help us measure the stresses of drought and the health of forests to enable improved understanding of the interaction of carbon and climate at different time scales. Operating these and other climate-related instruments through the end of the decade will greatly increase our understanding of the climate cycle.

Extending operations through 2030 will continue another productive decade of research advancement and enable a seamless transition of capabilities in low-Earth orbit to one or more commercially owned and operated destinations in the late 2020s. The decision to extend operations and NASA’s recent awards to develop commercial space stations together ensure uninterrupted, continuous human presence and capabilities; both are critical facets of NASA’s International Space Station transition plan.

Russia Successfully Launch Angara-A5 Booster on Flight Test

Angara-A5 launch (Credit: Russian Aerospace Forces)

PLESETSK COSMODROME, Russia (Roscosmos PR) — The space forces of the Russian Aerospace Forces held on Monday, December 27, 2021, the third test launch of the Angara-A5 heavy carrier rocket with the overall mass model of the payload from the Plesetsk cosmodrome, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.

A few minutes later, the orbital block separated from the third stage. Further insertion of the orbital block into the target geostationary orbit will be carried out using the upper stage according to a typical nine-hour three-pulse scheme with four starts of the main engine of the upper stage.

Roscosmos State Corporation congratulates the Military Space Forces and the entire Russian space industry (the team of the Khrunichev Center, NPO Energomash, NPTs AP, TsENKI) on the successful test launch of the Angara-A5 launch vehicle with a new generation upper stage!

This flight showed that the tests of the Angara rocket are developing exactly according to plan. Next year, it is expected that work on the construction of a launch pad for this type of launch vehicle at the Vostochny cosmodrome will be completed. A year later – its first launch from the new Russian cosmodrome!

Flight ST37, the 15th Operated by Arianespace in 2021, Successfully Placed 36 More OneWeb Satellites into Orbit

Soyuz rocket launches 36 OneWeb satellites from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Dec. 27, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace)
  • Thanks to ST37, 60% of OneWeb’s constellation is now in orbit, bringing the constellation to 394 satellites launched.
  • Thanks to ST37, Arianespace have conducted 15 launches in 2021, including eight missions for the benefit of OneWeb and a total of nine Soyuz flights, from three different spaceports.
  • This launch also marks a new milestone in Arianespace history: since its creation in 1980, the company has officially deployed 1,101 satellites.

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, December 27, 2021 (Arianespace PR) — On Monday, December 27, at precisely 06:10 p.m. local time at Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome (01:10 p.m. UTC), Soyuz flight ST37 lifted-off with 36 OneWeb satellites bringing, after this successful deployment, the size of the fleet in orbit to 394. Flight ST37 was the 63rd Soyuz mission carried out by Arianespace, the 37th with its Starsem affiliate, and the 12th mission for OneWeb.

(more…)

Work Continues on Russian “Challenge” ISS Movie Project

Credit: Roscosmos

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The working meeting on the implementation of the scientific and educational project “Challenge” was held today, December 24, 2021, at the CPC under the leadership of Maxim Ovchinnikov, First Deputy General Director of the State Corporation “Roscosmos”.

The issues of further work on the project were discussed, which includes documentary, scientific and educational, information programs, as well as the feature film “Challenge”. Representatives of the leadership of Roscosmos, CTC and Channel One discussed a number of organizational issues.

(more…)