Tag: Roscosmos

Putin’s Economic Vision: Centralize and Control Everything

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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)

Bloomberg has an interesting report on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s economic strategy, which is characterized by the type of centralized government control that we’re now seeing imposed upon the space industry.

For all his vows to modernize and diversify the economy, though, Russia remains a nuclear-armed petrostate and Putin’s remedy for growth now is more, not less, government control.

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Maiden Angara Launch Postponed Indefinitely

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Angara-1.2 launch vehicle on pad at Plesetsk. (Credit: Khrunichev)

Angara-1.2 launch vehicle on pad at Plesetsk. (Credit: Khrunichev)

It looks like it will be week before the Russians can try to launch their Angara 1.2 rocket again after a last-minute scrub on Friday:

A defect in the drainage valve of the liquid oxygen tank detected during pre-launch tests led to cancellation of the first test launch of the light-class Angara carrier rocket 19 seconds prior to the engine refueling, experts told Interfax-AVN after probing an emergency during Angara’s launch on Monday.

“One needs to understand what Angara means. It is new engines, a new control system. In other words, trials are needed in order to fine-tune everything. There is no room for any frenzy. We should not take any risks. It has taken us quite long to build this rocket. It will certainly fly into space, but more tests should be conducted first. Its launch has been cancelled because a malfunction was detected. The malfunction was assessed by its own system,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told reporters in Uglegorsk on Tuesday….

Rogozin said that he doesn’t know when the next launch will take place. “I think it will take us weeks to return the Angara launch vehicle to its launch pad,” he said, Interfax reports.

The Angara is a modular family of launch vehicles designed to replace a number of existing rockets. It has been under development fror nearly 20 years.

Putin Demands Answers as First Angara Launch Scrubbed

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Angara-1.2 launch vehicle on pad at Plesetsk. (Credit: Khrunichev)

Angara-1.2 launch vehicle on pad at Plesetsk. (Credit: Khrunichev)

The first launch of the Angara 1.2 rocket was scrubbed at the last minute:

The would-be historic launch was automatically terminated just few minutes before the countdown, the Defense Ministry declared. “Technical issues” are blamed for the incident, said sources in the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

According to the commander of Russia’s aerospace defense troops, Aleksandr Golovko, the launch has been rescheduled for Saturday, 3:15pm Moscow time (11:15 GMT).

“During the launch preparation an automated system has given a red light for carrying out the launch. The launch has been postponed to the reserve date of June 28,” Golovko said.

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported the failure launch to Putin and requested one hour to establish the facts in the situation.

“Do not rush the work. Carefully analyze everything and report to me after an hour,” Putin told Shoigu.

Angara is a modular series of launch vehicles designed to replace a number of existing rockets. On its first flight, the Angara 1.2 will crash an upper stage and a dummy payload into an impact site on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Read the full story.

Roscosmos Selects Six New Cosmonauts

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New Russian cosmonauts (Credit: Roscosmos)

New Russian cosmonauts (Credit: Roscosmos)

On Monday, Russian space officials named six new cosmonauts out of a group of eight candidates selected for training in the fall of 2012.

The new cosmonaut trainees are Oleg Blinov, Nicholai Chubu, Peter Dubrov, Andrey Fedyaev, Sergey Korsakov and Dmitry Petelin.

Two candidates selected in 2012 — Ignat Ignatov and Anna Y. Kikin — were not on the list of those selected. The original eight candidates were chosen from 304 applications in Roscosmos’ first open call for cosmonauts.

The six men will now go through formal training for spaceflights and be assigned to crews.

New Roscosmos Cosmonauts

Oleg Blinov

Born in 1978 in the village of Kirov-Chepetsk Tatars region Kirov region.

In 1998, he graduated from the Kirov Military Aviation Technical School on “Technical maintenance of aircraft and engines.” Graduated with honors. In 2001 he graduated from the Vyatka State Agricultural Academy, specialty – mechanical engineer.

Previous job: FGBU “Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Institute.” Chief engineer for operations for EVA. Experience in the aerospace industry for over 10 years.

Nikolai Chub

Born in 1984 in Novocherkassk, Rostov region.

In 2006 he graduated from the South-Russian State Technical University, specialty – engineer (“Management and Informatics in Technical Systems”). SRSTU graduate student.

Previous job: OOO “Space Tu.”

Has more than 150 parachute jumps, including flights to suit wingsuit (costume-wing). Russian and European record holder in 2011 in the class of large wingsuit-formations.

Peter V. Dubrov

Born in 1978 in the city of Khabarovsk.

In 1999 he graduated from the Khabarovsk State University.

Software Engineer, specialty “Software computers and automated systems.”

Previous job: OOO “CBOSS International Development.”

Andrey Fedyaev

Born in 1981 in Serov, Sverdlovsk region.

In 2004 he graduated from the Krasnodar Military Aviation Institute “Operation of air transport and air traffic control.

“Military pilot 2nd class.

Sergey Korsakov

Born in 1984 in Frunze (Bishkek NV) Kirghizia.

A graduate of Bauman. Bauman (2006), with honors, an engineer by profession “Rocket Engines.”

Previous job: OOO “Info Capital Group.”

Dmitry Petelin

Born in 1983 in Kustanai Kazakhstan.

In 2006, he graduated from South Ural State University. An engineer, “Aircraft and Helicopter.”

Previous job: Ltd. “NEC”.

Development engineer third category of department “aircraft design.” Experience in the aviation industry for over six years.

Russian Space Industry Reform Moves Forward

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Igor Komarov (Credit: Russia Forum)

Igor Komarov (Credit: Russia Forum)

While Hercules has the Augean Stables to clean up, Igor Komarov’s task is only slightly less daunting: bringing order, coherence and profitability to a sprawling and bloated Russian space industry that saw its best days 30 years ago.

After four years as president of Russia’s largest car maker, AvtoVAZ, Komarov was brought in last year to head up the new United Rocket and Space Corporation (ACCD), a wholly-owned government entity that will consolidate virtually the entire space industry under state control.

When the consolidation is completed in about two years, ACCD will encompass 48 organizations and 14 companies. Among the major federal state unitary enterprises to be consolidated under the new corporation are Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, NPO Lavochkin and KB Arsenal Design Bureau.

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Russia to Spend $52 Billion on Space Program Through 2020

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Roscosmos_logoMOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Roscosmos posted on the website of the Russian Federation State program “Space Activities of Russia in 2013 – 2020 years” to reflect the changes produced in the enforcement of the Budget Message of the President of the Russian Federation on budget policy for 2014-2016 years, as well as other legal acts.

The total volume of the budget financial support of the State program is $ 1.8 trillion rubles [$52 billion].

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China & Russia Sign Space Pact, But What Will It Produce?

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

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

With ties with the United States frayed over Ukraine, Russia has rushed to deepen its ties with China. Everyone’s favorite Josef Stalin-loving deputy prime minister was in China last week to lay the foundation for deeper cooperation in space.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin has followed last week’s rhetorical bombshell — that Russia was not interested in extending operation of the International Space Station, or ISS, beyond 2020 — by trumpeting a future of increased cooperation with the emerging Chinese National Space Agency.

Meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister Wang Yang, in Beijing on Monday, Rogozin announced on Twitter that he had signed “a protocol on establishing a control group for the implementation of eight strategic projects.” In a later Facebook post, he said “cooperation in space and in the market for space navigation” were among the projects.

The partnership appears to be aimed largely at post-ISS cooperation. China has plans to place a multi-module space station in orbit by 2020 to which Russia could contribute.

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Simberg: Declare Independence From Russian Space Program

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The Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft with Expedition 25 Commander Doug Wheelock and Flight Engineers Shannon Walker and Fyodor Yurchikhin touches down near the town of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan on Friday, Nov. 26, 2010. Russian Cosmonaut Yurchikhin and NASA Astronauts Wheelock and Walker, are returning from six months onboard the International Space Station where they served as members of the Expedition 24 and 25 crews.  Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft with Expedition 25 Commander Doug Wheelock and Flight Engineers Shannon Walker and Fyodor Yurchikhin touches down near the town of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan on Friday, Nov. 26, 2010. Russian Cosmonaut Yurchikhin and NASA Astronauts Wheelock and Walker, are returning from six months onboard the International Space Station where they served as members of the Expedition 24 and 25 crews. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Rand Simberg has an op-ed in USA Today calling for the United States to end its dependence upon the Russia space program:

There is only one realistic way to end our dependence on the Russians for space transportation: accelerate the Commercial Crew Program established by the Obama administration as a follow-on to the successful Cargo Resupply Services contracts initiated in the Bush administration (a CRS flight launched a couple weeks ago and is at the ISS currently). For over four years, the administration has been requesting the funding needed to get at least one, and preferably more than one provider capable of delivering crew to and from orbit. Every year, Congress has refused to adequately fund the program, instead diverting funds to the Space Launch System, a rocket with no defined mission other than keeping some of what remains of the former Shuttle work force employed. As administrator Bolden lectured them a few weeks ago in hearings on the Hill, their failure to provide requested funds has slipped the operational date from what would have been next year, out to at least 2017.

Instead, Congress continues to tell NASA to “save money” by narrowing down from three competitors to a single one immediately, using typical socialist arguments (from Republicans and Democrats alike) of the “inefficiency” of multiple providers. This, of course, ignores the fact that twice during the Shuttle program we were unable to get astronauts to orbit for over two years, because there was no backup to it after the Challenger and Columbia accidents, and that cost reduction comes only from ongoing competition.

Read the full story.

Transcript of Briefing on Russian Space Sanctions Against United States

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

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

Briefing by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and Head of the Federal Space Agency Oleg Ostapenko on International Space Cooperation

Transcript

Dmitry Rogozin: Good afternoon. Our meeting today concerns certain issues related to international cooperation in the rocket and space industry and individual space services, for instance, navigation. These issues are related primarily to the US policy of imposing sanctions on Russia, including in such a sensitive sphere as space cooperation.

We’ve repeatedly warned our colleagues at the political and professional levels (via the Federal Space Agency) that sanctions are always a boomerang. They always come back around and are simply inappropriate in such sensitive spheres as cooperation in space exploration, production of spacecraft engines, and navigation, not to mention manned space flights. Sanctions are like releasing a bull in a china shop. That said, we’ve always built Russian policy on the following logic – a statement in response to a statement and a reaction following an action.

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Russia Briefs: Vostochny, Angara, Super-Heavy & Asteroid Defense

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Roscosmos head Oleg Ostapenko tours Vostochny. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Roscosmos head Oleg Ostapenko tours Vostochny. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Some brief items on the Russian space program:

Vostochny Construction Accelerated: Work on Russia’s new Vostochny spaceport will now be done on a 24-hour basis with the addition of more workers. “The number of workers will be increased manifold at the spaceport regardless natural and weather conditions,” Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said. The goal is to conduct the first rocket launch from Vostochny in 2015 and the first human mission in 2018. (ITAR-TASS: http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/728230)

Angara Launch Scheduled: After 19 years in development, the first launch of Russia’s new Angara 1.2 rocket will take place between June 25 and 30 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.  Angara is a family of modular launch vehicles designed to lift light to heavy payloads and to replace the Proton, Zenit, Rockot and Dnepr boosters. (ITAR-TASS: http://en.itar-tass.com/non-political/728637)

Russia Nears Decision on Super-Heavy Booster. Roscosmos chief Oleg Ostapenko says the agency is nearing a decision on a design for a new super-heavy launch vehicle. The initial version of the launch vehicle would launch 80 metric tons to low-Earth orbit (LEO) with future variants lofting 160 tons or more to LEO. (ITAR-TASS: http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/717993)

Rogozin Wants Asteroid Defense. During a visit to Chelyabinsk, Deputy Prime Minster Dmitry Rogozin called for Russia’s best minds to develop anti-asteroid technologies to protect Earth. “This is a dangerous phenomenon. Those who think that we know everything about the far reaches of deep space and that no catastrophe will happen are seriously wrong,” Rogozin said. In February 2013, a meteorite exploded over Chelyabinsk, causing extensive damage and injuries. (ITAR-TASS: http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/727565)