Tag: RSC-Energia

Russia Cuts Space Spending Forecast, Dumps Super Heavy Booster

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).

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Russia Severing Ties With Ukraine on Dnepr, Zenit Launch Programs

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.

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RSC Energia Seals Deal With Orbital Sciences for Engine Delivery


Energia_logoMOSCOW (RSC Energia PR) -- The President of RSC Energia (which is a part of the United Rocket and Space Corporation) Vladimir Solntsev and General Director of Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) David Thompson  have signed a direct contract for the delivery to the US of engines made by NPO Energomash (a subsidiary of RSC Energia).

The contract value is approximately US$1 billion (the exact figure is a commercial secret). Altogether, Russia is to deliver to the US 60 RD-181 engines – the customer is going to receive the first two engines as early as June 2015. The contract was concluded directly with the Orbital Sciences Corporation.

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Year in Review: Launch Industry Disrupted in 2014


SpaceX Founder Elon Musk has long talked about disrupting the launch industry with low prices and technological innovations. In 2014, the impacts of those efforts were felt far and wide as competitors responded to the threat the California company posed to their livelihoods.

ULA Pivots. With SpaceX reeling off one successful launch after another, ULA pivoted on several fronts. One was to announce efforts to significantly reduce costs on its highly reliable but pricey Atlas V and Delta IV boosters. But, even that proved to be insufficient as SpaceX threatened ULA on several fronts.

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Meet RSC Energia’s New President

Vladimir Lvovich Solntsev. (Credit: Energia)

Vladimir Lvovich Solntsev. (Credit: Energia)

Vladimir Lvovich Solntsev

President of S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia

Born: February 8, 1957 in Tula (Russia).

Graduated from Tula Polytechnic Institute and the Russian Academy of Foreign Trade

He began working at Tula Machine-Building Plant, rose through the ranks from a foreman to the Deputy Directior of Finance and Marketing Joint Stock Company Tulamashzavod, Tula.

From 1995 Solntsev worked in the Mezhkombank Group as President of Investment Company Mezhinvest, Director of the Bank Investment Programs Department, then headed the Department for Military-Technical Cooperation SUE Aviation Military-Industrial Complex Sykhoy, Moscow.

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Embattled RSC Energia President Lopota Suspended from Post


Energia_logoEmbattled RSC Energia President Vitaly Lopota, who is the subject of a criminal investigation for alleged abuse of office, was suspended from his post on Friday by the company’s board of directors, ending a seven-year reign over the space company.

The move appears to be part of an effort by Russia’s government to obtain majority control over Energia, of which it owns a 38-percent share. The directors elected Igor Komarov as its new chairman of the board. Komarov is chief of the Russian United Rocket and Space Corporation (URSC), the government-owned company tasked with consolidating Russia’s sprawling space sector.

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Head of RSC Energia Targeted in Criminal Investigation


Energia_logoThe Russian Investigative Committee, that nation’s equivalent of the FBI, has opened a criminal probe into the conduct of RSC Energia President Vitaly Lopota for alleged abuse of office, according to media reports.

Detectives found that “in 2010, Lopota who performed managerial functions at RSC Energia gave instructions to the leadership of its subsidiary, an experimental machine-building plant of RSC Energia, to grant loans to two companies participating in commercial space project Sea Launch.”

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Russian Government Mulls Takeover of Troubled Sea Launch as Company President Resigns


Sea Launch Zenit booster

UPDATE: Sea Launch President Kjell Karlsen has resigned “to pursue other opportunities outside space industry. After his departure, the Company’s senior executive team will carry out Mr. Karlsen’s former duties and responsibilities.  Mr. Karlsen has been with Sea Launch since 1999, serving as the President since 2008 and member of its Board of Directors since 2010.”

Space News reports the Russian government is mulling a takeover of the troubled Sea Launch company.

Moscow has asked the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, and Russian manufacturer RSC Energia, which holds 95 percent of Swiss-registered Sea Launch, to submit an overview of the financial situation of the maritime launch services company, Rogozin said in remarks posted on the Russian Cabinet website. The Russian government holds 38 percent of Energia, which supplies the upper stage of the Sea Launch rocket.

Should the government go forward with the deal, it likely would move the oceangoing rocket pad and command ship from Long Beach, Calif., to a Russian port on the Pacific Ocean, Rogozin said. “Something tells me that if we go for it, then the base will definitely be outside the United States,” he said.

The government could potentially use the company to carry out some of the federal launch contracts and would not be inclined to ship sensitive spacecraft to the Unites States to undergo preparation for launch, Rogozin said.

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Putin Signs Decree Creating United Rocket and Space Corporation

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin tours RSC Energia in July. (Credit: Russian Federation Government)

Russian President Vladimir Putin tours RSC Energia. (Credit: Russian Federation Government)

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to establish the United Rocket and Space Corporation, an entity designed to consolidate much of the nation’s space industry under one entity while reducing inefficiencies and redundancies.

The move comes after three years of embarrassing and costly launch failures overseen by the Russian space agency Roscomos, which will have its role shifted to contracting, coordination and policy implementation.

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Boeing Sues Sea Launch Partners for $356 Million


sealaunchBoeing has filed suit against its Sea Launch partners, alleging they failed to pay it more than $356 million owed after the Sea Launch joint venture went into bankruptcy in 2009.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Friday, targeted RSC Energia, a company partially owned by the Russian government, and two Ukrainian state-owned companies, PO Yuzhnoye Mashinostroitelny Zavod and KB Yuzhnoye.

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