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Russia's Vostochny Cosmodrome (updates)

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Draggendrop    5,747
1 minute ago, jjkusaf said:

Unless you're Igor Komarov, Dmitry Rogozin, or Leonid Shalimov.  :)

 

:woot:

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

New facility, it's gonna have some growing pains while it's being broken in. Nothing they can't adjust or fix. :yes: 

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Draggendrop    5,747

Misc....

 

Post-launch developments

 

Quote

The latest tracking confirmed that Volga delivered and released three of its passengers into orbits with parameters close to planned and only the spent third stage remained in its original orbit.

 

Shortly after the launch, a correspondent with the Novosti Kosmonavtiki magazine received a text message from the VNIIEM Corporation confirming that antennas and solar panels on the Lomonosov satellite had deployed and it had began sending telemetry and was maintaining proper orientation. A prominent radio-amateur enthusiast in Russia also reported receiving good signals from the Aist-2D satellite during its three passes at 05:13 UTC, 06:45 UTC and 08:19 UTC on April 28. According to the Samara State Aerospace University, SGAU, its ground control facility made first contact with Aist-2D at 08:11 (Moscow Time). Ground control then began processing telemetry from the satellite, SGAU said.

 

The Russian mission control in Korolev also reported that during the mission, it successfully conducted an experimental communications session with the Soyuz launch vehicle via the Luch-5V satellite. The information downlinked during the ascent was also routed to the rocket's manufacturer -- RKTs Progress.

 

In the meantime, back on the Soyuz launch complex, a preliminary inspection revealed that the protective shield on the lower service platform, KO, below the launch pad was torn off by the loads during the liftoff. The structure collapsed into the flame trench of the launch pad.

 

Industry sources also said that, specialists were editing footage obtained by external cameras on the Soyuz rocket (so called "rocketcams"), before it could be released to the general public. Even though the images were beamed to the launch control room in real time during the ascent, officials were apparently scrutinizing the video, so it would not be "misinterpreted" by the press. Obviously, any evidence of damage to the launch pad or to the rocket itself would be prime candidates to be edited out. Perhaps not coincidently, a group of journalists was turned away from the launch pad after the liftoff.

damage_1.jpg

The protective shield on the lower service platform, KO, below the launch pad was torn off by the loads during the liftoff.  Credit: Novosti Kosmonavtiki

 

Completing recovery operations at drop zones

 

drop_zone_recovery_1.jpg

Roscosmos

 

Quote

For several days after the launch, recovery teams from TsENKI, the main launch processing contractor at Roskosmos, continued search and recovery operations at drop zones downrange from Vostochny.

 

By May 1, one of four first-stage boosters was cut off into small segments and transported to a transit site near the town of Zeya, from where all the pieces were to be transported back to Vostochny, Roskosmos said.

 

The search turned out to be much more difficult at Drop Zone No. 985 in the Sakha (Yakut) Republic. A special mobile radar Weibel MFTR-240040 deployed near the city of Vilyusk detected debris from the core stage of the rocket at a distance ranging from 180 to 220 kilometers. It enabled to establish around 17 impact points, which were then photographed from a helicopter. One location was confirmed with a discovery of a combustion chamber from the main engine. However all other sites were difficult to see from the air, due to thick woods and extensive camouflage provided by partially melted snow.

 

According to Roskosmos, the search was to continue on May 2. However on May 3, the official TASS news agency reported that due to weather conditions in the Yakut Republic all search efforts had been suspended until June, when the snow would not pose a problem.

 

Political fallout

 

Quote

On May 2, the official Russian media reported that Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin formed a special investigation commission on the failed launch attempt on April 27. The commission chaired by a member of the Military and Industrial Collegium Oleg Frolov had its first meeting on May 1. On May 4 and May 5, the commission was scheduled to work at NPO Avtomatiki in Yekaterinburg. By that time, the company was expected to receive the cable, whose defective soldering joints were suspected to be a culprit in the launch scrub on April 27.

 

The official goal of the commission was to find causes of the failed launch attempt and to check the completeness of tests leading to the incident.

 

However given a minor technical impact of the delay, the investigation likely had the primarily political nature, namely it was aimed to demonstrate to the Kremlin that the industry problems were being dealt with. Moreover, Rogozin also made a decision during the work of the commission to suspend the responsibilities of Leonid Shalimov, the designer general at NPO Avtomatika, which supplied the hardware allegedly responsible for the incident. Rogozin summoned Shalimov to Moscow on May 6, apparently to present the results of the investigation.

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz2-vostochny-first-launch.html#search

 

It appears that the launch delay presented a "path" to demonstrate "a show of force" towards shoddy work and corruption.

:)

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DocM    16,486

So even a technical error becomes a need for a show of force and/or implied prosecution.  Not so sure that's going to make recruitment or retention easier.

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

Wow. :( I'm not sure that those are the signals that the Putin Administration should be sending to the AeroSpace Industry around the world. Talk about overzealous and iron-fisted .. yikes. It's a new facility; a bad cable and a torn-off shield hardly qualifies as any kind of "failure".

 

That's certainly how Andropov's Regime (the short-lived one, right before Gorbachev) behaved -- punishing the smallest of technical problems and setbacks with draconian zeal. And I'm sure some of us remember the "False Launch Incident" when a Soviet Early-Warning Satellite mistakenly detected a U.S. ICBM Launch, and the Soviet Army Officer in charge of that Watch Station used his better judgement and refused to call it in because he knew it was a glitch. Turns out he was right -- it was sunlight glinting off the birds' optics. But that Officer was immediately Court-Martialed, and spent time in an FSA Labor Camp for his trouble (later pardoned by Gorbachev when he came to power).

 

We can never have someone like that running Russia again; and if Putin is becoming "that guy" ... well ... sorry, Charlie. You're gonna get dealt with. I was okay with ya (mainly because people deserve a second chance); but now you're just showing your <snip> color.

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+Mirumir    5,635

Actually, Putin has done both: he has congratulated the team, but has also said such mistakes at this point are not acceptable, that everything should be double-checked before the installation. That's all. Common sense. There's nothing overzealous in his reaction.

 

1 hour ago, Unobscured Vision said:

We can never have someone like that running Russia again

That's not your choice to make :) 

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

// In a very low, soothing and mellow voice......

 

Bob-Ross-2.jpg

Over in this corner, lets make this a happy tree.

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Unobscured Vision    2,666
19 hours ago, Mirumir said:

That's not your choice to make :) 

Yeah, that's probably a good thing. :/

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+Mirumir    5,635
Just now, Unobscured Vision said:

Yeah, that's probably a good thing. :/

Everything is relative ;) 

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+Mirumir    5,635

 

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

Putin probably threatened it with imprisonment or something. /shrug

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Draggendrop    5,747

This actually happened shortly after launch/deployment.  This was the 3rd unit, a small cube sat from a local university.

 

Quote

The SamSat-218D satellite, also known as Kontakt-Nanosputnik, was developed at the Samara State Aerospace University, SGAU, for testing flight control algorithms of nano-satellites. In addition, specialists hoped to control the satellite's onboard operations with a mobile device working via the GlobalStar satellite network. Authors of the experiment planned to "call" onboard the satellite via a mobile device and request the downlink of necessary telemetry, TASS reported.

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz2-vostochny-first-launch.html

 

I didn't make this up......( irony meter pegs a bit )

 

 

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DocM    16,486

Interesting conops - a mobile satellite UI. I can just imagine some GEO sat spinning out of control after being butt-dialed. Oops.

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Draggendrop    5,747

RSC Energia Conducts Ergonomic Testing for Federation Spacecraft

 

federation_ergonomic_test_astronaut.jpg

Ergonomic testing has been conducted for the new Federation spacecraft. (Credit: RSC Energia)

 

Quote

MOSCOW (RSC Energia PR) — The RSC Energia specialists conducted the first tests of the man-machine interface elements on a unique stand for ergonomic testing the Federation manned transport spacecraft of a new generation.

 

The tests of different information-control formats are made in the scope of these tests for the Federation crew; after the analysis of the test results the decisions on expediency of using one or another of the interface elements in the new spacecraft will be accepted.

 

Head of the RSC Energia Flight-Test Department Mark SEROV said: “We carried out the first formal, documented test on this new stand in the scope of the man-machine interface development. Its essence is to evaluate the distribution of the basic information areas on displays of the cosmonaut panel”.

 

The ergonomic test stand with a high degree of accuracy simulates the crew workstations in the spacecraft command module and the crew working conditions including the use of rescue spacesuits.

 

The man-machine interface elements testing is carried out according to the major algorithms of the crew activity and in all flight phases, namely launch, injection, autonomous flight, docking and flight within the orbital station or the lunar interorbital complex.

 

The new generation manned transport spacecraft developed by RSC Energia is designed to deliver people and cargo to the Moon and orbital stations in near-earth orbit.

 

The spacecraft is reusable, high technologies which sometimes have no analogues in world cosmonautics are used to create it. In particular, the descent module of the manned transport spacecraft will be made using innovative materials; a reusable docking assembly is envisaged. Up-to-date avionics will allow to solve the problems related to the spacecraft rendezvous and docking more effectively, increase the crew safety in the phases of injection and return to Earth.

 

The number of the manned transport spacecraft crew will be up to four persons. The spacecraft can fly in the autonomous flight mode up to 30 days, during the flight within the orbital station it can fly up to one year. The total weight of the spacecraft during the flight to the orbital station will be equal to 14.4 t (19 t when flying to the Moon), the reentry vehicle mass is 9 t. The spacecraft length is 6.1 m. To inject this spacecraft into near-earth orbit it is planned to use the Angara-A5P heavy-class launch vehicle.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/05/10/rsc-energia-conducts-ergonomic-testing-federation-spacecraft/

 

------------------------------

 

Russia Spent $1.3 Bln on Vostochny Cosmodrome So Far

 

1038747558.jpg

Roscosmos

 

Quote

Russia has so far spent 84 billion rubles ($1.3 billion) on the construction of the Vostochny cosmodrome, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Friday.

 

SOCHI (Sputnik) — Vostochny had been under construction since 2012 and is expected to reduce Russia's dependency on the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, which is on lease to Russia until 2050.


On April 28, Russia successfully conducted the first launch from the Vostochny space center, putting three satellites aboard a Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket into orbit. The launch was originally slated for April 27.

 

"Overall, we have spent…84 billion rubles on the Vostochny cosmodrome. I'm saying this now in order to avoid any speculations, to put a stop to them," Rogozin told reporters.


"This is to make clear that with such a small amount of money, we have created unique objects in the most modern spaceport in the world, in a place where there was nothing but taiga four years ago," he added.

http://sputniknews.com/science/20160513/1039576551/russia-vostochny-cosmodrome.html

 

------------------------------

 

First stage of Vostochny spaceport to become fully operational in 2016 - deputy PM

 

1133335.jpg

Marina Lystseva/TASS

 

Quote

SOCHI, May 13. /TASS/. The first stage of the Vostochny spaceport in the Russian Far East will be transferred for regular operation in 2016, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told TASS on Friday.

 

"We have now submitted a draft decree to the president, in accordance with which the year 2016 is the term for transferring the first stage of the Vostochny cosmodrome for regular operation," the vice-premier said.


All construction works had been completed by late 2015 at the facilities of the so-called "launch minimum" and conditions had been created for the start of all-embracing trials, the vice-premier said.


"And now Spetsstroy [the Federal Agency for Special Construction] should complete building all the facilities that are not auxiliary structures and are important for launching the first stage of the Vostochny cosmodrome," the vice-premier said.

http://tass.ru/en/science/875581

 

-----------------------------

 

Russian space enterprise CEO dismissed over first Vostochny launch delay

 

1133288.jpg

Press office of the Roscosmos Russian Federal Space Agency/TASS

 

Quote

KOROLEV (Moscow region), May 13. /TASS/. Resignation of Director General of the Research and Production Association of Automatics (NPO Automatics) Leonid Shalimov has been accepted, he is dismissed, head of the Progress State Research and Production Rocket Space Center that includes the Ural enterprise, Alexander Kirilin, said on Friday.

 

"Yes, we held a meeting of the board of directors, accepted the resignation", he said.


Kirilin declined to name Shalimov’s successor. According to previous reports, Mikhail Trapeznikov is so far acting head of NPO Automatics.
The news that Shalimov submitted a resignation notice came on May 5. Prior to this, Shalimov received a service incompetence note for the postponement of the first launch of the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket from the Vostochny cosmodrome. Head of Russia’s State Space Corporation (Roscosmos) Igor Komarov and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the national rocket and space industry, were also reprimanded then.

 

The Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket was supposed to be launched from the Vostochny cosmodrome in the morning on April 27, but the launch was canceled by the automatic system. The blastoff took place a day later - on April 28. The incident was caused by problems with a cable of the rocket’s control system for which NPO Automatics was responsible. Roscosmos head Komarov said then that the glitch "was caused most likely by a cable malfunction." Later, the Izvestia newspaper reported, citing a source in the Roscosmos leadership that the cable was made not by the design documentation and "lacked several required jumpers."

 

The Vostochny spaceport is being built near the town of Uglegorsk in the Amur Region, Russia’s Far East. Construction work began in 2010. Vostochny has become the first national civilian cosmodrome that will ensure Russia’s full access to space.

http://tass.ru/en/science/875484

 

:D

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Draggendrop    5,747

First images from the inaugural Soyuz launch at Vostochny, "rocket cam"

 

This is the sequence...

initial_ascent_1.jpg

 

This is the ground view...

general_satellite_info_1.jpg

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz2-vostochny-first-launch.html#launch

 

Rocketcam on Soyuz 2.1a - first launch from Vostrochniy 360p

video is 1:50 min.

 

 

 

--------------------------------

 

 

Quote

It has begun assembling a rocket for a second run from the East
http: // oborona.gov.ru/news/view/10441 

 

 

It has begun assembling a rocket for a second run from the East

 

Quote

King / Moscow region /, May 13. / TASS /. RCC "Progress" has already begun production of the launcher for the second run with new Vostochny cosmodrome, he told reporters the company CEO Alexander Kirilin.

 

"Yes" - Kirilin said, answering the question of whether the rocket manufacturing began for the second run from the East.

 

The launch is scheduled for the end of 2017, he reminded the head of the enterprise.

http://oborona.gov.ru/news/view/10441

 

// Next launcher under construction...will try to find out more.....:)

 

-----------------------------

 

This video shows the new MS series, the first of which has been used on the last "Progress cargo", this one is MS-01 Alliance, for the next crew. The dialogue is Russian, could not find English, but it has some excellent images.

 

The new "Union" before the start

video is 7:19 min.

 

Quote

Published on May 13, 2016
The first manned spacecraft series "MS" delivered to Baikonur. MS - a modernized version of the "Soyuz" spacecraft. Freight option - "Progress-MS" have already flown to the ISS. It is now manned. Two weeks later, the crew will arrive at the launch site of the first MS, who is now training in Star City. commander of the crew - cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin Roscosmos. Flight engineers: Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi and NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubens. Start the ship "MS-01 Alliance" - June 24

 

 

 

:D

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Draggendrop    5,747

Russia to start financing new Phoenix carrier rocket development in 2018

 

Quote

Russia will begin financing the development of a new carrier rocket dubbed Phoenix in 2018, Deputy General Director of Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center Aleksandr Medvedev said Friday.

 

Cargo capacity of the projected carrier rocket is expected to be within the range from nine up to 15 metric tons, he specified.

 

"The financing will start from 2018. All the [space industry] enterprises are working out their own variants [of the rocket]," Medvedev told reporters.

Phoenix is expected to be Russia's domestically produced rocket, which is planned to become the first stage of country's super-heavy rocket, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

 

Expenditures on developing the Phoenix carrier rocket are included in Russia's federal space program for 2016-2025.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Russia_to_start_financing_new_Phoenix_carrier_rocket_development_in_2018_999.html

 

--------------------------

 

Lomonosov delivers first scientific results

 

Quote

On May 6, 2016, eight days after the successful launch of the Lomonosov satellite, Roskosmos announced that testing of scientific instruments onboard Lomonosov was to begin after the completion of ongoing checks of the satellite's service module. According to the agency, all systems onboard Lomonosov were operating as scheduled.

 

On May 17, Moscow State University, MGU, announced that in the first step toward the activation of scientific instruments aboard Lomonosov,

ground controllers turned on the DEPRON instrument, downlinking first data on space radiation in the near-Earth space. The IMISS-1 instrument was activated next, followed by the BDRG spectrometer.

 

Also, first images from the ShOK cameras onboard Lomonosov were received on May 14, 2016, during a short test session. According to MGU, these early pictures had already captured dozens of satellites and pieces of space junk which had flown within the vicinity of the Lomonosov. In the future, ShOK cameras were expected to be used for regular surveys of near-Earth space, MGU said. ShOK cameras would be used in tandem with the Master ground-based automated network of telescopes operated by MGU.

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/mikhailo-lomonosov.html#flight

 

shok_images_1.jpg

Early images from the ShOK cameras onboard the Lomonosov satellite released on May 18, 2016. 

 

slide0002_image004.gif

 

 

slide0002_image006.gif

 

 

slide0002_image009.gif

Animations from images captured by ShOK cameras onboard the Lomonosov satellte on May 14, 2016. Credit: GAISh MGU

 

:)

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DocM    16,486

Phoenix = Fenix, aka Soyuz-5. Essentially, a methane fueled replacement for Zenet with a performance boost.

 

Potentially, also a replacement for R7 based Soyuz launchers. 

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Draggendrop    5,747

This is the full version of the launch...

 

The first launch from the East Video board cameras (full version)

video is 7:23 min.

 

 

 

Rocketcams

 

Quote

Vostochny-based Soyuz-2 was expected to carry TV cameras in hardened cases on the exterior of the rocket, known as rocketcams. Looking down from the top of the vehicle, the cameras could shoot spectacular live videos of the launch from a unique vantage point of the ascending vehicle. It became known as Onboard Video Control System, BSVK. During Moscow Air and Space Show in August 2015, the NPO IT corporation demonstrated a BSVK network, which included four cameras. It was expected to be installed on Soyuz-ST rockets flying from Kourou, French Guiana, and on "regular" Soyuz rockets launched from Baikonur and Plesetsk.

 

However, soon after the first launch from Vostochny, Izhevsk Radio Plant, IRZ, released specifications for a similar three-camera system that was apparently employed during that ascent. With a total mass of 9.5 kilograms, including associated cabling, the BSVK network had a built-in radio-system to transmit live images as large as 2048 by 1536 pixels at a rate of up to 3.14 megabits per second. The cameras were designed to withstand temperatures from minus 40 to plus 50 degrees C.

 

irz_cameras_1.jpg

ROSCOSMOS/IRZ

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz2-vostochny.html#rocketcam

 

:D

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DocM    16,486

Getting the hang of RocketCam PR :)

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Draggendrop    5,747

Russia invests in future by building Vostochny Cosmodrome

 

Quote

The spaceport in Kazakhstan is a unique space complex built by the Soviet Union, but its infrastructure is falling into disrepair now due to natural causes and aging equipment. Invest in the Vostochny spaceport is desperately needed, famous Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, said.

 

Alexei Leonov was the first human to perform a spacewalk outside a spacecraft, exiting the craft for over 12 minutes. The legendary Soviet cosmonaut turns 82 on May 30.

 

"Baikonur was once an advanced spaceport of the world, but now it has become physically obsolete. Yes, it still works, missiles are getting launched but to maintain its crumbling infrastructure every year it becomes more and more complicated and it requires an infusion of more and more money," Leonov said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

 

"I have been to the Vostochny spaceport and I know that there is new and modern technology there. In addition, it is in the territory of our country. So, of course, that is the future, "Leonov added.

 

In accordance with the agreement between Kazakhstan and Russia, the rent of Baikonur is set till 2050 for 115 million dollars a year. Talking about whether Leonov sees the first launch of Soyuz as successful, he said that it is something to be proud of.

 

"Those people who say that the rocket did not take off on the first attempt are deeply mistaken. Only non-experts could say such a thing."

"There should be joy and pride that such a sensitive automatic start system has finally appeared on our Soyuz. Previously, we could not even dream of carrying out such detailed pre-launch operations. So the launch of this new spaceport is actually very good," the astronaut concluded.

 

Alexei Leonov went to space twice. He was awarded two stars the Hero of the Soviet Union, the Order of Lenin and the Red Star. He is also an honorary citizen of thirty Russian and foreign cities.

 

Nowadays, the cosmonaut lives in Moscow. In 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded him with the Order "For Merit to the Fatherland."

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Russia_invests_in_future_by_building_Vostochny_Cosmodrome_999.html

 

:)

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Draggendrop    5,747

Completing recovery operations at drop zones

 

stage1_booster_1.jpg

A second-stage booster of the Soyuz rocket in the aftermath of the first launch from Vostochny on April 28, 2016.  Roskosmos

 

Quote

For several days after the launch, recovery teams from TsENKI, the main launch processing contractor at Roskosmos, continued search and recovery operations at drop zones downrange from Vostochny.

 

By May 1, one of four first-stage boosters was cut off into small segments and transported to a transit site near the town of Zeya, from where all the pieces were to be transported back to Vostochny, Roskosmos said.

 

The search turned out to be much more difficult at Drop Zone No. 985 in the Sakha (Yakut) Republic. A special mobile radar Weibel MFTR-240040 deployed near the city of Vilyusk detected debris from the core stage of the rocket at a distance ranging from 180 to 220 kilometers. It enabled to establish around 17 impact points, which were then photographed from a helicopter. One location was confirmed with a discovery of a combustion chamber from the main engine. However all other sites were difficult to see from the air, due to thick woods and extensive camouflage provided by partially melted snow.

 

According to Roskosmos, the search was to continue on May 2. However on May 3, the official TASS news agency reported that due to weather conditions in the Yakut Republic all search efforts had been suspended until June, when the snow would not pose a problem. Still, on May 30, more than a month after the launch, both halves of the payload fairing were found in the Aldansky District of the Yakut (Sakha) Republic, according to Roskosmos. Earlier, search teams also recovered 16 fragments of the core stage from the same launch with a total mass of one ton scattered across Vilyusk District (Ulus) of the Yakut Republic, Roskosmos said.

 

fairing_fragment_B_1.jpg

Roskosmos

 

fairing_fragment_1.jpg

Roskosmos

 

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz2-vostochny-first-launch.html#search

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

(Hey @Draggendrop, we should rename this thread the "General Russian Space Program Discussion Topic" :D)

 

Here's something that caught my attention ... most notably because I don't see where Dimitry's basis was for even saying it.

Quote

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/russian-space-industry-nine-times-behind-us-says-rogozin/570708.html

Russian Space Industry Nine Times Behind U.S. Says Rogozin

space-russia-us.jpg

Image (c) Skeeze / Pixabay

The Moscow Times | May. 27 2016 17:07 | Last edited 17:07

 

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has been left red-faced after telling reporters that “Russia will never catch up to the United States in the space race,” the Interfax news agency reported.

 

“Our space industry has fallen behind the Americans ninefold. All of our ambitious projects require us to up productivity 150 percent – and even if we manage that, we will still never catch up with them,” Rogozin originally said to Interfax Friday.

 

“We will be following the news about NASA and [Elon] Musk and licking our lips while trying to explain ourselves why we don't need what they are doing,” Rogozin said, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

 

Rogozin took to Facebook later in the day to say that his quotes had been taken out of context.

 

In the field of space-rocket engine construction Russia are much more competitive than the US both in terms of quality and prices, he said.

 

"I said that, considering our ambitious plans of to increase labor productivity in the space industry, we will never catch up with the Americans in that regard," the deputy prime minister said.

"But this absolutely does not mean that we are behind them [the United States] in every other aspect of space exploration."

 

Igor Komarov, the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, announced on April 12 that the organization would compete with SpaceX, a rocket company founded by tech billionaire Elon Musk. The claim came several days after Musk's Falcon 9 reusable rocket successfully landed on an ocean platform.

So, lemme get this straight. 2012~2016 has been one of Russia's busiest launch periods in history, which includes the 6-month U.S. hiatus when everyone had that bad run of failures last year. Russia's the only operational Manned programme running since 2011. Russia's launching, on average, four birds for every one that is launched anywhere else on Earth.

 

And they're "behind by a factor of nine"?! :| My count puts Russia ahead by a factor of four-to-one.

 

If that's Dimitry's idea of "underachieving" ...

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DocM    16,486

Rogozin is being realistic about the future.

 

Russia is largely launching with very outdated and inefficient Soviet era technologies, quality issues are putting their overseas launch business into collapse, and the "brain drain" of their young and upper level engineers to other industries and overseas continues.  Not to mention a large portion of their Soyuz TMA business disappears once Crew Dragon and Starliner fly.

 

And one reason they fly so often is because Soyuz 2, basically the equivalent of ourcoutdated Delta II, can't launch heavy multifunction satellites to energetic orbits - necessitating more and smaller birds. Proton is capable, but expensive and since 2008-ish unreliable.

 

Zenit was a mess, see SeaLaunch, and now only partially lives on in OrbitalATK's Antares.

 

They can't even begin to reverse this until their quality issues are fixed, Angara V goes into full production replacing Proton, Phoenix replaces Soyuz 2 and Federation replaces the Soyuz TMA. This is all a 6-10 years away.

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

Well, that's what happens when ya wait too long to innovate. Sure, the Soyuz platform is mature and robust, and it's gotten so many upgrades that it's hardly even "Soyuz" anymore except in form. There's still room to improve it, but yeah. It's still basically late 1960's form-factor taken to its' most extreme evolution.

 

Like if they were still flying Apollo/Saturn today, and kept doing incremental updates to the platform over the past 48 years. It'd be a totally different, and likely far more capable beast -- and the only thing that would resemble the original would be the general shape of the launchers and the CM/SM. Inside, it wouldn't be anything that Lovell or Aldrin would recognize. The DSKY would have been replaced by 1980. Loop Core Memory would have been replaced by standard (though shielded) RAM by then too.

 

So yeah, you're right. Time to replace the Soyuz platform, and the Proton (around since the mid 60's).

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