Russia's Vostochny Cosmodrome (updates)

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Roscosmos realistically knows what it needs to do and I have a good feeling about it, it will get done. Vostochny itself, is the proof it can be done and that place will be hopping in 3 to 5 years....great facilities for the young ones to learn at.



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I agree, but on the rocket end there's much to do and a LOT of it is getting away from having 2-3 upper stages.


This adds complexity and staging events, each one a potential failure mode, and their upper & kick stages (top-most stage) have been the cause of many failures & close calls on both Soyuz and Proton.


Russia really needs a single, powerful, very flexible upper stage like SpaceX's MVac S2 (or soon Raptor S2), the numerous Blue origin BE-3U S2's in development, Centaur or the ACES for Vulcan. ** 


Unfortunately, Angara sticks to a 3 stage stack for heavy payloads.


**I didn't mention Arians V' s EPS (Étage à Propergols Stockables) because it uses toxic hypergolics.  JAXA's H-IIA  S2 isn't in this power class.

Edited by DocM
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Launch Vehicle Assembly and Testing Building, MIK RN



LVA Assembly building    Vostochny



The MIK RN building is dominated by the main assembly hall covering an area of 9,000 square meters. The facility can accomodate simultaneous processing of two Soyuz-2-type rockets. They include Soyuz-2-1a, Soyuz-2-1b and Soyuz-2-1v variants modified for launches from Vostochny.


Clearly oversized for the Soyuz, the design of the building was apparently intended for a much larger Rus-M rocket, whose development was canceled in 2011. Still, Roskosmos probably decided to stick with the original dimensions, anticipating the eventual refurbishment of the facility for next-generation rockets, such as Soyuz-5.


The MIK RN is equipped with a pair of cranes spanning 40 meters across the main assembly hall and capable of lifting up to 100 tons each. The cranes move just below the ceiling of the building 27 meters above the floor. (The total height of the building is 37 meters.) Four rail lines with a total length of 510 meters run along the main assembly hall.


At its south end, the assembly hall is connected to the "transborder" gallery, which is used to deliver various components into the building. At the north end, the hall has its main entrance with a rail line heading directly to the Soyuz launch pad.


The main hall of the building is flanked by seven floors of administrative, support and testing rooms. Counting the office space, the total area of MIK RN is 45,000 square meters.


According to Spetsstroi, (the main contractor on the construction of the building), the ventilation system inside the facility provides R9-class air for the clean-room environment. It is capable of processing one million cubic meters of air per hour. The climate-control system was designed to maintain temperature from 18 to 25 degrees C and humidity of 80 percent inside the building.



Internal layout of the Vehicle Processing Building, MIK RN, in Vostochny.



The rocket components of the launch vehicle are delivered into the assembly hall from the storage along the central rail line, where the two sections of the core (second) stage can be integrated into a single booster.


The hardware then delivered by a crane to one of the two assembly zones along the eastern wall of the building. Here, boosters of the first and second stage can be assembled into a single composite. All three stages can also be connected by cables via floor outlets to testing equipment located in adjacent rooms behind the wall.


The assembled boosters of the first and second stage then re-loaded to a transporter parked on the rail line along the western wall of the building. After the third stage is integrated with its payload section at its central location, the resulting upper composite can be attached to booster stages.


Following the integrated tests, the completed launch vehicle is ready for the rollout to the launch pad. The transporter docks with climate-control trailers and with a locomotive for a trip to the pad.


The first Soyuz-2-1a rocket arrived at MIK RN in Vostochny at the end of 2015, and after a series of tests, the actual pre-launch campaign took place inside the building in April 2016. Unlike planned routine operations, all the components of the rocket were delivered directly into the building inside their railway trailers.



General view of MIK RN in Vostochny in the spring of 2016 looking south.



A general view of MIK RN in Vostochny at the end of 2015 looking north.



Parked inside MIK RN in the fall of 2015, a thermal-conditioning platform was designed to accompany rockets and thier cargo to the launch pad.



Office wing of the MIK RN building.



Northern gate of the vehicle processing building used to roll out rockets to the launch pad.  Credit: Roskosmos






The " # Space " on June 4, 2016. " # Lomonosov " in orbit -the https: // 

The main payload of the first launch.



Russia plans to send crews to Moon regularly starting in 2025



An artist’s rendition of Russia’s “Federation” spacecraft at the Moon. Image Credit: Roscosmos


Russia plans to send cosmonauts to the Moon on a regular basis as soon as 2025, the Roscosmos State Corporation has recently revealed. According to Russian authorities, the country could carry out one or two launches yearly of its crewed spacecraft called “Federation”—currently in development—in order to transport people to lunar orbit.

This ambitious plan envisages the Federation spacecraft orbiting the Moon as well as humans landing on the lunar surface. Moreover, the project includes sending cosmonauts on a trip beyond the Moon’s orbit to the so-called Lagrangian points.



The first tests of the “Federation” spacecraft conducted on the ergonomic simulator. Photo Credit: Energia RKK


The planned missions would be launched into space by Angara-A5P rockets. These 700-metric-ton boosters are currently being designed to launch Russian-crewed endeavors beyond Earth’s orbit. The Angara-A5P rocket would be a powerful launcher, capable of lifting up to 18 metric tons into low-Earth orbit (LEO).


Before Russia starts sending regular missions to Earth’s nearest celestial neighbor, it will need to conduct three test flights of the Federation spacecraft first. In 2021, an uncrewed launch from the new Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Far Eastern Amur region is planned to take place. Two years later, one uncrewed mission, as well as one crewed test mission, will be carried out.


The Federation spacecraft, which is being developed by RKK Energia, is expected to be finished in 2021. The company has just started the first tests of the vehicle as the spacecraft’s crew-machine interface elements were successfully examined on a unique ergonomic simulator in May of this year (2016). Launch, insertion, autonomous flight, and docking processes were checked out during these tests. The engineers also examined the flight phase toward an orbiting space station as well as circumlunar trajectories.


The results of the initial tests will now be verified and RKK Energia will make further decisions regarding the development of the spacecraft. The company will decide on implementing one or another of the interface elements.


Federation is expected to be Russia’s next-generation reusable spacecraft and is meant replace the country’s flagship Soyuz vessel. It should be capable of delivering people and cargo to the Moon and to space stations positioned in LEO. The name of the spacecraft was chosen in January 2016 through a public naming contest.


When complete, the vehicle will measure 20 feet (6.1 meters) in length and have a mass of approximately 14.4 metric tons when in flight to the International Space Station (ISS). The lunar version would have a mass of nearly five metric tons more.


The spacecraft should be capable of sending up to four cosmonauts to space as well as to be able to operate autonomously for up to 30 days, with the possibility of staying attached to the ISS for up to one year. The start of the construction of the vehicle is planned for this summer. It will cost Russia an estimated $734 million over the next six years.

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This just in. Russia to launch MIR-2 by 2032.




The decision was made yesterday by the Cosmic Technologies Consortium. It will be a commercial project.


Here's a brief timeline of their Orbital Technologies program:


2022 - a major tender for construction companies;

2025 - a tender for construction;

2027 - the first module launched.

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Technology has shifted so much since then that it'll be an almost completely different Station by comparison. Lots of new goodies that will go into its' design ... can't wait to see what they come up with. :yes: 

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Roscosmos is developing a lunar base for 12 people to be located at the Moon's south pole.




Cosmonautics 2047: tourist flights to the Moon; space hotels on Earth's orbit; construction of a base on the Moon; a manned flight around Venus; a manned flight to Mars.

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Here is a collection of articles related to Vostochny and future launchers/plans


First Stage of Vostochny Cosmodrome Construction to Be Finished by November



Russia's deputy prime minister ordered to complete the first stage of the Vostochny Cosmodrome's construction by October 21.


VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME (Sputnik) — The first stage of the construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome must be completed by October 31, 2016, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Tuesday.


"I decided to demand that Spetsstroy fully mobilizes its forces so that all unfinished objects are finished by October 31," Rogozin said, adding that he was referring to the first construction stage.


The deputy prime minister noted that an independent expertise would be carried out to assess the objects' readiness.




New Astronaut Training Complex to Open at Vostochny Cosmodrome by 2022



Russia’s new Vostochny Space Center's astronaut training complex will be completed by 2022, the head of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center said.


MOSCOW (Sputnik) – A preflight astronaut training complex at Russia’s new Vostochny Space Center will be completed by 2022, the head of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center said.


“According to the confirmed schedule, the construction of the preflight astronaut training center at the Vostochny Cosmodrom will be completed in 2022…This will be the most modern preflight training complex,” Yuri Lonchakov told journalists.





Russia to Carry Out Four Commercial Launches From Vostochny Cosmodrome



Russia will conduct four commercial launches from the Vostochny space center in Russia's Far East in 2018, the director of Roscosmos state corporation's representative office at Vostochny said Thursday.


BLAGOVESHCHENSK (Sputnik) — He added that technologies developed in Russia's universities and laboratories could be used in the spacecraft launched from Vostochny in 2018.


"In the next [2017] year, two spacecraft launches [are scheduled], in 2018 two launches of spacecraft and four commercial launches are scheduled," Konstantin Chmarov said.


Russia carried out a maiden space launch from the Vostochny cosmodrome on April 28. It involved a Soyuz-2.1a light class space rocket with three research satellites.




GCTC to Transfer Cosmonauts to Vostochny Cosmodrome in 4Q2016 Via Aircraft



GCTC will receive two unique aircraft for the cosmonauts' transportation to country's new Vostochny Space Center in the fourth quarter of 2016, the head of the GCTC said Saturday.


MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Yuri Gagarin Research and Test Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) will receive two unique aircraft for transportation of cosmonauts to country's new Vostochny Space Center in the fourth quarter of 2016, the head of the GCTC said Saturday.

"In 2014, a contract on purchasing two Tu-204-300 aircraft for the air group of the GCTC, worth 3.3 billion rubles[some $49 million at the current exchange rates]… The design of the aircraft will be special. They will be the only ones in the world," Yuri Lonchakov told reporters.


He added that configuration of the aircraft would include special cabins for cosmonauts as well as for medical personnel.


Russia's Tu-204-300 aircraft is a twin-engine airliner of high fuel efficiency and comfort level that has been fitted with modern communications systems and a noise-protected interior, according to the website of Tupolev Public Joint Stock Company, which has designed the aircraft.




Russia, China may cooperate in developing heavy space rocket — diplomat



 Vladimir Astapkovich/ITAR-TASS



BEIJING, June 21. /TASS/. Russia and China are actively discussing the prospects of cooperation in space rocket engine-making, creating a heavy rocket, space stations and making long-distance space flights, Russia’s Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov told TASS on Tuesday.


"Our country has substantial potential accumulated in the sphere of engine-making. This is a well-known fact," the ambassador said.

"I would emphasize cooperation in outer space activity as a whole rather than a specific delivery of a batch of goods. The point is not to deliver specific equipment but to organize long-term mutually advantageous cooperation of the sides, which are objectively close to each other from the viewpoint of technical and technological compatibility."

"The Chinese space industry was largely created with account taken of our technical developments. While it has long reached the level of independent development and made achievements in recent years in the sphere of Chinese cosmonautics both manned and unmanned, the field for cooperation remains quite broad. This is, perhaps, the main thing. The delivery of rocket engines is quite possible and is viewed both by us and our Chinese partners," he ambassador said.


According to the ambassador, "in a perspective, cooperation is perceptible in the field of designing a heavy rocket and establishing interaction in the sphere of space stations and long-distance flights."

"This is a very promising sphere in whose development both the Russian and Chinese sides are interested. But at the same time, what is very important for us is the protection of the rights of intellectual property along with generally-accepted international legal aspects of this activity," the ambassador said.

"This cooperation is of purely peaceful, civilian nature and will finally benefit the entire humankind rather than only the participating states," the Russian ambassador to China said.




Russian, Chinese journalists visit new Far Eastern spaceport



Assembly and Testing Facility at Vostochny Cosmodrome
 Igor Ageenko/TASS



Participants of the Russian-Chinese media tour visited a technical complex and a launch pad of the Vostochny spaceport.


VOSTOCHNY SPACEPORT, June 28. /TASS/. Participants of the Russian-Chinese media tour, organized by TASS and China’s Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily), visited a technical complex and a launch pad of the Vostochny spaceport in Russia’s Far East on Tuesday.

"The meeting of journalists of two countries at the cosmodrome shows our openness and drive to develop international cooperation," deputy director of a branch of Russian space agency Roscosmos Alexander Molchanov told a TASS correspondent.

The journalists first arrived in Uglegorsk, a village that will soon become part of the Tsiolkovsky science city, where they visited a cosmonautics museum and saw monuments to Russian cosmonaut and first man in space Yuri Gagarin and rocket scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, and also a Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft.


The next stop was a technical complex designed for the preparation of a carrier rocket and assembly of the fourth stage. The journalists also saw the work of a unique transborder gallery used for the transportation of carrier rocket components between buildings in the course of pre-launch preparations.

The "space program" ended by a visit to the Tsiolkovsky science city currently under construction.

The construction of the Vostochny space center in the Amur region began in 2010. A Soyuz-2.1 a rocket was successfully launched from the Vostochny spaceport for the first time on April 28. Vostochny occupies an area of about 700 sq. km. It is destined to become the first national facility for civilian space launches, ensuring Russia’s full-scale access to outer space and reducing the dependence of the Russian space industry on the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.






At RSC Energia im.S.P.Korolёva discussed the problematic issues of establishment of a # East starting manned




Quote In the interior decoration. # East College # MIC test the readiness to start the second phase of construction




Quote In the interior decoration. # East College # MIC test the readiness to start the second phase of construction




Funding is in place and work commences in 2018 on the Soyuz 5...



The Soyuz-5 family of rockets as envisioned at the beginning of 2015 (left to right): Soyuz-5.0, Soyuz-5.1, Soyuz-5.2, Soyuz-5.3 and its man-rated version designed to carry the next-generation spacecraft, PTK NP. Copyright © 2016 Anatoly Zak /




                                      Soyuz-5.0        Soyuz-5.1        Soyuz-5.2         Soyuz-5.3       Soyuz-5.3/PTK NP
Payload to LEO             3.0 tons            9.0 tons           16.5 tons          26 tons                       ?
Liftoff mass                200.0 tons        268.7 tons        575.0 tons        690.2 tons                   ?



Work has already started on the Angara family...



Above: Angara family as of 2013, left to right: Angara-5, Angara-5P, Angara-3, Angara-1.2.


capabilities here...



The Soyuz 2 launching now and these two launchers will cover most of what needs to be lifted, and a heavy is in the works.


This is a lead up to this article, which must be a publicity stunt, as it makes no sense at all....


Proton-Light proposed



General architecture and key components of the Proton-Light rocket.



In 2016, Russian space officials announced plans to develop a smaller version of the nation's venerable Proton launch vehicle. The head of Roskosmos Igor Komarov, speaking to the radio station Ekho Moskvy on June 18 said that the Proton-Light variant would be narrowly aimed at particular demands of the commercial market. According to Komarov, an extra variant would make the Proton family more effective and reduce per-kilogram cost of payload delivered into orbit.


Komarov stressed that the Proton would remain in operation for at least seven or nine years, before being replaced with the Angara family.


On June 23, the head of GKNPTs Khrunichev Andrei Kalinovsky announced that the company had been preparing a new addition to the Proton family for a different type of commercial spacecraft, allowing various Proton variants to have their own individual price offers on the market.

Kalinovsky did not provide technical details on the new Proton variant, but mentioned that it would not be a drastically new vehicle.


Around the same time, various industry sources revealed the most likely architecture of the Proton-Light rocket. The key change included the removal of the second stage from the standard Proton-M rocket. Instead, the traditional third stage of the Proton-M would be "stretched" to accommodate more propellant and used as the second stage on the Proton-Light.


According to some reports, the propulsion system on the second stage could be modified to re-start its engine and boost its payload from an initial parking orbit to a geostationary transfer orbit, GTO. Some estimates showed that under such a scenario, the vehicle could deliver up to five tons of cargo to the GTO after launch from Baikonur.


Another configuration could use a Briz-M space tug as the third stage of the rocket.


In its new configuration, Proton-Light could fill the gap in the payload range left by the Zenit rocket, which itself fell victim to Russia's conflict with Ukraine. The new Proton variant would also be well positioned on the international market, which saw more competition with the arrival of the American Falcon-9 rocket.


However given the extended length of time required for even less radical upgrades of Proton and the official Russian strategy to phase out the vehicle in favor of Angara-5, it is unclear whether it would be possible to justify the Proton-Light development effort. A number of previous proposals to change the shape and size of the Proton-M rocket were deemed too expensive more than a decade earlier in the rocket's operational career.


I am pretty sure that someone with common sense will shelve this idea, real quick.......:s

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The pic is Baikal, a fly back side booster. The new project would be like the DARPA XS-1 project; a winged fly back first stage which deploys a disposable upper stage and payload.


Another similar US project was BLACKSTAR - something like a B-70 Valkyrie which air launched an orbital spaceplane. 

Edited by DocM
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Bits and bytes...


New building contractors sought for Cosmodrome Vostochny



New contractors for the second phase construction of Cosmodrome Vostochny and the town of Tsiolkovsky might be selected by a tender in coming months, Interfax news agency reports on Tuesday.


The Federal Russian Space Agency retains its responsibilities as a coordinating customer, however, the Russian Construction Ministry is expected to become a direct customer of the second phase of the town of Tsiolkovsky and social infrastructure facilities.

“The Construction Ministry being a relative governmental body is supposed to put out tenders and select contractors for the social infrastructure building. Civil specialists with a corresponding experience in the housing construction are likely to win the tenders. Meanwhile, the Special Construction Agency of Russia (Spetsstroy) has strong chances to win a tender for the building of a ground-based space infrastructure”, - says the source.




Aist-2D satellite launched from Vostochny begins scientific experiments



Operators of the Aist-2D satellite, which was put into orbit in April, have activated its scientific payload and begun research in accordance with the flight plan, the Samara University press service told Interfax.


"The entire scientific payload designed by Samara University's Institute of Space Instruments Engineering for the Aist-2D is operating normally, and we have begun the research envisaged by the satellite's flight plan," the press service quoted Institute Director Nikolai Semkin as saying.

The satellite is carrying six packages of scientific equipment, five of which were designed by Samara University.


A Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle carrying the Lomonosov, Aist-2D and SamSat-218 satellites blasted off from the Vostochny cosmodrome on April 28.

The Aist-2D is a Russian remote sensing satellite with a resolution of up to 1.5 meters. The satellite was designed and built by engineers of the Progress State Research and Production Space Center and Samara University's Institute of Space Instruments Engineering.


The Samara-based Progress press service said in May that the Aist-2D had taken the first photograph of the Earth's surface from orbit.

The Aist-2D is also carrying a portion of the Contact scientific research complex created by engineers of the Progress State Research and Production Space Center and Samara University's Institute of Space Instruments Engineering. The complex was tasked with testing micro-satellite control technology. The other part of the Contact complex consisted of SamSat-218 nano-satellites, which evaded stable contact with the mission control center after the launch.




New Angara production line to open



credit Anatoly Zak



Preparing full-cycle production in Omsk


The second round of upgrades started at Angara's production plant in Omsk during 2015 at a reported price tag of six billion rubles (in addition to the seven billion spent on the first round from 2009 to 2014). By that time, the first launch of the Angara-5 had already taken place and the serial production of the rocket was becoming a reality. Imported state-of-the-art machines for manufacturing of tanks as large as four meters in diameter were installed at Building No. 12, where special foundations had to be built first.



2016: Angara serial production line to open


In July 2016, the head of GKNPTs Khrunichev Andrei Kalinovsky confirmed to the Izvestiya daily that 11 URM-1 boosters would be produced per year until 2020, enough to assemble a pair of Angara-5 rockets and one Angara-1.2 a year during that five-year period. Operating in three shifts, the serial production plant for the Angara family in Omsk could turn up 100 URM-1 modules for 20 rockets per year, Kalinovsky said, however he did not specify when such a manufacturing rate would be reached.


Around the same time, the Spetsstroi military construction agency informed the web site that it was putting the finishing touches on the new production facility for the Angara rocket at PO Polyot's Hall 66 in Omsk.


The full production complex included two already completed production halls and a power conversion station. The latest facility would include clean-room equipment and an X-ray chamber for inspection of large components, both of which were all in the final stages of installation, making the production line ready for opening by the end of July 2016. According to Kalinovsky, the new facility would be used to begin the work on the third and fourth Angara-5 rockets in the second half of 2016.


Switching to digital


During 2016, GKNPTs Khrunichev also hoped to finally switch from traditional to computer design of the Angara rocket. The company began digitizing blueprints for the rocket in 2015 and by the end of that year completed around 55 percent of the transition process, Kalinvosky told RIA Novosti. The blueprints for the URM-1 booster module were digitized first and, by April 2016, engineers began working on designs for the URM-2 stage and on the payload section.


This is good news. The Angara pad will be built at Vostochny during the second phase of construction and should be well enough along development lines to host the "Federation" manned launches well before Soyuz 5.



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Russia Can Build Base for Future Mars Missions Near Vostochny Cosmodrome



A new training base, where scientific experiments within the framework of preparations for future Mars expeditions will be conducted, can be built near the Vostochny space center in Russia's Far East, a leading research fellow at Institute For Biomedical Problems (IBMP) said.


Earlier on Monday, media reported that six US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) volunteers had successfully completed a year-long isolation test to simulate life on Mars.


"The S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC) Energia and IBMP are interested in building such a base in the Far East, probably near Vostochny Cosmodrome. Such talks are ongoing.


In case of the project's implementation, Russia will have a place for full ground-based training sessions of crews, including for future Mars expeditions," Vadim Gushchin told RIA Novosti on Monday. Gushchin added that such experiments as the simulation of landing on Mars held in Hawaii by the United States were also desirable in Russia.





City Tsiolkovsky. Spetsstroy completes construction of residential buildings of the first stage







The city Tsiolkovsky monument creators today opened cosmodrome Vostochny


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As Doc had mentioned in...



Here is the article...

2016: Roskosmos hints Angara complex delays



On January 20, 2016, Roskosmos officials admitted that budget cuts at the end of 2015 had required to drop plans to build one of the two launch pads for Angara rockets in Vostochny. Previously, the Russian space officials claimed that a dual launch complex for the Angara was absolutely necessary to support the four-launch scenario of the lunar expeditions relying on the Angara-5V rocket.


The beginning of the construction of the remaining single pad was now delayed from 2016 to 2017. The facility could still be designed to accomodate multiple members of the Angara family, including Angara-5 and Angara-5V and, eventually, their man-rated versions.


To save money, the Amur project, which aimed to bring the Angara family to Vostochny, was subdivided into two phases. Only the first phase, which funded the deployment of the Angara-5/KVTK and Angara-5P rockets at the site, would reach flight tests in 2021, during the Federal Space Program extending from 2016 to 2025. The completion of the second phase, which would see the first unmanned launch of the Angara-5V rocket from Vostochny, was now postponed from 2024 to beyond 2025.


On September 3, Roskosmos announced that the design of the Angara complex had been underway and the contractor selection for the project would take place during a federal tender in 2017. "The construction (of the Angara pad in Vostochny) would begin, I think, in a year or a year and a half," Roskosmos head Igor Komarov was quoted as saying by the official TASS news agency. Komarov's statement essentially confirmed the 1.5-year delay in the project and raised doubts about previous plans to retain workforce at the site, which had been assembled for the construction of the Soyuz launch pad. The only silver lining in the situation would be an extra time allowing to fully complete the paper phase of the project and avoid the production of technical documentation in parallel with construction, as it had happened during the first phase of development in Vostochny.






Roskosmos, participates in the East Economic Forum - http: // the www. .






At the launch site # East opened the monument "Founders of the spaceport and the astronauts'http: // the www. 


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On January 20, 2016, Roskosmos officials admitted that budget cuts at the end of 2015 

In the meantime the price Russia charges NASA to give their astraunts a lift to the ISS has risen again, growing from $21.3 million in 2006 to $81.9 million last year :D Hooray for sanctions! It doesn't seem like it's something Anatoliy Zak prefers to write about.



In all, the U.S. has paid Russia $3.4 billion for rides on its Soyuz rocket, and the IG said NASA could have saved $1 billion of that if it had met its original goal of flying human missions in 2015.


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Anatoly Zak does a real good job at keeping the general science community up to date on recent events. As with all science projects over the world, politics always rears it's ugly head, but as an unwritten rule, we keep politics and religion out of the science, as much as possible.


I can't speak for everyone, but hard science nerds do not want politics/religion mentioned and once it creeps in, readership moves else where. There are a few sites I will not visit due to this type of activity.


Anatoly Zak has of late, placed several articles in major publications due to concise reporting while leaving out the garbage.


Overall, I feel that he has really grown as a tech writer and become a popular source in the community.


As a rule, even here in the science section, I get real ticked when I see politics and religion enter, where upon, I am generally the first to point it out.



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On 9/5/2016 at 9:11 PM, Draggendrop said:

Anatoly Zak has of late, placed several articles in major publications due to concise reporting while leaving out the garbage.

Subtle anti-russian propaganda is in great demand these days.


It's mind-boggling how someone can dedicate oneself to writing about a topic he appears to be passionate about and continue to insert disgusting epithets about the country in question, while of course living oversees and playing to the tune of his new stakeholders.


Zak's reporting on Russia is quite typical of the whole western coverage on Russia and according to him, the Russian space industry is either on the verge of a major break-thru (thus the country is a threat and both NATO and NASA require additional cash) or it's about to collapse due to lack of funding and the brain-drain. Go figure.

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Well, I for one hope Russia succeeds in its' endeavors, and I wish them well. Friendly bar-raising and increases of standards that push everyone involved to achieve and excel is good for all sides. :yes: 


And I also agree wholeheartedly that Science, Technology and Space Exploration is not the arena for Politics. I've been guilty of bringing personal opinions in that regard into these discussions in the past, and I will refrain from such outbursts in the future. (Y) 

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Booster rockets "Soyuz" will fly from Baikonur # East on a new fuel -http: // the www. 


ROSCOSMOS. Carrier rocket "Soyuz" will be flying from the eastern to the new fuel



09.13.2016 10:12
The state corporation "Roscosmos" starts to work on the translation of the rocket-carrier complex (RN) "Soyuz-2" on the Vostochny cosmodrome on a new type of fuel, "Nafta". Using NAFTA "Soyuz-2" will display a large payload to all types of Earth orbit compared to a couple of "oxygen-kerosene."
Naphthyl is used as fuel in the "Soyuz-2.1a" and "Soyuz-2.1b". All work on the translation of the launch complex "Soyuz-2" at the cosmodrome EAST to refuel rockets a new type of fuel to be completed by July 2019.
Naphthyl - environmentally friendly type of fuel, which is based on a pair of "oxygen-kerosene" with the addition of polymer additives. naphthyl currently used for PH family "Angara" and the third-stage rocket "Soyuz-2".




In other news...


Proton family to expand further



On Sept. 13, 2016, GKNPTs Khrunichev officially confirmed its plans to expand the Proton family and announced the coming of its additional members.


One new version of the launcher now identified as Proton-Light would be formed by the removal of two out of six strap-on tanks and their respective engines on the first stage and by the addition of an auxiliary fuel tank at the top of its main body. (Due to the smaller amount of fuel on that version, the standard oxidizer tank would have to be left only partially filled.)


The company promised to introduce that latest configuration of the vehicle in 2019, or one year after the "original" Proton-Light architecture, which was now renamed Proton-Medium. The new "flavors" of the Proton will be launched from Pad 24 at Site 81 in Baikonur and will still use the standard Briz-M space tug as their third stage.


The lightest version of the Proton rocket could deliver from 3.6 to 4.2 tons of payload, depending on the additional kick provided by the satellite itself, and insert 1.45 tons of payload directly into the geostationary orbit.



credit ILS



Official payload capabilities of the proposed Proton variants:


Proton-M (modified)



Geostationary orbit, GSO

3.3 tons

2.4 tons

1.45 tons

Geostationary orbit, GTO with delta V of 1,500 meters per second

6.3 tons

5.0 tons

3.6 tons

Geostationary orbit, GTO with delta V of 1,800 meters per second

7.1 tons

5.7 tons

4.2 tons



and then this...


Russia charts new path to super rocket



After essentially losing the venerable Zenit rocket to the conflict with Ukraine in 2014, the Russian space industry is gearing up for building a replacement launcher. In addition to carrying commercial satellites, the new booster can become a stepping stone toward a super-heavy rocket, even if decades after the Zenit was available for the same role in the Energia and Sodruzhestvo projects.



The Sunkar launcher concept.




In the commercial launch market, the Sunkar should replace the yet-to-be-built Proton-Light variant, delivering mid-size satellites, while Angara-5 would take over duties of the Proton-M version carrying the heaviest payloads.


Ironically, the proposal to develop yet another type of space launcher essentially reverses the previous strategy at GKNPTs Khrunichev of relying on a modular architecture of the Angara family to cover the entire spectrum of space payloads. However, unlike Angara's standard booster, URM-1, the first stage of the Sunkar rocket will be large enough to serve as a building block for a future super-heavy rocket, reaching payloads of at least 80 tons, so it could serve as the main vehicle for the deep-space exploration program. Therefore, the Sunkar proposal can be considered as the first step in building a more powerful family of space rockets in Russia.



The development of the Sunkar rocket could be folded into the Feniks project, which was to be funded within the Russian Federal Space Program extending from 2016 to 2025 and aimed at developing a new-generation rocket to replace the Soyuz family. Another contender for federal funds within the Feniks program was the Soyuz-5 proposal from RKTs Progress, which builds all Soyuz rockets. However after the conflict with Ukraine had began in 2014, the Feniks was apparently steered toward building an equivalent of the Zenit rocket inside Russia.


The authors of the Sunkar proposal believed that if approved in the near future, the new rocket could be ready for launch from an upgraded launch facility at Site 45 at the beginning of 2024 and start commercial missions from Baikonur a year and a half later, right around the time of the Proton's retirement.


The manufacturing of the rocket could be distributed between various industrial centers in Russia, with RKTs Progress in Samara likely taking the leading role, possibly relying on available manufacturing base inherited from the Energia program.






SpaceX has had a major influence in global launch costs and will shortly prove the viability of re-usability.


Blue origin has just confirmed the re-usability strategy with the New Glenn program.


ULA is feeling the heat and has announced RapidLaunch to counter this...


SNC DreamChaser


Virgin Galactic and LauncherOne   (small sats)


RocketLabs  (small sats)


and we have Arianespace plugging along with Ariane 6


Seems the battle front for customers will be changing quickly, but I don't understand playing with Proton, they need to get on with the great designs that they already have in store for launcher replacements, and make it happen. Being idle is not a good quality at this juncture.


I would like them to go Angara and Soyuz 5, both families have coverage....then do the super heavy.



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New exhibits at the Baikonur museum # East -http: // the www. 





09.17.2016 10:19
Flagship Enterprise Roscosmos gave the museum exhibits new Vostochny cosmodrome - element carrier rocket engine (RN) "Soyuz-2.1a" and a model of the spacecraft "Lomonosov".
Engine Element "Soyuz-2.1a" handed over the leadership of the FSUE "TsENKI" - KC "East". This engine was part of the propulsion system of the carrier rocket, which put into orbit spacecraft "Lomonosov" and "Stork-2D", starting with the first civilian spaceport modern Russia - Vostochny cosmodrome April 28, 2016.
"Lomonosov" A copy of the spacecraft arrived at the space museum in Moscow - a new exhibit produced and delivered VNIIEM Corporation. The exhibit is made on a scale of 1: 2.
The exhibits are installed in the museum, and space fans can see them at the celebration of the Day on 17 September. On this day, the city of Tsiolkovsky, as the first human flight into space, turns 55 years old! Also for the City Day in Tsiolkovsky an exhibition of paintings. Outdoor of the paintings installed in the "East" cultural and recreational center. The painting is executed by young artists from different regions of the Far East. The different techniques they painted objects of Russia's first civilian spaceport EAST. The paintings depict young engineers, the mobile service tower, launch pad, transborder gallery itself Technical Complex. The works of artists can be seen in Blagoveshchensk, there will also be an exhibition. GO!!






















Excellent, great space related art...:D

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S7 Group to Acquire Sea Launch


Acquisition Marks S7 Group's Entry into the Space Industry



Our business approach is radically different from what you see at many companies: we will not sell promises, we will sell launches only when our launch vehicles are ready to take to the atmosphere





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Russian aviation company to acquire Sea Launch



Sea Launch, idle since a May 2014 launch, could resume operations from California, and using Zenit-3SL rockets, in late 2018 if a sale of the venture's assets to a Russian aviation company goes through. Credit: Sea Launch



GUADALAJARA, Mexico — A Russian aviation company plans to acquire the assets of Sea Launch from RSC Energia with the hopes of resuming launches in about two years.


S7 Group, Russia’s largest private aviation holding company and owner of S7 Airlines, signed an agreement to acquire all the main assets of Sea Launch, including its two vessels, in a ceremony during the International Astronautical Congress here Sept. 27.


Vladislav Filev, chief executive of S7 Group, said the value of the deal was about $150 million. He added the agreement was subject to approvals in several countries, including the United States and Russia. The companies expect the effort to obtain those approvals to take six months.


In the case of the United States, that process includes export control agreements with the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls and an approval the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, according to a statement released by S7 Group.


Sea Launch has been idle since a May 2014 launch of a Eutelsat satellite. Filev said that Sea Launch could resume operations in about 18 months after receiving final approvals for the deal. “We believe that the life of this asset is 15 years, and we propose to have something like 70 launches over those 15 years,” he said.


Despite reports that Sea Launch could move its ships from its current home port of Long Beach, California, and use launch vehicles other than the Zenit-3SL, Filev said there were no plans to change Sea Launch’s operations. “It’s a reasonable decision for the moment,” he said. “Our basic position now is that we will operate as-is.”




Vladimir Solntsev, general director of Energia, declined to say if the agreement to sell the Sea Launch assets to S7 Group depended on a resolution of the case. “Today we’re signing papers between S7 and Energia, and Boeing is not a part of this deal,” he said through an interpreter. “So, it’s not appropriate to talk about that right now.”


Filev, in a company statement, said S7 Group saw Sea Launch as their best opportunity to move into the space business. “The acquisition of Sea Launch is a ‘ticket’ for us to enter the space industry,” he said. “In our view, it is a very exciting area of business, with good long-term prospects.”


This is good news for the industry.


This is an aviation company trying to get into the launcher industry. The legal issue will have to be dealt with by the parties involved, but as noted, an agreement appears to be in place. From the article, it appears the platform will still run out of the U.S. and fences mended to continue with the Zenit.


This is not a cut and dry case yet, but looks very promising. I hope all goes well and the small sat market will benefit.



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New antenna systems to support launches of carrier rockets will be assembled in a modular fashion - http: // the www. .


RKS. RUSSIA from space will link New modular antenna



09.29.2016 10:33

New domestic antenna systems to support launches of carrier rockets, work with satellites and the ISS will be assembled in a modular fashion. It reduce the cost, simplify and accelerate the deployment and upgrade of points of contact with the spacecraft and boosters. standard modules combining technology offers the market unique antenna systems with quality and economic characteristics of serial products.
To implement this concept, the engineers of the Special Design Bureau of Moscow Power Engineering Institute (MEI OKB, is a holding company "Russian Space Systems") have developed a range of modules, the antenna system with standardized interfaces and mechanical elements. All of them will be mass-produced on the basis of domestic components. As a result, to create a new antenna system with specified characteristics do not need to design it again - just pick up the necessary combination of standardized modules.
Director General of OKB MEI Alexander Chebotarev: "Antennas for space industry - a complex high-tech products. Since the beginning of space exploration, they were single-piece and created with the ground control system and telemetry from almost every spacecraft. In modern conditions of individual and small-scale production is inefficient technology - at high costs we have unstable quality. Creating a unified aerial systems (UAS) - is an important step in the work on the unification of space for devices and systems. "
During the development work has been developed range of standard SLR systems with diameters ranging from 1 to 16 meters, greatly improved dynamic accuracy specifications and radio antenna systems, affecting the efficiency of the UAS. As a result, significantly reduced the mean square deviation of the reflecting surface of the reflector. The new antenna may operate at a wind speed of 25 m / s and at a temperature of 50 to -50 degrees Celsius. Thus they provide a reliable information transmission and reception in a frequency range of 1 to 44 GHz.
For the first time these technologies were worked out during the construction of the cosmodrome "East". In 2014-2015 OKB MEI specialists have modernized antenna system TNA-57 with a mirror diameter of 12 meters. The use of new modules allowed to exceed specifications laid down in the specifications. They were significantly increased targeting speed, acceleration and power the entire antenna system. During these operations the first time succeeded in combining in one band and three irradiator provide auto tracking mode for each frequency band. The new system, installed on the "East", can work with the ISS, different boosters, boosters and spacecraft.
MEI OKB more than 60 years of experience in the creation of land-based and airborne equipment for a variety of systems and control systems, the reception, transmission and processing of information. One of the main directions is the creation of antenna systems and their components, including the competence to create a unique antenna systems with the size of the mirror 64 meters, phase correlation and direction finders "Rhythm" and self-expanding space-based antenna with an aperture of up to 24 meters.





The delegation of the state corporation "Roscosmos" takes part in the annual International Astronautical Congress - http: // the www. .






Roscosmos plans to create robots to work in open space - http: // the www. .



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  • 4 weeks later...

Bits and bytes...




Return device "Federation" will be able to fly into space up to 10 times http: // the www. 



ROSCOSMOS. Returns the machine to the "Federation" will be able to fly in space up to 10 times



06.10.2016 11:24
The state corporation "Roscosmos" has identified the requirements for carrying out part of the development work on the creation of the manned transport spacecraft "federation".
Manned transport a new generation of ship should be capable of flights to lunar orbit using interorbit means of transportation, rendezvous and docking with the orbital station, flying in lunar and Earth orbit manned and unmanned modes, the transition from lunar orbit to the trajectory of the Earth with the 2nd space velocity and the safe return of the crew to Earth. This multiplicity of possible application of the recovery vehicle in the performance of the near-Earth flights and fly to the moon must be at least 10.
In implementing the program of manned lunar vehicle "Federation" shall ensure that the duration of autonomous flight with a crew of 4 people for at least 30 days, and in the composition of lunar orbital infrastructures with appropriate life support systems - not less than 180 days. And when the fly in low Earth orbit, the ship should be capable of accommodating up to 6 crew members and the duration of the flight as part of the orbital infrastructure is not less than 365 days.
In accordance with the terms of reference provided a tentative schedule of flight tests of the new "federation" of the spacecraft:
unmanned flight of the spacecraft to orbit Earth satellite in 2021;
Unmanned flight to dock to the ISS in 2023;
manned flight to dock to the ISS in 2023.






Voting for the characters for the new banknotes of the Bank of Russia. Far East is COSMODROME EAST http: //tvoya-rossiya.rf





the https: // /1479852411.html  ...   In the 21, with the East fly LV "Angara" new pilot.korablem and the robot, which will replace the flight, astronaut





City Tsiolkovsky built with new houses and garden. Soon there'll be ready for the reception of young professionals @ Roscosmos






The new boiler will warm Tsiolkovsky and the old part of the town of Uglegorsk




Remembrance 24 October 1960  during the cold war era.



on October 24 at Baikonur tradition rallies were held in memory of the tragedy of 1960 - http: // the www. .





24.10.2016 13:55
October 24, 2016 at Baikonur tradition rallies were held in memory of the tragedy in 1960 year. The management and staff representatives of Roskosmos and the Federal State Unitary Enterprise "TsENKI" at Baikonur Cosmodrome veterans paid tribute to the victims of the accident and laid flowers at the memorial to those killed in the city and testers on site №41 of the cosmodrome, on the site of the death of the calculation.
56 years ago, 24 October 1960 at the 41 th floor test site (NIIP-5 MO, in the future - Baikonur) in preparation for the first test launch of R-16 ballistic missile due to the passage of premature commands from the junction box there was a non-standard launch propulsion the second stage, resulting in destruction of the tanks first stage and ignite fuel toxic components. Expenses from rocket fire concentric waves spread with great speed and devoured everything in its path. As a result, died, suffered burns or poisoning most often found on the starting position of fighting calculation, the chairman of the state commission RVSN Commander, Chief Marshal of Artillery MI Nedelina and a number of designers and executives from ministries.




For the following video...



Published on Jul 21, 2015
Dramatic pictures showing one of the worst rocket disasters in the history of the space race have been made public for the first time. 
Information about the massive explosion at the Kapustin Yar launch site was kept top secret by the Soviet Union. 
Only now, 36 years after more than 70 people were killed in a raging inferno, is the full story being told. 

Fully primed with fuel and ready to go, the R-16 rocket was due to make the next leap forward in the missile race with America. 
But the launch ended in death and disaster. 
The missile erupted in a giant fire ball - turning the launch pad into an inferno. 
The tragedy at Kapustin Yar was one of the closest kept secrets of the old Soviet Union.
This film, declassified only days ago, shows the full horror as ground staff, their clothing on fire, run for their lives. 
Many of them didn't make it.
74 were burnt to death at the missile site in south east Russia near the border with Kazakhstan. 
The full death toll was only released last year in the Russian military press. 
The cause of the horrific accident is thought to be last minute welding work on the missile. 

Colonel Valentin Anokhin speaks freely for the first time of the events of October 24 1960. 
Only now can he watch the film of the blast which he shot as a young military cameraman.
Many of the dead were personal friends. 
Filming the aftermath the next day, he says only white stains on the melted asphalt remained.
He blames the disaster squarely on the ruinous arms race with America. 

SOUNDBITE: (Russian)
"Khrushchev decided that we were going to cut down on ships and airplanes. He said from the start that we were going to produce rockets as if they were cucumbers. And we did indeed produce a lot of different rockets. Well, it all came from confrontation with the west. The powerful NATO bloc had just been formed."

SUPER CAPTION: Colonel . Valentin Anokhin, Former Military Cameraman
When the Second World War ended, the Soviet Union was desperate to develop its own nuclear weapons to counter America's atomic capability.

This video is a short version, is traumatic and not for the fainthearted.

It is a tragedy of which I will post for those who have not heard of the incident.

It is heart breaking, but will never be forgotten.



video is 3:17 min.




Heart breaking. :(

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Commercial Angara-5 missions to wait for Vostochny pad



Although the development of the Angara-5 rocket was funded by the Russian military, the rocket was expected to play multiple roles in the Russian space program, including a commercial one.


However, by 2016, International Launch Services, ILS, the US-based marketing arm of GKNPTs Khrunichev, firmly decided to put off commercial missions of Angara-5 rockets until the introduction of the new launch complex for the family in Vostochny, which was not expected at the time until at least 2021.


The decision to postpone the commercialization was made after the company had extensively studied an option of launching commercial payloads on Angara-5 from Plesetsk. The analysis revealed that limitations of payload capacity, when boosting satellites to equatorial orbits from Russia's northern cosmodrome, would make Angara-5 unprofitable.


The prospects of commercial missions from Plesetsk were further complicated by serious logistical challenges. Unlike Baikonur, with its extensive infrastructure for the Proton rocket, the Russian military launch site in Plesetsk has never been set up for the delivery and processing of large commercial payloads, such as communications satellites.


As a result, ILS embarked on another round of upgrades to the Proton family, which would bridge the gap until the introduction of the new launch site for the Angara in 2020s. The hope was that by that time, the new-generation rocket should have accumulated enough flight experience with military and Roskosmos' payloads for a confident entrance onto the commercial stage.


I hope they start the Angara pad soon...we need some good  action in a new locale.  :)

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