Russia is leaving space orbit


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Russia is leaving space orbit

Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, responsible for the military-industrial complex, made a statement on Saturday on the problems of the state corporation Roscosmos. If earlier he subjected the corporation to such angry criticism, as if harsh, but fair words were pronounced in the courtroom, now there is a feeling that the deputy prime minister saw the light at the end of the tunnel. That is, he called the bottleneck in the work of Roscosmos, calling it the "Achilles heel." And he even identified ways to cure this ailment.

So, the main problem of the corporation, according to Yuri Borisov, is low profitability. It is she who does not allow to enter the mass production of rocket technology. It can be enhanced by the formation of a “clear and understandable policy, which should be based on the principles of unification and standardization of decisions."

At the same time, the Deputy Prime Minister also mentioned the cursed legacy of the 90s, when there were not enough funds, and the transition to the western element base took place. And this came back due to the introduction of anti-Russian sanctions. However, the exact same thing can be said about the entire Russian defense complex. Including strategic and tactical rocket science, the creation of fighters and air defense systems. True, in these areas no one has complained about the “damned heritage” for a long time.

At the end of his post-Christmas message to Roscosmos, Yuri Borisov instructed the management of the corporation to find ways to improve the industry so that the country could be “proud of its space industry.” All the opportunities for this are available, the Deputy Prime Minister encouraged the leadership.

In recent years, a lot of critical arrows have been fired at Roskosmos. One Vostochny spaceport is worth it. Here is what Putin said in November when he visited the construction of the cosmodrome: “It has been said a hundred times – work transparently, a lot of money is allocated, the project is practically nationwide! No, they steal – hundreds of millions, hundreds of millions! Several dozen criminal cases have already been opened, court decisions have already taken place, people are in prison. No, they haven’t managed to put things in order as they should. ”

As a result of the avalanche of accidents of launch vehicles, a monstrous situation with technological discipline has been revealed. Missiles were assembled with deviation from technological documentation. Other brands of materials were used. Set "close in characteristics" details. The apotheosis was the discovery of a drilled hole in the housing of the household compartment of the ISS Russian segment, through which air slowly but surely flowed into outer space.

As a result of the survey, including the astronauts' departure beyond the ISS, it was found that it was possible to drill a hole with a diameter of 4 mm only on the ground, in the process of manufacturing the ship's household compartment. Someone covered the "excess" hole on the outside with a sealant that turned up under his arm, which eventually began to let air through.

This applies to the creation of launch vehicles and related spacecraft. By the way, we are talking about a long time ago developed space technology, the technology of which over the years, we can say, "licked". And suddenly such absolutely monstrous surprises.

With the new developments that the Deputy Prime Minister advises to launch in mass production, there are also problems. There are practically none. The development of the new manned spacecraft Federation, intended, including for flights to the moon, which began in 2009, has come to a standstill. There are several reasons. Two of them are the main ones. Firstly, the inability to implement the plan due to the lack of necessary structural materials. Secondly, almost the entire development team, led by the "leading brains", quit RSC Energia.

The Proton rocket, which uses highly toxic heptyl, is due to end this year. However, a full replacement for it does not exist. The Soyuz-FG missile has a lower payload. Actually, it would be time to write it off, as it uses a control system on analog elements. A most valuable exhibit for the space technology museum, since nowhere else in the world have such rarities been preserved. The first, basic, modification of the Soyuz launched the first artificial earth satellite into space. It was in 1957.

"Proton" should replace the Angara family of missiles, which are both the pride and shame of the Russian space and rocket industry.

First about pride. The family includes five launch vehicles of various types – light, medium and heavy. Light “Angara 1.1” is capable of placing 2 tons of payload into a low reference orbit, and a heavy “Angara 5V” – 37.5 tons.

So, in this family of missiles to the maximum they use unification and standardization, which Borisov speaks of. All missiles have a modular design, they are assembled from two universal missile modules (URM-1 and URM-2). A heavy rocket uses the maximum number of modules assembled in a three-stage design. Moreover, in URMs only two types of engines are used – RD-191 and RD-0124. Acceleration blocks "Breeze" are also used. Using the modular principle can significantly simplify the production of missiles, that is, reduce the construction time and reduce the cost. And also significantly reduce development time.

However, a development disaster occurred. And this is a shame for the Angara launch vehicle family developed at the SPC named after Khrunicheva.

Back in 1995, a decree of the Government of the Russian Federation was issued on giving particular importance to the development of a family of Angara missile launchers. Many years passed, during which the Khrunichev Center was shaken by scandals related to misuse of funds. And finally, in 2014, 19 years after the start of “work of special importance”, two test launches were made from the Plesetsk launch site – a light rocket and a heavy one. Everything went fine. The payload (mass-dimensional models) was put into the planned orbits. And since then – silence.

Angara serial missiles (at a rate of up to two per year) will begin to be produced only in 2023 at the Omsk PO Polet. It turns out that the rocket can only begin to work after 28 years from the beginning of its creation! It is supposed to spend 9 years on the preparation of mass production.

It was assumed that the superheavy rocket for flying to the moon, Angara 5AP, will be created on the basis of the almost finished Angara 5A. However, a year and a half ago, this decision was canceled. The Soyuz-5 rocket, created at RSC Energia, should become the "moon". And this is strange, since the development began 2.5 years ago and so far only a draft design has been protected. And its readiness is expected by 2024. And these are extremely bold plans, since the engines for Soyuz-5 will be ready only in 2023.

But the list of problems does not end there. It came to the point that the only profitable activity on “space transport”, that is, on the commercial launch of foreign satellites, is gradually disappearing. At the beginning of this decade, Russia was the leader in the number of launches of carrier rockets. Last year, China became the leader, followed by the United States, Russia in third, by no means an honorable place.

At the end of last year, Yuri Borisov said that materials on the disruption of the program to update the grouping of military satellites on January 20 will be transferred to Putin.

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