Russian Space Program on the March – New Rockets, Satellites and …Spaceport!

By Alexander Milkus:Credit;Russia Insider.Originally appeared at Komsomolskaya Pravda.Translated by Julia Rakhmetova.

A month ago Russia launched the first rocket from its first civil spaceport. It may seem strange to celebrate a one month anniversary, but only at first sight, considering that many important things happened only over these four weeks in the aerospace industry. The Vostochny Cosmodrome is a new starting point.

The Vostochny Cosmodrome has been completed. The modernized Soyuz-2.1a was successfully launched from the Vostochny spaceport. On the first day of operations, the smart system cancelled the launch, having detected an error, saving both the rocket and satellites. Many rockets and their peripherals were lost for lack of this technology.

Next year, two more Soyuz will place new satellites in orbit from Vostochny. The new heavy Angara rocket will also be launched in 2017. It is being assembled with a small delay in the completely modernized Omsk workshops. (Previously, they were assembled in Moscow at the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center).

This not like producing needles in a new factory. The modernized, manned Soyuz-MC that will be launched retains only its former shape, and has a new smart control system. The communication and rendezvous transfer system with ISS have been modified. The designers of the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia told me that a really good spaceship should have a different name to differentiate it from its predecessors.

Americans were supposed to launch their manned spaceship to the ISS in 2016. Now they are talking about 2018 and recently made an agreement with Roscosmos for their astronauts to use our spaceships until 2020. We totally modernized the reliable Soyuz, as per our international obligations, delivering crews to orbit and back four times a year.

These are the first results of the reform. Cosmonautic change doesn’t come overnight – sometimes a technological cycle may take more than four years. But in the near future, a huge program to launch scientific devices is starting. At the same time Roscosmos will fit the Russian GLONASS satellites with new remote earth-sensing devices and powerful telecommunications stations.

NASA, European, Canadian and Japanese Space agencies have participated in many space projects with Russia, which is a leader in the number of launches of carrier-rockets: 29 in 2015 vs.19 launches by the US. This year, the first two vehicles of the joint Roscosmos and ESA – ExoMars ;projects are flying to the Red Planet, placed in orbit by our Proton.

And this is just one of the important events which have already taken place or are planned by Roscosmos, which is in full swing.

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Victor Imhangbe

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