Fly to the moon

One of the sensations of space MAKS — new manned spacecraft

One of the sensations of space MAKS — new manned spacecraft: presented at the air show for the first time a full-scale mock-up design and layout of its recovery vehicle. On what will be the new "spaceship" correspondent "RG" said the president, Chief Designer of RSC "Energia". SP The Queen, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vitaly Lopota.

  • Configuring a new manned spacecraft Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta
  • Configuring a new manned spacecraft Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta


Vitaly, that is a new ship?

Vitaly Lopota: It is different from the current "Unions". Starting weight of the ship when flying to the moon is about 20 tons, with flights to the station in low-Earth orbit — about 14 tons. The regular crew — four people, including two astronaut-pilots. Dimensions of the recovery vehicle — the length (height) of about 4 meters, excluding uncovered landing gear, maximum diameter — about 4.5 meters. The length of the ship — about 6 meters, transverse dimension deployed solar panels — about 14 meters.

Model of the recovery vehicle is close to the "real"?

Vitaly Lopota: I will say this: it is approximated to the standard product. After all, what the layout of the appointment? Check and work out solutions for the placement and installation of instruments and equipment, the interior pressurized cabin, flight safety, ergonomics, convenience and comfort for the placement and operation of the crew. Visitors will be able to compare the MAKS this layout with the return of the space lander modern "Soyuz TMA" (height of about 2.2 meters, maximum diameter of about 2.2 meters).

At what stage of the project today, the new ship?

Vitaly Lopota: Everything is going according to schedule. Complete examination of the technical design ship. At the meeting of the Scientific and Technical Council of the Russian Space Agency approved the project. Now turn on the issue of working documentation and manufacturing of the components, including models for experimental testing and regular articles for flight testing.

And the difference between our ship, say, the American "pilotnikov"?

Vitaly Lopota: From U.S. ships produced the greatest readiness are Dragon and Orion. In the near future these may join and cargo Cygnus. Dragon ship is intended only to serve the ISS. Due to the fact that space technology to solve this problem quite worked out, Dragon was established relatively quickly and has already made several flights unmanned cargo version.

The tasks for the ship Orion broader than the ship Dragon, and largely coincide with the tasks created by the Russian ship: the main purpose of the ship Orion are flying beyond Earth orbit. Both of these American ship and the new Russian ship have similar layout circuits. These vessels consist of the recovery vehicle "capsule" type and the engine compartment.

The similarity of the random?

Vitaly Lopota: Of course not. This is a consequence of the unity of those of the American and Russian specialists to ensure maximum reliability and safety at the existing level of technology.

Tell me, what changes have been made to the project in connection with the manned mission to the moon?

Vitaly Lopota: The main change is due to the need of the thermal control reentry vehicle during re-entry with the escape velocity. If the above calculations were made for the rate of about 8 km / sec, now — at 11 km / sec. The new requirement of the task has led to a change in the flight thermal protection system. In addition, to ensure the ship‘s flight to the moon on it installed new navigational aids propulsion system with two boosters thrust of 2 tons each, and increased fuel capacity. On-board radio systems will provide a link to the ship’s distance of about 500,000 kilometers. It should be noted that when flying in low Earth orbit, the height of which no more than 500 kilometers, the radio communication range of two to three orders of magnitude smaller.

  • The scheme of the flight to the Moon Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta
  • The scheme of the flight to the Moon Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Is it true that you are developing an option for collecting the debris?

Vitaly Lopota: The ship is designed to fly to the moon, transportation and maintenance of near-Earth space stations, as well as to conduct research during the free flight in low Earth orbit. The program of research will be developed by leading research organizations in the country. It can enter and the elimination of debris. But in general it is a separate task that requires the appropriate detailed work.

Will the new ship to fly to Mars and asteroids?

Vitaly Lopota: It is possible that the ship will be used for transport and maintenance of interplanetary expeditionary systems, to deliver to them the crew and return them to Earth, where these systems are located in earth orbit. Including high.

The new ship will be more comfortable for the crew than the "Unions"?

Vitaly Lopota: Absolutely. At least this: the free volume of the recovery vehicle, per one astronaut will increase compared to the "Union" is almost twice!

When will the ground test model ship?

Vitaly Lopota: The following year, after the state contract with RSC "Energia" on the issue of documentation.

What new materials and technologies will be used when creating a new ship?

Vitaly Lopota: The design of the ship‘s many innovative materials: aluminum alloys with 1.2-1.5 times higher in strength, heat-proof materials with a density which is 3 times less than with the applicable aboard "Soyuz TMA" carbon composites and sandwich structures , laser means of providing docking and mooring, etc. The recovery vehicle reusable spacecraft created as a result of the implementation of the adopted technical solutions, including through vertical landing on the landing gear.

From the development of the winged spacecraft specialists refused all? What are the advantages of the lifting body?

Vitaly Lopota: Creating the ship in a "capsule" is due to the technical project of Roskosmos. At the same time, after the completion of the "Shuttle" in the United States and several countries around the world again actively developing "winged" theme (for example, in the U.S. a few months of flying in low Earth orbit, an unmanned spacecraft carried the X-37B). In this regard, RSC "Energia" does not preclude the continuation of the "winged" category in the future.

A serious study of the scheme "lifting body" was held at RSC "Energia" on the instructions of Russian Federal Space Agency under the theme of "Clipper". Potential advantages of "carrier body" is the higher side when the descent maneuver angle than capsules, and in a slightly lower level of congestion. However, the "pay" for it are structural complexity associated with the availability of the aerodynamic control surfaces in addition to the reac
tive control system, as well as the complexity of software deceleration in the atmosphere at the entrance to the 2nd space velocity. At the same time, "lifting body" as the capsule is in need of parachute-rocket landing system.

How many ships will be built and can take place when the first start of this ship?

Vitaly Lopota: We believe that it is enough to build five reentry vehicles with the reusability of their use and the proposed program of operations. Ship engine compartment is disposable, so it will be made separately for each flight. With appropriate funding developmental first unmanned launch could take place in 2018.

It will be called the new ship?

Vitaly Lopota: Currently name is selected. Everyone can offer its own version of which will be subsequently adopted the most successful.

  • Vitaly Lopota, president of Rocket and Space Corporation "Energia".  Source: The News
  • Vitaly Lopota, president of Rocket and Space Corporation "Energia". Source: The News

There are calls to review the budget of the Russian manned space exploration. Like, it wastes too much — up to 40-50 percent of the budget of Roscosmos. Your opinion?

Vitaly Lopota: The cost of manned space exploration — is "an investment in the future", available only for the most developed countries of the world. Also, let’s take a closer look: if you compare American and Russian manned space program budgets, our order of magnitude smaller. Moreover, the cost of this part of Russia in the inferior not only to the total costs of various U.S. agencies, but costs and the countries of Western Europe. However, manned space flight — is not only launches and manned space flights and stations. This is still largely in an efficient and highly reliable maintenance of the state space infrastructure and its operation. This is the maintenance and development of missile technology and production. This is a research, design and survey work to ensure the effective implementation of existing and formation of future space programs, including fundamental studies which find application in other fields of human activity.

For example, many of the results of the Institute of Biomedical Problems, obtained by solving the tasks of ensuring the long-term human space flight, are used to treat diseases and post-operative rehabilitation. Therefore, if all the analysis, the "pure" share of manned space flight in the total cosmic budget of Russia is no more than 15 percent.

Braking is always easy, and competitors us just say "thank you." Especially because in the Russian manned space program is already bringing considerable foreign currency funds in the budget: it is on the Russian "Soyuz" service is provided by foreign astronauts to the ISS and their subsequent return to Earth.


Natalia Yachmennikova

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