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    Russian Space Program: News & Discussion #1

    Mike E
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    Post  Mike E on Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:58 pm

    Russian specialists to investigate causes of geckos’ death in space experiment

    MOSCOW, September 01, /ITAR-TASS/. Russian specialists will investigate the death of geckos aboard Russia’s Photon re-entry capsule that landed on Monday, a source in the space industry said.
    The commission will be set up by Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) shortly. All geckos died a week before the landing, officials at the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems said.
    It said it was too early to speak about the causes of the reptiles’ death, but “we can say with confidence that they died at last a week before the landing because their bodies were partly mummified,” the Institute’s official told ITAR-TASS.
    “Hypothermia is not the main possible cause but only one of the options. Others include a possible malfunction of the onboard equipment and life-support system,” the source in the space industry told ITAR-TASS.

    Roscosmos said earlier in the day that the fruit flies “got through the flight quite well, grew and bred” but “all geckos died, unfortunately”.
    The Photon-M4 satellite was launched on July 19, 2014 from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan. The spacecraft carried specimens for research of the biological effects of zero gravity and cosmic radiation.
    The specimens include geckos, silkworm eggs, dried seeds, fruit flies, and mushrooms. The geckos were part of biology experiments conducted by Russia’s Institute of Medico-Biological Problems on the effects of weightlessness on mating.
    Another experiment aboard the spacecraft is designed to measure the effects of microgravity on semiconductor crystal growth.
    Several hours after the blastoff, the control communication with Photon-M was disrupted, although the spacecraft continued to transmit telemetric information. As a result of the malfunction, the satellite stayed on the support orbit, instead of being placed into the target orbit by its own engine on command from the Earth. The Institute of Medico-Biological Problems said after the control loss incident that it did not affect in any way the onboard life support system and the programme of automatic experiments.
    It took seven days to restore communication with the spacecraft, space experts said.
    The spacecraft’s flight time was limited to 60 days.
    Photon satellites are designed and made by the Progress Rocket and Space Centre for research and experiments in such fields as the physics of weightlessness, space biology and biotechnology, including the affect of outer space on living specimens.
    The first satellites of the series was launched in 1985 and operated for 13 days.
    In 2005, the Photon-M2 satellite carried out about 20 scientific Russian and European research programmes. The next satellite, Photon-M3, in 2007 performed 45 Russian and foreign experiments.
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    Post  Viktor on Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:04 am

    Russia starts development of the most powerfull rocket mankind has seen thumbsup

    Rogozin: 'Putin Approves Developing Super-Heavy Rockets With Up to 150-Ton Cargo Capacity'
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    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:08 pm

    cry cry cry

    Geckos in Russia’s Photon satellite die due to decreased metabolism


    MOSCOW, September 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Geckos aboard Russia’s Photon satellite that landed on Monday had died due to low-temperature-caused decrease in metabolic rates entailing inability to digest food, Vladimir Sychev, a deputy director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medico-Biological Problems, told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.
    He said the temperature factor of the geckos’ death was unquestionable but the reptiles had not get frozen to death. “Geckos cannot get frozen to death, they are cold-blooded animals. But their digestion depends much on air temperature. If it is not high enough, food is not digested,” he said.
    Temperature aboard the satellite dropped on August 8 but it is next to impossible to say when exactly the geckos died, since video recording had stopped on August 5, he said, adding however that when planning the Photon program, specialists had feared overheating. “Taking these considerations into account, the system of thermoregulation was somewhat adjusted. It was planned that temperatures inside the spacecraft would vary in a range from 20 to 26 degrees Celsius, but at some point the temperature dropped down to 15 degress,” Sychev noted.
    The Photon-M4 satellite was launched on July 19, 2014 from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. The spacecraft carried specimens for research of the biological effects of zero gravity and cosmic radiation. The specimens included geckos, silkworm eggs, dried seeds, fruit flies, and mushrooms, and 22 sets of research equipment. Several hours after the blastoff, the control communication with Photon-M was disrupted, although the spacecraft continued to transmit telemetric information. It took seven days to restore communication with the spacecraft. The Institute of Medico-Biological Problems said after the control loss incident that it did not affect in any way the onboard life support system and the programme of automatic experiments.
    The Photon re-entry capsule safely landed on September 1 in Russia’s Orenburg region. All the geckos aboard it died although fruit flies and microorganisms survived. 
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    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:14 pm

    Hefty $1.5 billion to be invested in Vostochny space port 2015 — Putin


    VOSTOCHNY SPACE SITE, September 02./ITAR-TASS/. A hefty 50 billion roubles (roughly an equivalent of $1.5 billion) will be invested in the construction of the Vostochny space site in 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin told an on-site conference devoted to the space port’s development prospects.
    “We are investing huge funds into its construction. Since 2011 more than 100 billion roubles has been spent for the purpose and another 50 billion roubles are to be disbursed next year,” he said.
    Putin called for strict compliance with all deadlines and construction phases.
    “It is essential to rule out any delays and disruptions in its financing. Also, financing must remain under strict control. There should be no groundless overspending,” he said.
    Construction work on the site of Russia’s Vostochny space port is 30-55 days behind time, President Vladimir Putin said.
    “I would like to stress that at this point construction work at the launch pad and technical support facilities is lagging behind 30 to 55 days,” Putin said. He called for paying “due attention to that.”
    According to the president’s sources, a little more than six thousand workers were present at the construction site every day.
    “The actual demand, and the Roscosmos chief confirms that, is 12,000-15,000,” Putin said. He called for verifying construction work schedules and looking into whether they were complied with effectively.
    Putin said that next year Vostochny should be ready to launch any unmanned spacecraft with the medium class rocket Soyuz-2 and to join manned space programs in 2018. He added that in the longer term the space spot’s capabilities would be built up for launching heavy and super-heavy rockets and for exploring the Moon, Mars and other celestial bodies.
    Putin added he was well aware of the colossal amount of work to be done.
    “We have just walked about the construction site. A great deal has been accomplished. I would like to stress that,” he said, adding that there was still room for improvement to make construction work better coordinated. russia
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    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:41 pm

    Russia substitutes manned missions from Vostochny with an Oka-T lab

    The Russian space agency, Roskosmos, quietly replaced a highly advertised first launch of the nation's cosmonauts from the new space port in Vostochny with an automated space lab. The Oka-T module designed for periodic servicing by space station crews in orbit should provide an exit strategy for the Russian space officials, who made an impossible promise to the Kremlin to fly a manned mission from the new space center in 2018.

    Oka's reversal of fortune
    Since the 1990s, developers of the Russian segment of the International Space Station, ISS, have planned a module which would orbit the Earth in the vicinity of the main outpost. The Oka-T free-flying platform would be dedicated to ultra-sensitive material science experiments, which could be ruined by even smallest disturbances caused by movements of the crew if they were attempted inside the ISS proper. Instead, the servicable platform would periodically dock at the main station, enabling crews to service equipment, unload samples and set up new experiments. The US and European engineers had studied similar spacecraft concepts since the dawn of the ISS program but none of them left the drawing board. After the euphoria of the 1980s, many big hopes for the production of unique alloys, semiconductors, optics and pharmaceuticals in the weightlessness of space turned out to be unworkable.
    In Russia, the Oka-T project had also lingered without much progress (or scientific justification), until circumstances suddenly made it a priority. As often in space program, these circumstances had little to do with science and almost everything to do with politics.
    Since the foundation of the Vostochny launch site in 2007, the Kremlin and the official Russian media had advertised the first launch from the new space port in 2015, followed by a manned mission in 2018. Unable to introduce any new vehicles within this timeframe, Roskosmos made a decision to build a launch pad for the old Soyuz rocket at the site with little justification but to meet the 2015 deadline. However, it created a new political problem in 2018, because the Soyuz rocket could not carry its namesake manned spacecraft from Vostochny due to techhnical and safety problems. Nor was it powerful enough to launch a heavier next-generation transport vehicle. Roskosmos promised to build another pad in Vostochny for the Angara rocket, which could do the job, but the facility could not be completed in this decade. Enter the Oka-T. Technically, it is a "manned" spacecraft, because it is designed to dock with the space station and cosmonauts can enter its pressurized compartment in orbit. At the same time, it is launched unmanned and, with its eight-ton mass, the lab fits into the Soyuz-2-1b rocket!
    To camouflage their "little trick," Russian space officials began characterizing the 2018 milestone as the "first launch within the manned space program," instead of the first "manned launch," without specifying what exactly would fly from Vostochny in 2018. As a result, the offcial Russian media continued its cheerleading of the upcoming manned launch from Vostochny. In reality, no cosmonaut would be able to blast off from Vostochny until 2020s, when the new-generation spacecraft and the Angara-5 rocket are finally certified to carry the crew.
    Then, during Vladimir Putin's visit to Vostochny on Sept. 2, 2014, an official TV report caught a glimpse of a presentation handed out at a meeting chaired by the Russian president. The document revealed drawings of the Oka-T module and the Soyuz-2 rocket under a title "Achieving the first launch within manned space program in 2018."
    Given the enormous political weight of the 2018 deadline, there is little doubt that a long-delayed Oka-T mission will finally get proper funding and attention. Moreover, given a possible multi-year gap between the introduction of the Oka-T and the arrival of the manned spacecraft at Vostochny, multiple Oka-T missions could be undertaken. However developers will likely be hard-pressed to provide the new platforms with adequate scientific payloads...
    (To be continued) - RSW, like always...
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    Post  Mike E on Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:50 pm

    Here is some unusual "news";

    Sarah Brightman to start training for space station journey in January

    Sarah Brightman will pay a total of $52 million for her next year’s flight on board of the Russian-made Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS.

    ZVYOZDNY GORODOK (Moscow Region), September 03. /ITAR-TASS/. British famed soprano singer Sarah Brightman would begin pre-flight trainings for her journey to the International Space Station (ISS) as a space tourist early next year, instead of this autumn, Yuri Lonchakov, the head of the Russia’s Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, said on Wednesday.

    “She will begin trainings in the Star City in January of 2015 and therefore we are all waiting for her,” Lonchakov said adding that he believed “her training will be a success.”
    Less than three months ago Lonchakov said that the famous singer had already passed a number of medical examination and tests and was ready to begin preparations for the trip to the ISS at the Star City space training facility in the Moscow Region in September or October.
    Lonchakov’s earlier statement that Brightman could start her trainings this autumn was also confirmed in June by the president of the US-based company in charge of organizing her trip.
    Tom Shelley, the president of US-based Space Adventures Ltd. company, said at a National Space Club Florida Committee meeting in June that Brightman, 54, planned to make the trip to the ISS in September of 2015 and this fall she intended to start the pre-flight trainings at the space training center outside Moscow.
    "She is absolutely 100% committed. She's putting together her mission plan now,” Shelley said adding that Brightman wants to be the first professional singer ever to sing in space.
    Shelley also said that Brightman would pay a total of $52 million for her next year’s flight on board of the Russian-made Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS, where she plans to spend 10 days as a space tourist.
    Brightman, who starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber's “Phantom of the Opera” and is the world’s best-selling soprano singer with over 30 million of CDs sold, first announced her intentions to travel to the ISS as a space tourist in August 2012.
    Last year the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) announced that it reached a relevant agreement with Space Adventures to proceed with the superstar’s plans of traveling into space.
    If the British singer reaches the ISS next year, she will become the eighth space tourist in the world.
    The pioneer space tourist is US entrepreneur Dennis Tito, who made the flight to the ISS in 2001 for $20 million and spent eight days at the station. The most recent space tourist at the station is Cirque du Soleil co-founder Guy Laliberte, who spent 11 days at the ISS in 2009 for $40 million.
    The only female space tourist so far reaching the ISS is Anousheh Ansari, an Iranian-American engineer and co-founder and chairwoman of Prodea Systems. Her 12-day stay at the space station in 2006 cost her $20 million.
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    Post  Mike E on Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:04 pm

    Geckos’ death aboard Russian satellite still mystery, experts look for answers


    MOSCOW, September 03./ITAR-TASS/. As the death of geckos aboard the Russian Photon satellite remains a mystery, the investigation is underway, but there are still more questions than answers, experts said on Wednesday.
    The autopsy proved that the geckos had died from a sudden pressure rise aboard the satellite a day or two before its re-entry capsule landed on Monday, Sergei Savelyev, a researcher at the Institute of Human Morphology, who is in charge of the experiment, told ITAR-TASS.
    “It appears there was an abrupt pressure surge. This is borne out by pathological changes in the internal organs - the heart, the lungs, the liver and others. The changes occurred very fast: the lungs were contracted, with stagnant blood found in their vessels. Moreover, the blood from all internal organs and systems rushed to the heart, filling large vessels and the atrial cavity,” he said.
    The expert said pathological changes in the internal organs were identical in all geckos.
    Another fact corroborating the pressure surge theory is that all reptiles died practically at the same time.

    Savelyev said the sharp rise in pressure might have been caused by a malfunction of the satellite’s life-support system.
    However, experts at the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems said that the geckos had died from indigestion caused by low temperature and the resulting metabolic slowdown.
    But Savelyev dismissed this theory as unfeasible. “The autopsy showed that they were not eating at all. No traces of food were found [in their bowels]. They felt cold and did not eat,” he said.
    He also said that starvation and low temperature could not have killed all the reptiles at the same time.
    “I can think of no other explanation but a pressure surge,” he said.
    However, Vladimir Sychev, Deputy Director of the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems, told ITAR-TASS that there was no change of pressure.
    “I have the autopsy data too but there are no grounds to interpret them as a pressure surge. In fact, it simply could not have occurred. There were [fruit]] flies there and had this been true, they would have died too. But they didn’t,” he said. Sychev said the geckos’ death remained an answered question and experts would continue their investigation.
    The Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said it would set up a special commission to investigate the incident.
    “Hypothermia is not the main possible cause but only one of the options. Others include a possible malfunction of the onboard equipment and life-support system,” the source in the space industry told ITAR-TASS.
    Roscosmos said that the fruit flies “got through the flight quite well, grew and bred” but “all geckos died, unfortunately”.
    The Photon-M4 satellite was launched on July 19, 2014 from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan. The spacecraft carried specimens for research of the biological effects of zero gravity and cosmic radiation.
    The specimens include geckos, silkworm eggs, dried seeds, fruit flies, and mushrooms. The geckos were part of biology experiments conducted by Russia’s Institute of Medico-Biological Problems on the effects of weightlessness on mating. Another experiment aboard the spacecraft is designed to measure the effects of microgravity on semiconductor crystal growth.
    Several hours after the blastoff, the control communication with Photon-M was disrupted, although the spacecraft continued to transmit telemetric information. As a result of the malfunction, the satellite stayed on the support orbit, instead of being placed into the target orbit by its own engine on command from the Earth. The Institute of Medico-Biological Problems said after the control loss incident that it did not affect in any way the onboard life support system and the programme of automatic experiments.
    It took seven days to restore communication with the spacecraft, space experts said.
    The spacecraft’s flight time was limited to 60 days.
    Photon satellites are designed and made by the Progress Rocket and Space Centre for research and experiments in such fields as the physics of weightlessness, space biology and biotechnology, including the affect of outer space on living specimens.
    The first satellites of the series was launched in 1985 and operated for 13 days.
    In 2005, the Photon-M2 satellite carried out about 20 scientific Russian and European research programmes. The next satellite, Photon-M3, in 2007 performed 45 Russian and foreign experiments.
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    Post  Mike E on Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:50 pm

    Primary crew for next ISS space mission approved


    STAR CITY, September 05. /ITAR-TASS/. The inter-agency commission of the Cosmonauts' Training Center on Friday approved the primary crew lineup for the spaceship Soyuz TMA-14M. The crew consists of Roscosmos (Russia's Federal Space Agency) cosmonauts Aleksandr Samokutyayev and Yelena Serova, as well as NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore. The backup crew comprises Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Korniyevko, as well as American astronaut Scott Kelly. The upcoming space expedition will be notable for the fact that a Russian woman cosmonaut, Yelena Serova, will take part in a space mission for the first time in the past 20 years. She was enrolled in the cosmonauts squad on October 1, 2006. In 2011, by a decision of the inter-agency commission, Serova was appointed a flight engineer among the primary crew of Soyuz spaceship. The launch of the manned transport spaceship Soyuz TMA-14M with an international crew on board is scheduled for September 26. The International Space Station (ISS) crew for the ISS-41/42 mission will stay aboard the station for 168 days. The crew are to handle three Russian resupply spacecraft Progress and a European ATV vehicle. Samokutyayev, together with ISS crew member Maksim Surayev who is currently aboard the ISS, will take a spacewalk.
    The crew will perform more than 50 experiments in the Russian segment of the ISS, take a spacewalk, and maintain an Internet blog in orbit, Soyuz crew commander Aleksandr Samokutyayev told a news conference. He said, "The spacewalk will be somewhat unusuall: we shall perform the rolk of cleaners, for it is essential to (dismantle and) remove a certain equipment". American astronaut Barry Wilmore pointed out that there would be friends, not just crew members on board the spaceship. The astronaut said, "We have been training together for two years. We have got to entirely trust one another to accomplish the space mission".
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    Post  Mike E on Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:14 pm

    Russia's newest space city

    The massive construction of the Vostochny space port in the Russian Far East promises to transform the nearby military settlement of Uglegorsk into a state-of-the-art "science city." Russia's new space capital could be christened Tsiolkovsky, after the self-taught scientist and philosopher who is widely regarded as the prophet of the space age.

    Big plans
    The 2007 decision by the Russian government to build the Vostochny Cosmodrome required a whole new city which would become a residential hub for the future space center. At the time, only a few 1960s-era apartment blocks of the former military base known as Uglegorsk ("coal town") stood at the site. In January 2008, Evgeny Stepanenko, the deputy head of the local administration told the Amurskaya Pravda daily that even if all existing residential buildings of the town, including military barracks and hostels were occupied to their full capacity, they could not accommodate more than 12,000 people, in addition to then current population of 5,213. According to a 2007 report in the Kommersantnewspaper, 6,000 apartments in the town had stayed empty after the decommissioning of a near-by missile unit.
    To resolve the future housing problem, Russian authorities conceived a large-scale construction of residential buildings, including three new city districts for as many as 25,000 people each. The work was originally scheduled to commence in 2009. The local government also promised to scrap Uglegorsk's status of "Closed Territorial Entity" or ZATO, which limited access to the former military town.
    Last but not least, the authorities planned to rename the place into something more appropriate for its role. (The name Uglegorsk apparently owed its origin to a Soviet effort to cover-up the presence of a missile base at the site, since no actual coal is found in the area.)


    Designing a new town
    Before financial reality could abbreviate their dreams, Russian architects had a chance to design a perfect "space capital" in Vostochny.
    It was decided that the new town would extend southeast, along a spur of the Amur federal highway. The layout and geographical orientation of the residential districts reportedly took into account the northerly direction of prevailing winds in the region. By stretching the residential area along the industrial and support facilities of the space center, architects hoped to keep workplaces within walking distance for future employees. (698)
    The new town would consist of primarily 6-, 9- and 12-floor apartment blocks featuring a modern design. The new apartments were promised to be complete with furniture! (678) In addition, an "elite" district with one-family houses was also planned.
    A total of four new residential districts were designed:

    • Initial new settlement;
    • Akademgorodok (or "academic town") for the space program engineers;
    • Administrativny (Administrative) for officials;
    • Spalny-Elite (private houses for top personnel);

    According to official Russian sources, the majority of the new town's 25,000 population would come from the region and only a segment would have to migrate from other parts of the country. (698) How this claim would be reconciled with the virtual absence of "rocket scientists" and other highly qualified personnel in the Russian Far East remained to be seen.


    Building the first district
    The actual construction of the town started at the end of 2013, or four years behind original plans. Grandiose designs for a 40,000-person city were now split into a three-phase plan, postponing most of the construction until later. The population of the center was expected to grow along with the arrival of each new launch vehicle to the space center: Soyuz in the 2010s, Angara in the 2020s and the yet-to-be-named super heavy rocket in the 2030s.
    As of April 2013, the first phase of construction was to be completed by the end of 2015. The initial housing district was to include 24 buildings for 12,000 residents and social infrastructure. (678) This plan was also quickly scaled down to 17 buildings for 5,000 people.
    By the end of January 2014, Spetsstroi promised to "soon" complete 17 buildings including 12 apartment blocks with 1,482 apartments, with the top floors being in process of construction. However due to the late arrival of construction documentation in October 2013, real construction could only start in November, Spetsstroi complained.
    Plans apparently continued to be scaled down in 2014, when the official certificate for the town projected the completion of 1,045 apartments for 3,500 people in December 2015. A kindergarten would accommodate 230 children and feature a swimming pool. The residential complex would also include an administrative building, a new hospital and a pediatric center.
    Probably responding to the lack of workforce, in April 2014, Russian officials announced plans to recruit student brigades for the construction of the residential area during summer months.
    During his visit to the site on Sept. 2, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned against the Soviet practice of building technical infrastructure at the expense of residential housing. In fact, that was exactly what was going on. According to Putin, during his helicopter tour he had seen only about eight new apartment blocks for 3.5 thousand residents under construction, while 40 had been promised for 12,000 people. A press-release from Spetsstroi issued at the same time said that three blocks with 228 apartments would be completed in 2014 and another nine buildings, a kindergarten and support infrastructure would be finished by June 2015.


    What's in the name?
    In April 2013, Putin reportedly proposed to christen the new city Tsiolkovsky. During public hearings in Uglegorsk, on March 14, 2014, town residents reportedly approved re-naming the town into Tsiolkovsky. However six days later, deputies at the legislative council of the Amur Region ordered a referendum of the local population on the name change. Official Russian media were seemingly confused -- sometime identifying the town as Uglegorsk and other time as Tsiolkovsky. It should be said that the name Tsiolkovsky does not sound very well in Russian. Not surprisingly, the issue apparently remains open.
    (To be continued)
     
    http://www.russianspaceweb.com/vostochny_residential.html
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    Post  Mike E on Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:18 pm

    Russia's space agency plans to resume training cosmonauts in Sevastopol

    MOSCOW, September 08. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia's Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) is planning to resume cosmonauts' training sessions in Sevastopol, a Roscosmos press service official told ITAR-TASS on Monday.
    The press service official pointed out, "Sevastopol may soon become a space training center again. Cosmonauts' training sessions will, possibly, resume in the water area of the main base of the Black Sea Fleet."
    Yuri Lonchakov, Head of the Cosmonauts' Training Center, said previously that there were plans to hold survival training sessions in Crimea for cosmonauts. "We are also planning, if it works out, to hold sea and mountain survival training," he said. It is also planned to revive a cosmonauts' post-flight rehabilitation center near Yevpatoria, Lonchankov added.
    Besides, Roscosmos has assumed patronage over Sevastopol-based School 54 named after Yuri Gagarin. Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, who was born in that city, has set up an Alley of Cosmonauts in the school grounds.


     - http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/748542
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    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:13 pm

    http://www.russianspaceweb.com/kobalt_m.html#2014
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    Post  Mike E on Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:52 pm

    Soyuz TMA-12 to return home
    Three out of six members of the 40th long-duration expedition onboard the International Space Station, ISS, are scheduled to return to Earth tonight.
    Undocking of the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft with NASA astronaut Steve Swanson and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev onboard from the station's Poisk module is scheduled for Sept. 11, 2014, at 03:01 Moscow Time (7 p.m. EDT on September 10). The touchdown of the descent module is expected three and half hours later at 06:25 Moscow Time on Sept. 11, 2014, (10:23 p.m. EDT on September 10) 148 kilometers southeast of Zhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.


    Russian Space Program: News & Discussion #1 - Page 13 Landing_1



    http://www.russianspaceweb.com/iss_soyuz_tma12m.html#landing
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    Post  Mike E on Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:26 pm

    Putin promises probe into Vostochny spaceport funding suspicions

     MOSCOW, September 10. /ITAR-TASS/. President Vladimir Putin promised a police investigation into funding suspicions concerning the new Vostochny Cosmodrome Russia is building in the Far East.
    He admitted that “although the project is in the focus of our special attention, problems abound”.
    “I will have to hand over some issues to law enforcement agencies to get them sorted out and clarified,” Putin said.
    Funding is provided regularly but the funding procedure itself needs special attention, he said, referring to “quasi and semi-criminal schemes”.
    He asked Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin to think about how to concentrate funding on concrete projects to avoid its being spread thinly.
    In early September Putin visited the Vostochny Cosmodrome construction site and said that “all the deadlines must be met and any delay or disruption in funding must be avoided”.
    He also warned that “there must be no unjustified increases” in expenditures.
    Putin said earlier that the creation of the new spaceport Vostochny in the Far East should confirm Russia’s high scientific and technological status.
    “The implementation of this project should confirm the high scientific and technological status of Russia,” he said.
    In his opinion, the new spaceport should become “yet another strongpoint for the development of our Far East.”
    Vostochny should become operational in 2015 and start sending manned missions in 2018.
    The comsodrome is intended for launching automatic and piloted space missions under national, international and commercial programmes. Its construction started in 2012 and the first launch is expected to be carried out in by 2015 on board Soyuz-2 light carrier rockets. By 2018, it will be ready to launch heavy Angara-5A rockets. The cosmodrome will also have infrastructure for future piloted missions.
    More than 400 social, engineering and transport infrastructure facilities, 115 km of roads and 125 km of railroads will be built at the cosmodrome.
    The Vostochny spaceport will launch rockets with onboard computers that are three times more efficient, five times lighter and 3-4 times cheaper than the existing ones, Leonid Shalimov, Director-General of the Yekaterinburg-based Automation Research and Production Association, told ITAR-TASS.
    “Delivery is scheduled for the first quarter of 2015. We have two and a half years to make all equipment. The decision has been made that all rockets will be launched with new computers,” Shalimov said.
    The Association is now designing a miniature computer that will weigh around 300 grams.
    The new spaceport is to ensure the implementation of practically all forward-looking space projects, including manned missions, a new generation of spacecraft and inter-planetary systems. The construction and use of the spaceport will boost the development of the Russian Far East and make it more attractive to investors, the prime minister said.
    Roscosmos said it would be a compact, modern and environmentally friendly spaceport and the propellant to be used in the rockets to be launched from Vostochny will not contain any toxic components.
    Experts say that the commissioning of the cosmodrome will allow Russia to carry out independent and more effective space activities, launch more space vehicles, reduce environmental impact, facilitate economic development of the region, create new jobs in related industries, and make the region more attractive to investors.
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    Post  Mike E on Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:49 pm

    Soyuz with Russian cosmonauts and US astronaut undocks from ISS

    KOROLYOV /Moscow region/, September 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Soyuz TMA-12M manned spaceship with Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov, Oleg Artyomyev and NASA astronaut Steven Swanson has undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) and in now heading for the Earth, a spokesman for the mission control centre told ITAR-TASS early on Thursday. The ship’s landing module is to land in Kazakhstan at 06:25 a.m. Moscow time.
    “Soyuz TMA-12M undocked from the ISS at 03:00 a.m. Moscow time on Thursday. The flight proceeds as per normal, Alexander Skvortsov, Oleg Artyomyev and Steven Swanson feel well,” the spokesman said.
    The remaining crew onboard the International Space Station include Russian cosmonaut Maksim Surayev, who took over the command from Swanson, NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst.
    The Soyuz is planned to land in the Kazakh steppe, some 148 kilometres southeast of the city of Dzhezkazgan. At about 05:30 a.m. Moscow time, the ship’s engines will begin to slowdown and the ship will de-orbit to enter the dense atmosphere at 06:01 a.m. Moscow time. The landing module’s parachute will be released at an altitude of 11 kilometres.
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    Post  Mike E on Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:06 pm

    Soyuz TMA-12 lands successfully
    Three out of six members of the 40th long-duration expedition onboard the International Space Station, ISS, returned to Earth after 167 days in space.
    Undocking of the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft with NASA astronaut Steve Swanson and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev onboard from the station's Poisk module took place as scheduled on Sept. 11, 2014, at 03:01 Moscow Time (7 p.m. EDT on September 10). The spacecraft then initiated a 4-minute, 40-second engine firing to leave the orbit. In the meantime on the ground, rescue team helicopters headed to primary and backup landing sites to support the arrival of the crew.
    The touchdown of the descent module also took place as scheduled three and half hours later at 06:25 Moscow Time on Sept. 11, 2014, (10:23 p.m. EDT on September 10) 148 kilometers southeast of Zhezkazgan in Kazakhstan. The spacecraft landed in vertical position and its crew was safely extracted by search and rescue personnel.
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    Post  Mike E on Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:01 pm

    Moon bases, orbit cleaners and rockets to Mars: Russia’s most ambitious space projects 

    This summer, the Russian Space Agency (Rosсosmos) announced a number of ambitious projects. RBTH has created a list of the most exciting and expensive ones. Of course, not all of these projects will be fully implemented in the future, but if they are, they could revolutionize space forever.

    1. Liquidator: The space janitor Humans haven’t conquered space yet, but they have already managed to pollute it. According to the US Space Surveillance Network there are more than 16,200 loose objects orbiting the earth, which has the potential to destroy new space vehicles. There is a chance that the plot of the film Gravity, where two astronauts played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are stranded in space after the destruction of their shuttle, could come true. In August Roscosmos declared their plans to design a spacecraft for cleaning the geostationary orbit from spent satellites and LV upper stages. The project, called the Liquidator, is slated for development between 2018-2025 with a budget of roughly 10.8 billion rubles ($292 million).

    2. New cosmodromes: Roscosmos plans to spend 900 billion rubles ($24.3 billion) for infrastructure to support spaceports. These funds will be used to build an extension of the Plesetsk cosmodrome as well as to complete the construction of the Vostochny cosmodrome and to support the Baikonur space complex based in Kazakhstan. However, Roscosmos have come up with a more financially feasible option. If a dispute with Kazakhstan is resolved by 2020 the agency will be required to spend only 800 billion rubles ($21,6  billion). In that case, Roscosmos will be able to use Baikonur, as well as Russian cosmodromes. In that case 100 billion rubles ($2.7 billion) will be freed up to devote to the Vostochny space complex.

    3. Remote sensing of the earth: The remote sensing of the earth is one of the Russian space industry’s weakest areas. With no national program in place, Russian scientists have to rely on information from international satellites. But a Federal Space Program (FSP) is slated for development between 2016-2025 and was created by resilient optimists promising to enlarge the orbital fleet by adding 26 hi-tech satellites at a cost of 358.6 billion ($9.7 billion). The different projects within the FSP include (with projected costs in parentheses): 

    Meteo-SSO, a global hydrometeorological and heliophysical system consisting of four new generation satellites to travel on sun synchronous orbits (66 billion rubles / $1.8 billion). 

    Meteo-Glob, a global meteorological sensing system using visible and infrared bands (86.9 billion rubles / $2.3 billion). Resurs, a three-satellite program designed to capture images of the Earth in high and ultra-high resolution (55 billion rubles / $1.5 billion). 

    ES-SSO is an operating supervision space system for local emergency situations. It is composed of 10 satellites that orbit in synchronicity with the sun (106.3 billion rubles / $2.9 billion). 

    ES-GSO is a high-operating supervision space system for major emergency situations. It functions on an optical and radar band on a geostationary orbit (44.3 billion rubles / $1.2 billion).

    4. Moon-base: Russian spacecraft were the first to fly over the dark side of the Moon and take soil samples, but they never managed to put a person on its surface. Roscosmos is currently quite serious about moon exploration. The Agency is slated to spend $280 million on the development of a moon base, a mobile manipulator crane, a grader, an excavator, a cable layer and a mobile robot for lunar surface exploration between 2018-2025. It appears that Roscosmos wants to be more than just a guest, but a full time resident.

    5. Moon-Mobile: A moon base without a moon vehicle is kind of beside the point, thus Roscosmos is developing a new rover that will search for natural resources. The Moon is full of resources, such as rare earth elements, titanium, and uranium, which the Earth does not have in abundant supply. It is also rich in helium-3, which is a possible fuel for nuclear fusion. This new moon vehicle is called Moon-Mobile. Development should conclude by 2021, with testing lasting another four years.

    6. Super-heavy rocket to Mars: In September 2014 plans for a super-heavy rocket with a120-150 ton capacity received preliminary approval by President Vladimir Putin. This rocket is one of the most expensive of Roscosmos’ ideas and its budget is twice as large as the Angara rocket, a popular spacecraft currently in use. The goal of the rocket is to fly it to Mars; NASA has a similar rocket design under construction. The enormous budget undoubtedly makes this project a risky proposal.

    7. Spectr-RG for the exploration of black holes: In 2013 the Russian-German high-energy astrophysics observatory Spectr-RG was ready to be launched with the purpose of exploring galactic clusters and black holes with the eROSITA Roentgen telescope. While the idea has been in existence since the late 1980s, the project was only restarted in 2005, requiring $135 million. The project was put on hold several times because of delays from the German telescope developers. The observatory should be ready by 2017.


    Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines - http://rbth.com/science_and_tech/2014/09/18/moon_bases_orbit_cleaners_and_rockets_to_mars_russias_most_a_39879.html)
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    Post  Mike E on Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:16 pm

    - Just to let all know, there is more on what George1 posted on in the "lifters and spacecraft" thread.
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    Post  Mike E on Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:49 pm

    I bear some bad news....

    Soviet cosmonaut Berezovoy dies at age of 72

    Berezovoy was the commander of the first resident crew at the Soviet Salyut-7 orbiting station in 1982


    MOSCOW, September 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Soviet cosmonaut Anatoly Berezovoy died on Saturday at the age of 72, the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said.
    Berezovoy was the commander of the first resident crew at the Soviet Salyut-7 orbiting station in 1982.
    On July 30 of the same year he and his colleague Valentin Lebedev made a spacewalk, staying in outer space for 2 hours and 33 minutes.
    Their mission aboard the station was a record long one at that time - 211 days.
    Berezovoy was “a member of a legendary generation of cosmonauts, a man of great will and courage, a top-class professional who did so much for the development of cosmonautics and major research projects”, Roscosmos Head Oleg Ostapenko said.

    May he rest in peace. cry
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    Post  Mike E on Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:13 pm

    Saratov scientists develop geomagnetic navigation technology alternative to GPS, GLONASS

    "The geomagnetic navigation system may be indispensable, for example, in the event of disappearance of a satellite signal," Alexander Ignatyev from the Institute of Critical Technologies says

    SARATOV, September 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Saratov scientists have developed the first domestic geomagnetic field navigation technology system that may become an alternative to the currently existing satlellite-aided navigation systems GPS and GLONASS, Alexander Ignatyev, head of the design bureau at the Institute of Critical Technologies, told ITAR-TASS on Monday.
    "The geomagnetic navigation system may be indispensable, for example, in the event of disappearance of a satellite signal. From the viewpoint of orientation accuracy, our (newly-developed) system is up to the selfsame GLONASS," Ignatyev emphasized. Valery Anikin, Dean of the Physic Department at Saratov University, stressed, "This does not refer to an assumption that one of systems would edge another one out. However, from the safety point of view, it is better for them to co-exist and mutually complement one another if, for example, something happens with communications satellites".
    The development of geomagnetic navigation systems is one of upcoming trends of research, Anikin pointed out. The Saratov school of magnetoelectronics has a long record. This is why it is no wonder that a practical development of a new navigation system is under way precisely over here," he said. Ignatyev said that the uniqueness of the project is in the fact that both navigation technology and software are developed domestically. A number of technical solutions have been patented by the researchers. The first experimental specimen of a (geomagnetic) navigator has been brought into being as well. The specimen is "bulky enough so far. However, we visualize the possibility to reduce it in size by several orders of magnitude. For this to be done, it is necessary that firms which manufacture components evince interest in the technology," the development engineer maintains. The prospect for a geomagnetic navigation device appearing on the commercial market is estimated by development engineers at several years. Similar systems are now also under development in foreign countries. A geomagnetic navigation system exists in the animal kingdom as well. Researchers believe, in particular that the sense of terrestrial magnetic field helps birds and butterflies migrate to places of their permanent wintering.
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    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:12 am

    Rocket with Soyuz piloted spaceship to be launched to ISS September 25

    The spaceship will deliver crewmembers of the next ISS long-term expedition, including a Russian woman cosmonaut for the first time in the last 20 years, to the ISS

    MOSCOW, September 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Soyuz-FG booster with Soyuz TMA-14M piloted spaceship is to be launched at 8:25 pm UTC on Thursday, September 25, to the International Space Station (ISS). In the few days remaining before the launch specialists will make final checks of the rocket and the spaceship and will fuel the launch vehicle. “The delivery and putting the rocket with Soyuz TMA-14M spaceship docked to it on the launching pad were made as scheduled,” the press service of Russian Space Agency told ITAR-TASS.
    The spaceship will deliver crewmembers of the next ISS long-term expedition, including a Russian woman cosmonaut for the first time in the last 20 years, to the ISS.
    The resident ISS crew includes Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Yelena Serova, NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore; the backup crew is made of Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko as well as American astronaut Scott Kelly. On Wednesday, the state committee will determine finally the line-up of a crew who will fly to the ISS.
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    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:41 am

    First Proton Carrier Rocket Installed on Launch Pad After May Accident

    MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti) – The carrier rocket Proton-M with the Luch spacecraft onboard has been installed on the launch pad at the Baikonur space center, Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center representative told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
    "The State Commission has made a decision to move out and install the rocket Proton-M with the Breeze-M upper stage and Luch spacecraft on the launch pad," he said.
    The Proton-M has been installed in a vertical position on the launch pad and the work plan for the next few days includes equipment checks and fueling the carrier rocket with propellant components and compressed gases.
    The launch of the Luch spacecraft is scheduled for September 28. This will be the fifthProton launch of 2014.
    The Luch was designed and manufactured by JSC Information Satellite Systems, Reshetnev Company.
    Launched on May 16, from Baikonur, the Proton-M carrier rocket collided with communications satellite Express АМ4R and burned up in the atmosphere above China.
    The Proton is the largest of Russia’s fleet of space launch vehicles, and has carried both government and commercial payloads.
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    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:32 pm

    Russia’s Proton-M carrier with Luch data relay satellite set to blast off on Sunday

    MOSCOW, September 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Proton-M carrier rocket equipped with Briz-M booster and carrying data relay satellite Luch is scheduled to blast off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on September 28, the Khrunichev Space Centre said on Tuesday. According to the center, which manufactures Proton-series carrier rockets, the Proton-M was already installed on its launching pad in Kazakhstan and was undergoing final preparations for its scheduled Sunday launch, which will be the first after an unsuccessful launch in May. This May Russia’s Proton-M rocket with an Express-AM4R telecommunications satellite went down shortly after blasting off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. The rocket burned down in the thick layers of the atmosphere while the satellite after the Briz-M booster failed to separate from the spacecraft. Russia in recent years experienced a number of unsuccessful space launches. Prior to the May incident another Proton-M went down after the launch in 2013 failing to deliver three Glonass navigation satellites into orbit. Similar accidents happened in December 2010, in August 2011, and in August 2012.
    Failures also haunted the launches of other Russian carrier rockets: Rokot with a geodesy satellite in February 2011 and Soyuz-U, which failed to orbit a Progress spacecraft carrying a cargo for the International Space Station (ISS) in August of 2011. In November 2011, the Russian-Ukrainian Zenit-2SB rocket carrying the Fobos-Grunt space probe failed to reach the designated trajectory for its mission flight to Mars. The launch of a similar rocket carrying US telecommunications satellite Intelsat failed in February 2013.

    http://en.itar-tass.com/non-political/750926
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    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:34 pm

    First manned spaceship to be launched from Vostochny on time — deputy PM

    STAR CITY, September 23 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Tuesday that the first manned spaceship would be launched from a new Vostochny space launch facility in the Russian Far East on time and without delay. “I would like to fix one very vital date which no one should call into question. I mean the year 2018 and the first manned launch from Vostochny (which is still under construction),” Rogozin told trainees at the space training center which he visited on Tuesday. The vice-premier who visits Vostochny, located near the town of Uglegrosk, at least once in three months has taken the construction works under personal control.
    President Putin visited Vostochny during his trip of the Urals, Siberia and the Far East in the first days of September. More than 400 facilities, including 120 launchers, an airfield with a 4,500-meter runway, more than 170 kilometers of railways and roads are to be built at Vostochny. The first launches are to start in 2015. The construction of launch facilities for the Angara rocket will get under way in 2016. Russia also plans to start launching manned spaceships from Vostochny in 2018.

    http://en.itar-tass.com/non-political/750924
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    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:19 pm

    Russia to Launch Full-Scale Moon Exploration Next Decade

    ZVYOZDNY GORODOK (Moscow Region), September 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's space agency Roscosmos plans to launch a full-scale Moon exploration program in late 2020s or early 2030s, the agency’s head Oleg Ostapenko said on Tuesday.
    “We are planning to complete tests of a super-heavy carrier rocket and start full-scale Moon exploration at the end of the next decade. By that time, analysis of Moon surface data gathered by unmanned spacecraft will help to determine the best sites for lunar expeditions and Moon bases,” the Roscosmos head said.
    Preparatory work for lunar exploration missions have already started, according to Ostapenko.
    “We already started to work on a new manned spacecraft, which will be the first element of the prospective manned system together with new launch vehicles - heavy and super-heavy carrier rockets," the space agency’s chief added.
    The system is designed to deliver cargo and cosmonauts to the Moon, and eventually into the deep space, according to Ostapenko. The Moon exploration program will be carried out mostly as part of the Russian Federal Space Program for 2016-2025. Russia is also looking at space exploration plans till 2050 and further on.
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    Post  Mike E on Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:56 am

    Russia to orbit its first woman in 20 years
    Russia will launch three members of the International Space Station, ISS, crew, on Thursday. The Russian commander Aleksandr Samoukutyaev will accompanied by NASA astronaut Barry Wilmoreare and by Elena Serova, the first Russian woman launching into space in two decades. The crew is expected to work on the station for five and a half months and return to Earth in March 2015. During their mission designated 40S in the ISS schedule, the trio will represent the 41st and 42nd long-duration expeditions onboard the outpost.

    Launch and docking

    The liftoff of a Soyuz-FG rocket is scheduled for Sept. 26, 2014, at 00:25 Moscow Time (4:25 p.m. EDT on Sept. 25) from Site 1 at Baikonur Cosmodrome. The launch vehicle will be carrying the 7,220-kilogram Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft with a three-member crew.
    Following a vertical liftoff, the Soyuz-FG rocket will head east to enter an initial orbit with an inclination 51.6 degrees toward the Equator. The four boosters of the first stage will separate slightly less than two minutes in flight, following by separation of the second stage 4.7 minutes after the liftoff. The third stage should insert Soyuz TMA-14M into a 200 by 242-kilometer parking orbit slightly less than nine minutes of powered flight.
    The Soyuz TMA-14M then scheduled to conduct four engine firings during the first and second revolution around the Earth in order to rendezvous and dock at the MIM2 module, a part of the Russian segment of the ISS at 06:16 Moscow Time on September 26, 2014 (10:16 p.m. EDT on September 25).


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