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    Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

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    Viktor
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    Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Viktor on Sun May 04, 2014 3:54 pm

    I expect lots of new developments here so I guess separate thread should come in handy






    TsAGI gave recommendations to improve the layout of reusable launch vehicles

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    Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:09 pm

    I didn't find a dedicated thread for just Russian "lifters", so I decided to start this one. I've always been interested in Russia's upcoming launch vehicles and their spacecraft, hopefully some of you do too. Keep in mind there is the Angara thread, but if you so desire, you could also post Angara here. I added the "thoughts" part to get peoples opinion on this launch vehicles, because while news is great, hearing others opinions is even better!

    Examples of some topics: Soyuz variants and their future, Proton replacement, Russian "moon rocket" of the future, inflatable spacecraft etc.

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:18 pm

    A new series of NK-33 tests
    The NK-33 engine fired again on March 3, 2010, performing normally during an abbreviated 91-second test, a poster on the Novosti Kosmonavtiki forum said. It was followed on March 6, 2010, by another firing, which lasted for 287 seconds testing the engine's a full-duration cycle. The performance profile included 50 seconds of burn at 108 percent from nominal thrust of the engine. A third test firing in a series took place on March 12, 2010, and lasted 239 seconds.
    On Oct. 24, 2011, TsSKB Progress announced that on October 15 OAO Kuznetsov conducted a live test of the NK-33A engine for the Soyuz-2-1v rocket. The firing tested a capability of the engine to withstand foreign particles inside oxidizer supply lines, TsSKB Progress said. A second test in a series was conducted on October 26, 2011. According to OAO Kuznetsov, both tests lasted 220 seconds and particles were added into the oxidizer and fuel supply lines. Yet, another test was planned clearing the way to the engine's certification for inter-agency tests, OAO Kuznetsov said.
    What was announced as the fourth and final firing of the NK-33A engine took place at Vintay facility on April 20, 2012. The engine was reportedly operating flawlessly for 157.7 seconds logging a total of 600 seconds during multiple test runs, its manufacturer announced a week later. At the time, the company's representatives promised a decision of the inter-agency commission on the resumption of the engine's mass production within a month and a half.
    On Jan. 15, 2013, OAO Kuznetsov announced that it started the year with a successful certification and acceptance test of NK-33A engine intended for flight tests of the Soyuz-2.1v rocket. The engine fired for a scheduled duration at the company's test stand and was then shipped to the assembly factory in preparation for shipment to the customer, OAO Kuznetsov said. Also, on the evening of March 22, the company conducted another firing of NK-33A, aimed to test the emergency shutdown command, which was successful. The third qualification test took place on March 30, 2013.
    On August 13, 2014, the Samara Today newspaper reported that the NK-33 engine had undergone a 40-second certification firing before its installation on the third Soyuz-2-1v rocket.
    Further upgrades
    In mid-2012, a chief designer of OAO Kuznetsov said that the company had planned to boost the performance of the NK-33A engine by 10 percent before 2018 and also considered the possibility of a 20 percent increase in its thrust. However, at the same time, NPO Energomash started active development of the RD-193 engine, as a replacement to NK-33, whose production had not been yet resumed. As of 2013, NPO Energomash claimed that only 20 NK engines had remained available and they could support only around 10 missions of the Soyuz-2-1v rocket. However, in 2014, OAO Kuznetsov claimed that the company had already restored a considerable part of the manufacturing process for the NK-33 engine.

     - RSW

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:18 am

    As some of you know, Putin was shown the TsSKB Progress design for a new heavy launch vehicle. (Here is the link; http://www.russianspaceweb.com/stk.html#2014 ) Anyway, here is what their design looks like;



    As you can see, it has a 8 exterior booster stages. According to RSW, it can loft 85t into LEO with the whole rocket weighing ~2,500 tons. This puts it right at the NASA SLS Block 1 level, that can put at least 70t into orbit but weighs more than this concept shown above, at ~2,650 tons. So if this rocket is produced, Russia will one up the NASA's development, at least in this weight class. - This design differs from the earlier Progress designs, which you can see if you go to the site whose link is above.

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  GarryB on Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:42 am

    Thanks Mike... good thread. Smile

    They are talking about a nuclear powered space tug that can remove rubbish from earth orbit and also tow supplies or even missions to the planets... I am really looking forward to seeing that....


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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:28 am

    Thanks! Very Happy 

    I've been looking forward to "vacuum" spacecraft for some time now... Trash is becoming a larger problem everyday, and could completely curb Mars missions etc. - Nuclear propulsion sounds good!

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:15 am

    Here is some good news about Proton, from Russianspaceweb.

    Proton to return to flight on September 28

    On August 19, a third stage of the Proton rocket, which had been modified to address all the issues raised by investigators in the wake of the May 16 launch accident, departed its assembly factory at GKNPTs Khrunichev in Moscow on its way to Baikonur Cosmodrome.

    The Proton's return to flight is currently scheduled for September 28. The launch vehicle is expected to carry a classified payload known as Olymp ("Olympus") or Luch ("Beam") for the Russian Ministry of Defense. The spacecraft, developed at ISS Reshetnev in Zheleznogorsk, will likely be inserted into a geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometers above the Equator with the help of a Briz-M upper stage, where it will provide communications for the Russian military. A Moscow-based Kommersant daily claimed that the satellite would be also used for electronic espionage for the Russian security service, FSB.

    This mission was previously scheduled to lift off at the end of May and, following the accident, it was initially postponed to July 8.

    As of August 19, Proton rockets were expected to fly four missions before the end of the year with a launch scheduled at the end of each month.


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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:30 pm

    Clear some space! Russia to develop scavenger to collect cosmic debris by 2025

    The Russian space agency is allocating around $297 million to design and construct a spacecraft that would clean circumterrestrial space of disabled communication satellites and upper-stage rockets currently cluttering up the geostationary orbit.
    Roscosmos is ready to allocate 10.8 billion rubles (about $297 million) from 2016-2025 for the new mission: development of a space scavenger relieving terrestrial space of non-operating satellites and space exploration waste, Izvestia daily reported on Friday.
    The announced tech specs of the future unmanned spacecraft, codenamed ‘Liquidator’, imply a weight of about four tons and the capability to get rid of at least 10 disabled satellites and rocket stages during a single mission that could last up to 6 months.
    The ‘space cleaner’ will be able to run no less than 20 ‘cleaning missions’ during its 10-year lifespan, which means the elimination of up to 200 space objects, which obstruct new space vehicles and communication satellites.
    Although up to 73 percent of space junk litters low orbits up to 2,000 kilometers above our heads, the creation of such a vehicle is not a question of being charitable to humanity. Roscosmos needs it to make room for national communication platforms to be positioned in the already rather overcrowded geostationary orbit some 36,000 kilometer above the Earth’s surface.
    Geostationary – or geosynchronous – orbit above the equator is the most commercially-solicited orbit as it is perfect for positioning communication and broadcasting platforms.


    Old space junk orbiting our planet could be disposed of in two ways, Aleksandr Danilyuk, First Deputy Director General of Central Research Institute of Machine Building (TsNIIMash) explained to Izvestia. They could be either pushed from their orbit into outer space, or they could be pushed down towards Earth, where they eventually reach the atmosphere, burn up and fall in a secluded sector of the Pacific Ocean called “spaceship graveyard.” 


    Taking space junk to higher orbits is easier, Danilyuk said. “You can get closer, capture and push the object on a different orbit – and move on to a new task,” Danilyuk said, stressing that geostationary orbit is already “crowded place.”
    The expert believes the creation of a space scavenger is a really hard task that would involve those space design engineering bureaus that have vast experience in the construction of coupling-capable spacecraft and vehicles for geostationary orbit.
    Dmitry Payson, science director of Space Cluster at the Skolkovo Foundation, says development of the ‘Liquidator’ is a doable task.
    “This is not an oversophisticated challenge for the Russian space industry,” said Payson, who believes that by 2025 such a spacecraft will definitely be in demand.
    The problem of ever-growing space junk is acknowledged by all countries involved in space exploration.
    According to the US Space Surveillance Network, there are at least 16,200 space junk objects. A collision with any of them might lead to the destruction of a functioning satellite.
    The International Space Station has to play the debris evasion game quite often, maneuvering to avoid collision with manmade objects orbiting the planet.
    With their extensive space exploration programs, Russia and the US are regarded among the world leaders cluttering up near-Earth orbits, being responsible for 25.5 and 27.5 percent of space junk respectively.
    For example, in 2009 a US Iridium satellite collided with an outdated Russian military communication satellite, creating about 600 new hazardous fragments.
    Yet China remains the absolute space junk leader claiming an estimated 40 percent of manmade objects in space. Beijing took over leadership in the space junk stakes in a single event on January 11, 2007, when People’s Liberation Army tested an anti-satellite missile.
    A kinetic kill vehicle traveling with a speed of 8 km/s destroyed China’s polar orbit 750-kilogram Fengyun series weather satellite FY-1C at an altitude of 865 kilometers, creating an estimated 2,800 new fragments.
    The space agencies of the rest of the world have so far contributed a mere 7 percent of space junk.




     - RT, some good timing there Garry...

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:11 am

    For those who don't know, the Fregat upper-stage which failed just under a week ago, isn't going to be used on future manned missions. This incident shouldn't affect the future lifters and spacecraft missions.

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:02 am



    If you couldn't tell from the picture itself, this is Russia's "rocket-development" timeline into the late 30's. Some important things to note are the "heavy" and "super-heavy" classes of rockets outlined on the timeline. My guess is that the "heavy" class is some form of the Angara A7, and the "super-heavy" will be what Russian companies are working on as we speak... One thing that is confusing, is why the Angara A7 is put in the mid-20's (man, that sounds really weird to say) when it will most likely be launched before then... Even if it isn't launched by then, it will have completed R&D many years before. Another interesting thing to think about, is the inclusion of liquid-rocket-boosters on every competitors rocket. Typically, concepts of large launchers have SRBs instead. I personally prefer LRBs, but having SRBs is typically cheaper, never mind less time intensive... Maybe it could be that the Russian companies are just more familiar with LRBs, and don't want to screw things up. Either way, at least a single competitor rocket should include SRBs. Even more so when some of the concepts are hydrogen fueled on the core stage, as hydrogen isn't the best fuel for takeoff and going through the thick atmosphere... SRBs are "quick burning", and would offset the "slowness" of hydrogen.

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:35 am

    Yet another interesting thing about the timeline, is that it shows missions to both the Moon and asteroids before missions to Mars. I assume that the missions to asteroids are unmanned, but even then it seems like Mars would be priority. Maybe Russia is interested in Asteroid resources....

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  mutantsushi on Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:00 am

    I believe they're looking strongly at natural gas as fuel, not quite as powerful as hydrogen, but much cheaper.
    That also lines up with a move to re-usable stages that would return to Earth somehow (glide back ala UAV etc).

    Sea Launch is apparently being turned upside down, UKR coooperation is off the table, so Russia (being ~95% owner)
    would be inclined to make it oriented to serve their own purposes better... Not sure if they would remodel existing barges
    to handle Russian rockets, and/or build new ones...

    While SpaceX is not untroubled, their cost model seems to be taken seriously by Russia as the future standard to match/beat.

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:13 am

    mutantsushi wrote:I believe they're looking strongly at natural gas as fuel, not quite as powerful as hydrogen, but much cheaper.
    That also lines up with a move to re-usable stages that would return to Earth somehow (glide back ala UAV etc).

    Sea Launch is apparently being turned upside down, UKR coooperation is off the table, so Russia (being ~95% owner)
    would be inclined to make it oriented to serve their own purposes better... Not sure if they would remodel existing barges
    to handle Russian rockets, and/or build new ones...

    While SpaceX is not untroubled, their cost model seems to be taken seriously by Russia as the future standard to match/beat.
    True, other countries and SpaceX themselves are looking at methane/natural gas as an kerosene alternative. It is being looked into because of its performance, low price, "cleanliness", and abundance. Kerosene is actually superior when it comes to performance, but loses out on the other mentioned factors. As for "returnable" boosters, that technology is still in its infancy. SpaceX is the closest to actually applying it, but the Baikal booster looks promising as well. That is one advantage of SRBs, they can easily be reused (as demonstrated by the Space Shuttle).

    Yeah, it is going to be interesting to see Sea Launch unravel... They could probably modify the launch system to fit the Angara or vice-versa, as that would make the most sense economically. Or they could just build new barges, which shouldn't be that hard.

    Funny that a US company does better than NASA themselves... My only gripe with SpaceX is if they can live up to their promises. Their claimed price-per-launch of the Falcon Heavy seems a little optimistic, but that could just be me... That being said, don't worry as Russian companies are researching and developing reusable boosters, SSTO vehicles, and other cost-effective measures. 

     - If you don't go there already, go check out russianspaceweb.com, they have all the info on the Russian space industry.

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:56 am

    If any of you want to learn more about rockets and their propulsion, there are a couple books that are free on google (PDF) that I suggest reading...

    Rocket propulsion elements 7th edition

    Space propulsion analysis and design

    Modern engineering for design of liquid-propellant rocket engines

    Search those exact titles, and you will find the PDF files... They are a little long, but are worth it!

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:55 am

    Interestingly enough, Russia and Roscosmos appear to be taking notes from NASA and their SLS... At least in terms of their fueling system. Here are the possible next generation super-heavy lifters in R&D;

    Sodruzhestvo, it would be built by RKK Energia and has been proposed as a cheaper option compared to others as it would use Zenit first-stages... The new turmoil in Ukraine has threatened this project because of that, and Energia has proposed a solution; a hydrogen first stage... I have nothing against Hydrogen, we saw how it worked for Buran and the Shuttle, however NASA is using it and for some reason it is bothering me... Solid fuel, Kerosene, and Methane are all better performing fuels for first-stages, so this choice is confusing... Anyway, the Sodruzhestvo would be able to lift ~90 tons using then Hydrogen set up. - Kerosene designs are said to weigh 2,132 tons, which is good for something of its capability. The third stage, including the booster stage, would also be from the Zenit's second stage on the Kerosene model. The Hydrogen model wouldn't have a third stage, and would just use the core stage instead.

    Yenisei-5, built by GKNPT Khrunichev, it is a totally new development unlike the Sodruzhestvo. This rocket, has been envisioned to use a Hydrogen core-stage powered by three of the RD-1020 which powered the Energia, ever since it was thought up... Yenisei-5 is claimed be able to loft up to 125 tons into orbit, all while weighing all weighing 2,400 tons, which is the same as the Energia. The increased capabilities from Energia to the -5 is unexplainable due to having one less RD-1020, but it could just be its more conventional design... The -5 would use a minimum of four boosters, all using a RD-170 based engine running, of course, on Kerosene.

    RKK's alternative to their own Sodruzhestvo, the Energia-5K (what a creative name). This proposal is by far the most down-to-Earth, as it uses current tech, and Kerosene..... It could put ~79 into orbit, and also weighs 2,400 like their alternative. It uses four boosters, five including the identical core-stage. The boosters are all powered by the proven four-chambered RD-170M, which quite obviously runs on Kerosene. The third stage uses a RD-191V, and the fourth uses two RD-0146D engines... In all honesty, this is a great contender, and probably is the easiest to approach, at least during the Ukrainian "crisis".

    Now to Progress's competitor, the secretive STK. All that we know, is that is could launch anywhere between 85 and 190 (!) tons into LEO, and that the "small" version will weigh close to 2,500 tons. This is the rocket I posted a picture of earlier in this thread. Well ok, that isn't all we know, but most of this information is speculative and should be taken with a grain of salt... One guess is that it will use a Methane/LOX mix similar to what the proposed Soyuz-5 would use. It is rumored that it would be supplemented by an unknown number of SRBs, which is a first for large Russian lifters! The heavy 190 ton version would use a Hydrogen first stage, along with six Methane burning boosters, quite ambitious!

    There are some more, but I need to "separate the dirt" so to speak... Using those links in my former comment, I'm going to investigate the whole Hydrogen "thing".

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:28 am

    This proves my thoughts on Hydrogen... From the first mentioned link;

    "One method to increase the density of hydrogen is to use a subcooled mixture of liquid hydrogen and suspended frozen small particles of solid hydrogen, which is denser than the liquid. Experiments and studies on this "slush" hydrogen have been performed; it is difficult to produce and maintain a uniform mixture. It has not yet been used in a flight vehicle.
    Some studies have shown that, when burned with liquid oxygen, a hydro- carbon (such as methane or RP-1) can give a small advantage in space launch vehicle first stages. Here the higher average propellant density allows a smaller vehicle with lower drag, which compensates for the lower specific impulse of the hydrocarbon when compared to a hydrogen fuel. Also, there are some concepts for operating the booster-stage rocket engine initially with hydrocar- bon fuel and then switching during flight to hydrogen fuel. As yet, engines using two fuels, namely methane (or hydrocarbon) and hydrogen, have not yet been fully developed or flown. Some work on an experimental engine was done in Russia."

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Big_Gazza on Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:37 pm

    Mike E, great posts mate Very Happy Keep them up!!

    One question I have is that Angara 7 design is often disparaged as being incompatible with the Angara 1-5 pad design on account of its use of 6x URM-1 strap-ons as opposed to 4x on Angara-5. The assumption most make is that A-7 could never fly from Plesetsk or the planned Vostochny Angara pads.

    The Angara pad modules however appear to be constructed of modular sections, so I wonder if the supporting structure is designed (or can be modified) to allow removal and reconfiguration of the modules to facilitate flame paths for 6x boosters around an expanded central core? Do the pad modules need to support actuated elements like lock-down clamps that require electric or hydraulic release systems, or is it solely a passive support structure?

    Can we foresee a pad design where the usual A-5 config is occasionally reworked (with interchangeable modules) to facilitate infrequent A-7 launches? Its probably not possible with Plesetsk Pad #1, but a little innovative engineering on the Vostochny pads (or Plesetsk #2) could provide Russia with an intermediate heavy-lift capability in the 45-50 tonne class with minimal additional investment.

    I'm thinking of heavy lift for manned space station modules and national-security payloads, ie high value and infrequent launch rate. An enlarged A-7 style core is probably not able to be rail-transported from Khrunichev factory but given the infrequent launch rates, air transport by An-225 Mriya would be an option (not sure if An-124 is up to the job).

    My thought is that such a path offers a cost effective way of developing an intermediate heavy-lift capability by leveraging upon the Angara infrastructure. Am I dreaming, or this a plausible concept?

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:45 pm

    Big_Gazza wrote:Mike E, great posts mate Very Happy  Keep them up!!

    One question I have is that Angara 7 design is often disparaged as being incompatible with the Angara 1-5 pad design on account of its use of 6x URM-1 strap-ons as opposed to 4x on Angara-5.  The assumption most make is that A-7 could never fly from Plesetsk or the planned Vostochny Angara pads.

    The Angara pad modules however appear to be constructed of modular sections, so I wonder if the supporting structure is designed (or can be modified) to allow removal and reconfiguration of the modules to facilitate flame paths for 6x boosters around an expanded central core?  Do the pad modules need to support actuated elements like lock-down clamps that require electric or hydraulic release systems, or is it solely a passive support structure?

    Can we foresee a pad design where the usual A-5 config is occasionally reworked (with interchangeable modules) to facilitate infrequent A-7 launches? Its probably not possible with Plesetsk Pad #1, but a little innovative engineering on the Vostochny pads (or Plesetsk #2) could provide Russia with an intermediate heavy-lift capability in the 45-50 tonne class with minimal additional investment.

    I'm thinking of heavy lift for manned space station modules and national-security payloads, ie high value and infrequent launch rate.  An enlarged A-7 style core is probably not able to be rail-transported from Khrunichev factory but given the infrequent launch rates, air transport by An-225 Mriya would be an option (not sure if An-124 is up to the job).

    My thought is that such a path offers a cost effective way of developing an intermediate heavy-lift capability by leveraging upon the Angara infrastructure.  Am I dreaming, or this a plausible concept?

    Thank you, and you came up with a great question. As far as I know, the A-7 is simply to large in terms of dimensions, not weight, to be transported and launched from the two pads. However, they are considering the option to upgrade infrastructure in Plesetsk instead... Obviously, they go to different orbits, so this limits the A-7's capabilities dramatically... (The diameter of the A7 would be 4.1 meters, which is too large for some other pads, as they can't be transported by rail.)

    While current/future Angara pads could be enlarged, they will most likely restrict it to just Plesetek.

    Air transport is great, but the cosmodrones would need lots of work to get them air-transport ready.


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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:19 pm

    Rogozin: 'Putin Approves Developing Super-Heavy Rockets With Up to 150-Ton Cargo Capacity'

    UGLEGORSK (Amur Region), September 2 (RIA Novosti) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved the development of super-heavy rockets with a cargo capacity of up to 150 tons, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Tuesday.
    “I was told today that the president gave his preliminary approval to begin this work [on creating super-heavy rockets]. This means that after the development of the entire string of light-, mid-, and heavy-class Angara carrier rockets, we will move on to creating carrier rockets of a completely new class: not just a 7-, 15-, or 25-ton cargo load, but a 120- to 150-ton cargo load," Rogozin said.
    Super - heavy rockets are needed to send spacecraft beyond the Earth's orbit.
    The Deputy Prime Minister also noted that the immediate start of the project was crucial even though the project has not yet been prepared and approved by the President and the Government.
    "We cannot do without [super- heavy rockets]. We need to start the construction of such a complex by 2020" Rogozin said.
    He added that it was "a return to the best of the Soviet era experience."
    According to previous reports, a project to build a new super-heavy carrier rocket was included into the draft new Federal Space Program (FSP) for 2015-2025, but the program has not yet been approved. It is expected that the project will be implemented in two stages. The first stage encompassing the construction of a rocket capable of lifting from 70 to 80 metric tons. The second building a carrier rocket capable of lifting from 100 to 120 metric tons into a low-earth orbit.
    The Rocket and Space Corporation "Energia", the Khrunichev Space Center and Rocket Space Center “Progress” have all applied to be involved in the establishment of the project.
    The modular Angara rocket is also under development and comes in several versions, the largest of which is planned to send up to 35 tons into orbit.


    This is huge news! - Nevermind that it unbelievable comes hours after all that crap that I just posted... It appears like the STK, which has been posted on twice by myself, will be approved! 

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:37 pm

    It also appears like the built "super-heavy" will be related to the Kaskad, which I will post about here.

    The Kaskad, built by GKNPT Khrunichev, is one of the larger super-heavies currently being considering. It is a modular design, with possible rockets ranging from 1,280.1 tons all the way up to 3,566.7 tons. The largest version, is claimed table to loft around 130 tons into LEO. That seems large, but considering its ridiculous weight, it really isn't that great. The largest variant, the "7KV", will have seven total booster stages including the core stage, all of which would use either Kerosene or Methane. The upper stages, which are a whopping 7.7 meters in diameter run on Hydrogen. (Hydrogen is far superior for upper stages.) Here is the Kaskad in the "flesh".




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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:59 am

    I'd love to hear all your (all forum members) opinions on these rockets. I'm relieved that Russia might be going Kerosene for earlier stages, and Hydrogen for the later ones. A few SRBs wouldn't hurt, as they are literally (overused, I know, but in this case it is used seriously) like strapping bombs to a rocket (that doesn't sound good, does it?). The power of those things is incredible, for example, 85% (!) of the Space Shuttles early stage thrust was SRB produced! Imagine what would've happened if Buran/Energia had a couple of those things! Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:42 am

    - This isn't 100% relevant, but I want to share it anyway...

    As some of you know, within ~10 years the Ariane 5 will be completely replaced by the Ariane 6. The 6 is smaller, and as such has a much smaller payload, around 7 tons. This leaves a huge gap open in the ~20 ton market, and because the Delta is old and Atlas is screwed (RD-180 engine), the Angara A5 and Proton, nevermind the possible small version of a Kaskad, should be able to thrive!

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  GarryB on Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:42 am

    A significant factor in choosing Hydrogen is the fact that it is non toxic.

    The Russians get a lot of stick with every launch from baikanor... especially the exmilitary ICBMs because of their toxic fuel.

    Having rockets that use cheap easily available hydrogen is a good thing...


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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Mike E on Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:03 pm

    GarryB wrote:A significant factor in choosing Hydrogen is the fact that it is non toxic.

    The Russians get a lot of stick with every launch from baikanor... especially the exmilitary ICBMs because of their toxic fuel.

    Having rockets that use cheap easily available hydrogen is a good thing...
    Good point, I should've mentioned that earlier...

    The Proton is by far the worst offender, thanks to UDMH.

    Yes, but in my hoest opinion, Hygrogen should be left for the upper stages. Their lower stage performance just isn't that good, and they basically require SRBs to get anywhere.

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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Big_Gazza on Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:48 pm

    Hydrogen?  Meh..  overrated except for upper stages (where hydro-lox truly does shine).  First stages suffer from excessive drag due to large core diameter that is required for such a low density fuel (forget about slush hydrogen - the difficulties outweigh any perceived advantages)

    Solids?  Pfftt.. Low ISP, very poor efficiency.  Great thrust but uncontrollable and unthrottleable (poor safety), and a poor use of available launcher mass.  How the US ever justified the man-rating of these slow-motion high-explosive monsters is simply a mystery to me....

    IMHO the first stage and strap-ons should be liquid fuelled, either Kero-Lox or Metha-Lox, and the 2nd and upper stages should be Hydro-Lox.  (I prefer Metho-Lox especially if hardware is to be recovered as hydrocarbon fuel results in coking of turbines and piping, and complicates engine reuse).  Specialist upper stages for mission-specific orbit injections and/or convoluted maneuvers can be hypergolics as they are almost infinitely store-able, but the use of propellant combinations such as N2O4/UDMH should be strictly limited to such applications. Lets not mess with hideously toxic chemicals that can cause terminal cancer from a single inhalation. Life is precious and should be enjoyed to the maximum...

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