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    Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

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

    Post  Mike E on Sun Oct 05, 2014 1:35 am

    A Dnepr will be launching multiple sats on the 8th, unfortunately there is no news coverage of the launch as of now.

    There will be four launches this October, first the Dnepr launch, than a Proton one, Soyuz-2-1b with a Fregat upper stage, and finally a Soyuz-U at the end of the month. So we have a lot to look forward to!

    In November, we will see a -U launch and the Soyuz-2-1v (1) will finally step back up to the plate! 

    In December, the Proton will launch twice along with a Rockot.

    Adding to this list, there are many launches in limbo that may or may not be launched. - The most likely is a military-payload carrying Soyuz-2-1b, but we will see...

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

    Post  kvs on Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:35 am

    The Earth and Venus were very similar at the beginning. Both had over 95% CO2 atmospheres and no oceans. Eventually, oceans formed on Earth and it appears they never formed on Venus. This is where the proximity to the Sun comes in. On Earth the convective cooling by the moisture in the atmosphere did a good job of cooling the atmosphere enough to allow liquid water to precipitate out. It seems that on Venus this process was not effective and liquid water never precipitated. Over the last few billion years Venus has lost most of its original atmospheric water to space while the oceans on Earth have sequestered CO2 into calcium carbonate rocks.

    Another detail is that the Sun's radiation intensity has increased by 30% over the last 4 billion years (it is undergoing the usual yellow star evolution and will eventually become a red giant and fry the Earth). That the Sun was much weaker during the epoch shortly after the formation of the Earth and Venus likely contributed to the escape of the Earth from a greenhouse Hell. Venus was not so lucky.

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

    Post  GarryB on Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:10 am

    There is this, but it was not the article I read:

    http://www.neofuel.com/iceships/

    Note some of his conclusions are flawed because ice on the outside of a spaceship this far in close to the sun would create a comet tail and bleed off into space.

    the article I saw seemed to be using the ice as an internal structure material that could reduce radiation and also allow food storage and cheap simple building material for a large internal structure.


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

    Post  magnumcromagnon on Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:54 am

    GarryB wrote:There is this, but it was not the article I read:

    http://www.neofuel.com/iceships/

    Note some of his conclusions are flawed because ice on the outside of a spaceship this far in close to the sun would create a comet tail and bleed off into space.

    the article I saw seemed to be using the ice as an internal structure material that could reduce radiation and also allow food storage and cheap simple building material for a large internal structure.

    From my limited understanding, water is an excellent insulator/shield against gamma radiation and astrophysicists are exploring the benefits of water-shielding.

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

    Post  Mike E on Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:18 am

    magnumcromagnon wrote:
    GarryB wrote:There is this, but it was not the article I read:

    http://www.neofuel.com/iceships/

    Note some of his conclusions are flawed because ice on the outside of a spaceship this far in close to the sun would create a comet tail and bleed off into space.

    the article I saw seemed to be using the ice as an internal structure material that could reduce radiation and also allow food storage and cheap simple building material for a large internal structure.

    From my limited understanding, water is an excellent insulator/shield against gamma radiation and astrophysicists are exploring the benefits of water-shielding.
    It is, but the idea of "icing" it for protection is somewhat nutty. Hydrogen would do a much better job, and is more crucial for a deep space expedition than water.

    Thanks GarryB for giving me an article...

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

    Post  Mike E on Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:35 pm

    Soyuz launch failure investigation completed
    On October 7, following a meeting at Arianespace headquarters in Evry, near Paris, the Independent Inquiry Board announced its definitive conclusions into the August 22 Soyuz rocket failure to deliver Galileo FOC M1 satellites, the company announced on October 8.
    According to Arianespace, conclusions draw on data supplied by Russian partners in the program, and are consistent with the final conclusions of the inquiry board appointed by the Russian space agency, Roskosmos. The Board's conclusions confirm that the first part of the mission proceeded nominally, which means that the three-stage Soyuz launcher was not at fault. The Inquiry Board also eliminated the hypothesis that the anomaly could have been caused by the abnormal behavior of the Galileo satellites.
    The anomaly occurred during the flight of the launcher's fourth stage, Fregat, designed and produced by NPO Lavochkin. It occurred about 35 minutes after liftoff, at the beginning of the ballistic phase preceding the second
    ignition of this stage.

    The scenario that led to an anomaly in the orbital injection of the satellites was precisely reconstructed, as follows:

    • The orbital error resulted from an error in the thrust orientation of the main engine on the Fregat stage during its second powered phase;


    • This orientation error was the result of the loss of inertial reference for the stage;


    • This loss occurred when the stage's inertial system operated outside its authorized operating envelope, an excursion that was caused by the failure of two of Fregat's attitude control thrusters during the preceding ballistic phase;


    • This failure was due to a temporary interruption of the joint hydrazine propellant supply to these thrusters;


    • The interruption in the flow was caused by freezing of the hydrazine;


    • The freezing resulted from the proximity of hydrazine and cold helium feed lines, these lines being connected by the same support structure, which acted as a thermal bridge;


    • Ambiguities in the design documents allowed the installation of this type of thermal "bridge" between the two lines. In fact, such bridges have also been seen on other Fregat stages now under production at NPO Lavochkin;


    • The design ambiguity is the result of not taking into account the relevant thermal transfers during the thermal analyses of the stage system design.



    The root cause of the anomaly on flight VS09 is therefore a shortcoming in the system thermal analysis performed during stage design, and not an operator error during stage assembly. The system thermal analyses have been reexamined in depth to identify all areas concerned by this issue.
    Given this identified and perfectly understood design fault, the Board has chosen the following corrective actions for the return to flight:

    • Revamp of the system thermal analysis;


    • Associated corrections in the design documents;


    • Modification of the documents for the manufacture, assembly, integration and inspection procedures of the supply lines.



    These measures can easily and immediately be applied by NPO Lavochkin to the stages already produced, meaning that the Soyuz launcher could be available for its next mission from the Guiana Space Center as from December 2014.
    Beyond theses corrective actions, sufficient for return to flight, NPO Lavochkin will provide Arianespace with all useful information regarding Fregat’s design robustness, which is proven by 45 successful consecutive missions before this anomaly, Arianespace said.

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

    Post  Rmf on Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:01 pm

    usually cold helium lines for pressurisation of fuel tanks are isolated as is , and so are hydrazine lines in orbital stages because freezing in high altituide/space conditions. this looks like begginers mistake.

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

    Post  Mike E on Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:05 pm

    Rmf wrote:usually cold helium lines for pressurisation of fuel tanks are isolated as is , and so are hydrazine lines in orbital stages because freezing in high altituide/space conditions. this looks like begginers mistake.
    The thing about rockets, is that, in general, there are a million things that could go wrong. So when ESA (in this case it isn't Russia's fault) was inspecting the rocket before launch, they clearly thought that something else deserved more attention, big mistake... Anyway, a single screw can take down an entire rocket on multiple occasions, the N1 was *the* greatest example of that. If rockets could have some form of "single-piece chassis"(that is a car example, but you get the ides) (as in less total parts) they wouldn't need as many smaller, possibly problematic parts etc. The engines are always the #1 cause of failure, or something that led to engine failure etc. If rockets were electronically scanned for defects via lasers (like in nicer vehicle production) they'd have many less failures, and software checks are just as important.

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

    Post  GarryB on Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:37 am

    It is, but the idea of "icing" it for protection is somewhat nutty. Hydrogen would do a much better job, and is more crucial for a deep space expedition than water.

    You would have to get hydrogen much colder to get it to solidify... otherwise it would take up a lot of space unless it was kept under pressure.

    Water to drink, water can be split into hydrogen and oxygen, which are both useful components for rocket fuel and for breathing, and as ice it can be used to create structure and of course to keep supplies cold and at an even temperature.

    AFAIK the best gas for protecting the crew would be O3... Ozone. Obviously it would be deadly for the crew to breath, and offer a highly explosive threat, but an insulated sealed area containing O3 could be used to reduce radiation along with a few areas with water ice. A valve could be used to recover the O3 later on where it could be reprocessed into breathable stable oxygen (O2)... burn it with hydrogen and you have water again...

    Of course burning the O3 with hydrogen would leave extra oxygen, so you could use less O3 to burn a larger amount of H than you would need with O2.


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

    Post  Mike E on Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:43 am

    GarryB wrote:
    It is, but the idea of "icing" it for protection is somewhat nutty. Hydrogen would do a much better job, and is more crucial for a deep space expedition than water.

    You would have to get hydrogen much colder to get it to solidify... otherwise it would take up a lot of space unless it was kept under pressure.

    Water to drink, water can be split into hydrogen and oxygen, which are both useful components for rocket fuel and for breathing, and as ice it can be used to create structure and of course to keep supplies  cold and at an even temperature.

    AFAIK the best gas for protecting the crew would be O3... Ozone. Obviously it would be deadly for the crew to breath, and offer a highly explosive threat, but an insulated sealed area containing O3 could be used to reduce radiation along with a few areas with water ice. A valve could be used to recover the O3 later on where it could be reprocessed into breathable stable oxygen (O2)... burn it with hydrogen and you have water again...

    Of course burning the O3 with hydrogen would leave extra oxygen, so you could use less O3 to burn a larger amount of H than you would need with O2.

    But it would absorb more radiation, or so I've heard... In all honesty, Hydrogen doesn't need to be kept under much pressure, in the shuttle it was held at under 30 psi!

    Like I said, in reality it doesn't matter... The radiation levels are well within safe levels, and the easiest way to reduce radiation is either by thin lead or other solids, or by active-shielding.

    Ozone would subject the crew to more danger than having no protection at all....

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

    Post  magnumcromagnon on Thu Oct 09, 2014 4:20 am

    Water seems to be the most practical (multi-purpose substance) for shielding against gamma rays and likely already be in abundance on inter-planetary spacecraft, by far the least hazardous, and most likely the simplest and cheapest to keep in storage. My vote goes to water, there's already too many things in space that can kill astronauts/cosmonauts!

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

    Post  GarryB on Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:27 am

    My vote goes to water, there's already too many things in space that can kill astronauts/cosmonauts!

    Agreed.

    Ozone would subject the crew to more danger than having no protection at all....

    Only if they tried breathing it...


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

    Post  Mike E on Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:17 am

    magnumcromagnon wrote:Water seems to be the most practical (multi-purpose substance) for shielding against gamma rays and likely already be in abundance on inter-planetary spacecraft, by far the least hazardous, and most likely the simplest and cheapest to keep in storage. My vote goes to water, there's already too many things in space that can kill astronauts/cosmonauts!

    I once again have to disagree... IMHO, water *and* hydrogen could be used together along with what is clearly the best solution (shielding via material as demonstrated by Boeing and many others).

    GarryB wrote: Agreed.

    It is a non-issue for the hundredth time, and using radiation-absorbing material is much more efficient, never mind more reliable...

    GarryB wrote: Only if they tried breathing it...

    If a micrometeorite or anything else damages the *external* tank, Ozone to leak into the craft, you got yourself some dead astronauts... There is one quote that sums in up perfectly, made up by myself now; "in space, one must always assume the worst will occur".

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

    Post  GarryB on Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:09 am

    [quote]It is a non-issue for the hundredth time, and using radiation-absorbing material is much more efficient, never mind more reliable... [quote]

    On a long range manned mission they will need to take an enormous amount of water with them anyway... if they have to take it anyway, why not take it in a way that is more useful for other purposes, like reducing radiation, improving food storage, etc etc.

    Taking hydrogen on its own is tricky because hydrogen atoms are small and will leak through most container types over time... binding the hydrogen with oxygen makes it rather easier to handle and control, yet both components are still readily accessible if needed for what ever purpose.

    "in space, one must always assume the worst will occur".

    Which would lead to robotic missions only and no one will ever leave Earth...

    If micro meteoroid (A meteoroid is a rocky material big or small in space, a Meteor is rocky material in the earths atmosphere, a Meteorite is rocky material from space on the ground)... hits the chamber with the O3 then that shower of sparks will cause a flash fire that burns out the O3 chamber so the crew should be fine... in fact the space in the chamber and the effect of the super heating O3 should act like ERA and effectively stop the meteoroid and protect the crew... but then there will be oxidiser tanks and fuel tanks that could also easily be hit and destroy the entire space craft...


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

    Post  Mike E on Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:26 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    It is a non-issue for the hundredth time, and using radiation-absorbing material is much more efficient, never mind more reliable...


    On a long range manned mission they will need to take an enormous amount of water with them anyway... if they have to take it anyway, why not take it in a way that is more useful for other purposes, like reducing radiation, improving food storage, etc etc.

    Taking hydrogen on its own is tricky because hydrogen atoms are small and will leak through most container types over time... binding the hydrogen with oxygen makes it rather easier to handle and control, yet both components are still readily accessible if needed for what ever purpose.

    "in space, one must always assume the worst will occur".

    Which would lead to robotic missions only and no one will ever leave Earth...

    If  micro meteoroid (A meteoroid is a rocky material big or small in space, a Meteor is rocky material in the earths atmosphere, a Meteorite is rocky material from space on the ground)... hits the chamber with the O3 then that shower of sparks will cause a flash fire that burns out the O3 chamber so the crew should be fine... in fact the space in the chamber and the effect of the super heating O3 should act like ERA and effectively stop the meteoroid and protect the crew... but then there will be oxidiser tanks and fuel tanks that could also easily be hit and destroy the entire space craft...
    Oh crap... I had an entire reply ready, and I lost it... So I'll make this one short en' sweet.

    For the last time, it is a *non-issue*. Why bother with water, when there are countless other solutions that are simpler and more feasible? - Material-based, active shielding etc. For crying out load, they astronauts *don't even NEED the protection in the first place*! So why would one complicate an already complicated mission, just to do something that other solutions can do better?

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

    Post  Mike E on Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:14 pm

    New chapter on RSW about Voskhod! http://www.russianspaceweb.com/voskhod.html

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

    Post  Rmf on Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:24 pm

    Russia is blowing too much money on some vapourware. you want to use electricity not chemical reactions for propulsion as much as you can. everything that can reduce lifting mass is good.
    They should stick just to angara now with its versions and thats it.
    The best way to get to planets and around solar system would be with electromagnetic propulsion from the moon. For that moon base is needed which can be done with several angara launches.
    Launches from the moon using electricity from nuclear fission or future fusion reactor or solar panels from places on the moon with constant sunshine.
    That way 3rd orbital velocity can be reached and trips to mars in few months. So no need for much fuel or stores. Also experiment with prolong sleeping or even induced coma, where astronauts are awaken every 5-30 days without consequences ,reducing WOF food/oxygen/water supplies ,energy supplies ,show potential.
    With ships so light it wouldnt need too long track or energy to get them anywhere in solar system. Ion propulsion would be for course corrections.
    And since mars atmosphere is also thin 1% of earth this system could work for return trips.
    Russia should focus on moon ,not much reaserch can be done on mars anymore, most was covered by Americans.
    Sample returning would be cool but instead of phobos grunt- you could do 2 moon missions.

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

    Post  Mike E on Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:01 pm

    Rmf wrote:
    Russia is blowing too much money on some vapourware. you want to use electricity not chemical reactions for propulsion as much as you can. everything that can reduce lifting mass is good.
    They should stick just to angara now with its versions and thats it.
    The best way to get to planets and around solar system would be with electromagnetic propulsion from the moon. For that moon base is needed which can be done with several angara launches.
    Launches from the moon using electricity from nuclear fission or future fusion reactor or solar panels from places on the moon with constant sunshine.
    That way 3rd orbital velocity can be reached and trips to mars in few months. So no need for much fuel or stores. Also experiment with prolong sleeping or even induced coma, where astronauts are awaken every 5-30 days without consequences ,reducing WOF food/oxygen/water supplies ,energy supplies ,show potential.
    With ships so light it wouldnt need too long track or energy to get them anywhere in solar system. Ion propulsion would be for course corrections.
    And since mars atmosphere is also thin 1% of earth this system could work for return trips.
    Russia should focus on moon ,not much reaserch can be done on mars anymore, most was covered by Americans.
    Sample returning would be cool but instead of phobos grunt- you could do 2 moon missions.
    Blowing money on what? Russia, like all large space programs, is currently developing electric (ion) propulsion systems... 
    Angara is their priority, the super-heavy is now the second priority. 
    Huh? Are you suggesting gravitation shots? Most far-reaching craft already use them.
    They are working on that, but if the trip each way is only a month then it isn't needed.

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

    Post  kvs on Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:47 am

    Russia needs a heavy launcher for strategic reasons.   It is not some useless toy.   As for ion propulsion,
    Russia is working on a nuclear ion propulsion rocket engine:

    http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/Articles_2012/Fall-Winter_2012/Interview_Koroteyev.pdf

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

    Post  Mike E on Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:05 am

    kvs wrote:
    Russia is working on a nuclear ion propulsion rocket engine:

    http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/Articles_2012/Fall-Winter_2012/Interview_Koroteyev.pdf
    Not exactly... The super-heavy, like the NASA SLS, will most likely stick to planetary missions etc. That doesn't mean they aren't important, but rather aren't economically important like the Angara is... The only way I can see the super-heavy generating revenue, would be mining missions as it will probably only be used domestically.

    They are probably also working on more conventional ion propulsion as well, or so I hope...[/quote]

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

    Post  kvs on Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:06 am

    By strategic I meant military. There is nothing commercial about heavy launchers since there is no market for super heavy
    satellites. But Russia needs the ability to be able to launch heavy loads into LEO on short notice. Right now it has a clear
    capability gap.

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

    Post  Mike E on Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:08 am

    kvs wrote:By strategic I meant military.   There is nothing commercial about heavy launchers since there is no market for super heavy
    satellites.   But Russia needs the ability to be able to launch heavy loads into LEO on short notice.   Right now it has a clear
    capability gap.
    Good point... However, as said earlier, Angara is and should always be Russia's priority in the lifter market, in the short term at least... Besides, what military payload would have to be launched by the super-heavy? The heaviest military sats are fine using the Proton-M, and should be light enough for the A5 as well... Unless Russia planes to send a tank into space, they should be fine using the smaller and more affordable rockets.

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

    Post  GarryB on Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:55 am

    Will be cool in 20-30 years time when we can start planning to send a nuclear propelled rocket literally to the stars.

    A nuclear powered rocket that can operate for years mounted on a large space ship with some sort of magnetic scoop on the front several kms long that drags in loose hydrogen atoms in free space and of course any dust particles and suck them in the front of the ship to be heated and accelerated out the back like a big scramjet.

    Huge potential.

    Of course the problem is that 20 years after you launch it you develop a new propulsion technology that is ten times faster so you launch that and it beats the first spaceship you sent.... jocolor


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

    Post  Mike E on Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:00 am

    GarryB wrote:Will be cool in 20-30 years time when we can start planning to send a nuclear propelled rocket literally to the stars.

    A nuclear powered rocket that can operate for years mounted on a large space ship with some sort of magnetic scoop on the front several kms long that drags in loose hydrogen atoms in free space and of course any dust particles and suck them in the front of the ship to be heated and accelerated out the back like a big scramjet.

    Huge potential.

    Of course the problem is that 20 years after you launch it you develop a new propulsion technology that is ten times faster so you launch that and it beats the first spaceship you sent....  jocolor
    Yeah, it would be awesome if such a craft could pass Voyager 1 within my (our) lifespan. 

    That would weight a ton, and while it would drag in molecules (very few of them), it would add to cosmic drag. In general, there are too few particles in space for that to be feasible... 

    No potential... Though regular nuclear propulsion does have a lot of it...

    Yep! But who said that is a bad thing?

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

    Post  Mike E on Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:13 pm

    Defense Ministry denies damage to Fregat booster at Plesetsk space site

    MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. The Fregat booster received no damage as a result of an incident during its transportation at the Plesetsk space site, Air And Space Force spokesman, Colonel Aleksey Zolotukhin, said on Wednesday, adding that the booster was in order and preparations for the launch of the Soyuz-2.1b rocket were proceeding on time.
    “The reports of an alleged fall of the container with the Fregat booster from a railway carriage at the Plesetsk space site have nothing to do with the reality,” Zolotukhin said.
    Specialists have already checked Fregat for its integrity and the existence of latent defects.
    “The Fregat booster is in full working order,” he said, adding that the booster was ready for fuelling and assembly with other parts of the Soyuz rocket.

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