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    Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

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    George1
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  George1 on Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:24 am

    New Life for Old Buddy: Russia Tests Renewed Soyuz-MS Spacecraft



    A new, modified version of Russia’s workhorse spacecraft, the Soyuz-TMA-MS (or Soyuz-MS), is undergoing tests in the production facilities of Rocket and Space Corporation Energia; before being finally installed in the manned spacecraft, all the modern avionics will be initially tested on Progress cargo spacecraft in October.

    “At this stage, the spacecraft is undergoing all the technical examination before being sent to the launch pad. A little over half a year is left before its first take off,” said Aleksandr Gordyaev, the head of the sector of the Soyuz project department of Energia that oversees the spacecraft.

    The engineers are testing the wielding of approaching and orientation thrusters, pressure leaks and hundreds of butt joints.

    The outward appearance of the Soyuz hasn’t changed much since it was first launched in November 1966. However, the interior has been constantly re-equipped with modernized avionics.

    The Soyuz is not reuseable; a new one is built for each flight and is docked to the ISS. The old one is piloted by the crew returning to Earth; the central crew cabin separates from the other two compartments (these burn up in the atmosphere), and makes a ballistic re-entry, parachutes deploying to slow it down before touchdown on Earth.

    The development of the previous manned version, the Soyuz TMA-M, which is now on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS), was primarily aimed at upgrading its digital computer and telemetry transmission system.

    Earlier Soyuz craft were fitted with an analog telemetry system. The new solution is more compact, and has an advanced TsVM-101-class computer.

    The modernization saw the replacement of the original 36 obsolete instruments with 19 newly designed ones, necessitating corresponding updates to the on-board control system and thermal control system.

    The new craft is easier to manufacture, and its total empty weight is 70 kg less than that of the predecessor.

    The Soyuz TMA-MS will be equipped with more efficient solar panels featuring photovoltaic converters. The docking and attitude control thrusters would be rearranged for reliably linking the ship to the ISS even if one of the thrusters failed, and safely return to Earth if two thrusters failed.

    Unlike previous versions of the craft, the Soyuz-MS will be equipped with a GLONASS/ GPS satellite navigation system, an advanced control radio link with a satellite communication channel, and the Kurs NA automated docking system, which is two times lighter than the previous one and consumes three times less power.

    The old command radio link will be replaced with a unified command/telemetry system which will make it possible to receive telemetry via satellite and control the vehicle when it is not within sight of Russian ground stations.

    It will provide the crew with uninterrupted updates on the trajectory parameters without relying on ground tracking equipment. The communications system will utilize Luch relay satellites for constant direct contact with ground control.

    GLONASS/GPS receivers will be able to send exact coordinates to Mission Control via the Kospas/Sarsat system after parachute deployment and after touchdown, allowing teams on the ground to find the crew much faster.

    The modernization program makes Soyuz, which is currently the main mean of transporting crews to and from the ISS, more reliable and safe to operate, improves structural commonality, and replaces obsolete equipment and components.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/science/20150906/1026652714/russia-modernized-soyuz-spacecraft-test.html#ixzz3l0IG94XW


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

    Post  George1 on Wed Oct 28, 2015 3:28 pm

    Launch of Russia’s new series cargo spaceship Progress-MS postponed till Dec 21

    The postponement was caused by the necessity to complete all the work linked with the Progress cargo spacecraft’s failed launch that took place this April

    MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. The launch of Russia’s new series Progress-MS cargo spacecraft that was originally planned for November 21 has been postponed for a month - until December 21, President of the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (RKK Energia) Vladimir Solntsev told TASS on Tuesday.

    "The launch will be postponed for a month," he said. Asked by TASS if the specific date - December 21 - was meant, Solntsev replied: "Yes."

    The postponement was caused by the necessity to complete all the work linked with the Progress cargo spacecraft’s failed launch that took place this April, as well as to conduct additional checks for avoiding similar incidents in the future.

    The Progress M-27M cargo spacecraft was launched on April 28 from the Baikonur space center Russia leases from Kazakhstan on a Soyuz carrier rocket. The rocket took the spacecraft to a higher orbit than required to dock with the International Space Station (ISS). After a few unsuccessful attempts to get control of the spacecraft, experts gave up the idea. The Progress was taking food, oxygen and other cargos to the ISS crew.

    The Progress M-27M spacecraft lost the near-Earth orbit and burned in dense atmosphere above the Pacific Ocean at 05:04 a.m. Moscow Time [02:04 UTC] on Friday, May 8, Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos told TASS. "The spacecraft entered dense atmosphere at the 160th coil above the central part of the Pacific," Roscosmos said then.

    Roscosmos found out that the incident was caused by the "contingency separation" of the third stage of the Soyuz rocket and the Progress spaceship due to depressurisation of the rockets’ fuel tanks that resulted from a specific design linkage of a Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket and the space freighter.

    "A design peculiarity in the joint use of the spaceship and the rocket related to the frequency-dynamic characteristics of the linkage between the spaceship and the rocket’s third stage is the cause for the damage done to the spaceship as a result of the emergency separation of the carrier rocket’s third stage and the transport spacecraft," Roscosmos said following the investigation of the incident.


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

    Post  magnumcromagnon on Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:31 am

    Carrier rocket "Soyuz" production. Weapons 2015. News


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

    Post  Austin on Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:35 pm

    Khrunichev Center has signed a contract for five Intelsat launches "Proton-M"

    MOSCOW, November 11 - RIA Novosti. Khrunichev Center has signed a contract with a leading global satellite operator Intelsat five rocket launch vehicle (LV) "Proton-M" from Baikonur until 2023.

    "International Launch Services, a subsidiary of the Space Center. MV Khrunichev, and Intelsat, the world's leading satellite communications operator, signed a contract for five launch rocket" Proton-M "from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the period until 2023" - said in the release of the Center Khrunichev.

    To launch satellites into orbit as part of the target pH will be used booster "Briz-M". The rocket heavy class "Proton-M" and designed and produced by Federal State Unitary Enterprise "State Research and Production Space Center. MV Khrunichev".
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  George1 on Fri Nov 27, 2015 11:59 pm

    Russian space agency names date of launch of last Russian-Ukrainian Zenit rocket


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

    Post  GunshipDemocracy on Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:56 am

    not Angara but nice pic hope not too of topic: Soyuz starting caught on camera Smile




    and movie:


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    Soyuz starting caught on camera

    Post  Svyatoslavich on Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:42 am

    GunshipDemocracy wrote:not Angara but nice pic hope not too of topic: Soyuz starting caught on camera Smile




    and movie:


    Great picture and video, they could capture the famous "Korolyov's cross", when the four strap-on boosters are released.
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  George1 on Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:15 am

    Russia to Launch First Modernized Progress-MS Cargo Spacecraft Monday

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/science/20151221/1032066570/russia-progressms-spacecraft-monday.html#ixzz3v2VHvrTq


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

    Post  George1 on Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:22 pm

    Russian space agency retains plans for creating Fenix rocket — source

    The RD-171 engine from NPO Energomash, already used in the Zenit rocket, is regarded as a potential first stage

    MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. The plan of creating the space rocket Fenix remains on the agenda of the Russian space agency Roscosmos plans and has been included in the draft of the federal space program for 2016-2025 despite certain cuts in budget financing, a source in the space rocket industry has said.

    "Research and development under the Fenix project has been preserved in the draft of the federal space program which is undergoing inter-departmental coordination. True, the possibility of removing Fenix from the program was discussed at a certain point, but for now this promising project remains relevant," the source said.

    Fenix is part and parcel of a product research and development portfolio, its eventual aim being creation of a new space rocket for manned programs. The Zenit-size rocket may be built according to a modular principle and consist of several modules. A super-heavy configuration is a possibility.

    The RD-171 engine from NPO Energomash, already used in the Zenit rocket, is regarded as a potential first stage.

    The previous federal space program draft extending till 2025 envisages feasibility studies for developing a medium class space rocket during 2016-2017. Research and development was due to begin as of 2018. Under the project Roscosmos in 2018 through 2025 was to spend more than 30 billion roubles ($430 million) for the purpose.

    According to earlier reports the budget financing of the federal space program would be slashed from 2.004 trillion to 1.4 trillion.


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

    Post  Austin on Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:12 am

    Russia developing super-heavy rocket — deputy PM

    http://tass.ru/en/science/847810
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  kvs on Thu Dec 31, 2015 4:24 pm

    Austin wrote:Russia developing super-heavy rocket — deputy PM

    http://tass.ru/en/science/847810

    So Russia has not dropped the plans for a heavy rocket. I guess we can put all that liberast fantasy to rest.
    But we lack details about this project.
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  George1 on Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:53 pm

    Proton to lift key space mission of 2016

    For the first time since the ill-fated launch of the Mars-96 spacecraft almost two decades ago, Russia's flagship Proton rocket is tasked to send another scientific probe beyond the Earth's orbit. The launch of the ExoMars-2016 spacecraft will also mark the first European mission heading to the Red Planet since 2003.

    The ExoMars 2016 spacecraft - the Trace Gas Orbiter (in the background) and the Schiaparelli lander (in the center) - in a clean room inside Facility 92A-50 in Baikonur Cosmodrome on Dec. 25, 2015.

    The Proton's launch campaign in 2016 will open with a liftoff on January 28. Along with the delivery of the Eutelsat-9B communications satellite, the flight will be the final qualification for the Proton-M rocket and its Briz-M upper stage, before a similar vehicle lifts the historic ExoMars-2016 mission on its journey to Mars. Several Proton launches at the end of 2015, showed increasingly accurate performance of the Briz-M in delivery of its payloads to orbit -- a welcome news for the ExoMars team.

    Limited by the relative positions of the Earth and Mars, the launch window for the ExoMars-2016 extends from March 14 to March 25 only. The window will not re-open until around two years later.

    Depending on the launch of the Mars mission, another team preparing the launch of the Intelsat-31 (a.k.a DLA-2) communications satellite is eyeing April 23 for the third Proton mission of the year. However, the actual launch could take place a few days earlier, sources familiar with the situation say.

    Planners are also considering whether it would be possible to advance the launch of the EchoStar-21 communications satellite to a late May or early June from the current window around June 25. However, the exact launch date for this mission depends on the status of three Russian federal payloads preliminary targeted for launch during a period from May to September. They include launching a trio of satellites to replenish Russia's GLONASS navigation constellation, the first classified Blagovest communications satellite for the Russian Ministry of Defense and another secret military payload.

    The GLONASS mission was scheduled provisionally, because the constellation had had enough in-orbit capacity during 2015 and might not need replacements in 2016. Moreover, the replacement of a single satellite could be accomplished using a Soyuz-2 rocket based in Plesetsk. As of 2015, ISS Reshetnev, the prime developer of GLONASS satellites, had nine such spacecraft in storage.

    Another commercial Proton mission to deliver the AsiaSat-9 satellite is currently scheduled for November. In addition, the US-based International Launch Services, ILS, the marketing arm for the Proton manufacturer, is currently looking at the possibility of arranging another commercial payload to fly in December, industry sources said.

    http://www.russianspaceweb.com/proton_2016.html


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

    Post  George1 on Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:06 pm

    Russian Space Agency to Equip Zenit Rocket With Methane Engine

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/russia/20160114/1033148717/rocket-engine-report-methane.html#ixzz3xKGIREu5


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

    Post  PapaDragon on Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:08 pm

    George1 wrote:Russian Space Agency to Equip Zenit Rocket With Methane Engine

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/russia/20160114/1033148717/rocket-engine-report-methane.html#ixzz3xKGIREu5

    So, Fenix is modification of Zenit now, or are those two completely separate projects?
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Rmf on Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:58 pm

    well i was advocate for zenit , it is compact and self diagnostic rocket ,as a booster it can carry 100 tonns to orbit , methane could be usefull for mars missions because you could synthesize fuel with nuclear power ,nice video -
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1MIAdBpZFA
    so phoenix could be energia with methane engines
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  PapaDragon on Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:35 pm

    Rmf wrote:well i was advocate for zenit , it is compact and self diagnostic rocket ,as a booster it can carry 100 tonns to orbit , methane could be usefull for mars missions because you could synthesize fuel with nuclear power ,nice video -
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1MIAdBpZFA
    so phoenix could be energia with methane engines

    If Fenix is properly upgraded Zenit then it is fine in my book. Angara has excellent self diagnostic system (proven in practice) and they can use it as basis for one on Fenix.

    If they can save time and money with getting desired results then go for it.

    But for Mars trip chemical rockets are dead-end in my book. Those distances require ion engine/nuclear reactor combo. We are talking about difference between 6 months (ion engine) and at least 3,5 years (rocket) trip under ideal circumstances, maybe even longer.
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Rmf on Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:37 am

    liftoff from mars or earth will always require chemical rocket propulsion, but for a cruiser ship/orbital station between earth-mars you can use plasma or ion engines agreed.
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  PapaDragon on Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:32 am

    Rmf wrote:liftoff from mars or earth will always require chemical rocket propulsion, but for a cruiser ship/orbital station between earth-mars you can use plasma or ion engines agreed.

    Goes without saying.
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Big_Gazza on Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:10 am

    Soyuz successor named!

    http://www.russianspaceweb.com/ptk-2015.html#name

    "On August 26, Roskosmos announced a contest for a new name for the spacecraft, which included a public poll coducted from December 4 to December 23. The results approved by a jury chaired by the head of Roskosmos Igor Komarov were announced only on January 15, 2016. The new ship would be named Federatsiya, a Russian word for "federation." Referring to the political structure of the Russian state, the name continued a tradition of the Soyuz spacecraft, whose name meant "union," reflecting the official name of the Soviet state -- the Soviet Union. Runner-up names in the contest, such as Gagarin and Vektor, were reserved for future space projects, the agency's announcement said.

    The public reaction on social media was very mixed: critics noted that the name is long, phonetically unpleasant and has a good chance of being abbreviated to something unceremonious like "Fed." In addition, the name could present a potential minefield of various negative political connotations coming from the technical context, such as separation, delays and other problems."

    How typical of 5th-columnist Zak to throw this little bitchy smear into the mix. "Federatsiya" was chosen by a public contest, yet we are supposed to believe that a majority decision isn't well received on social media? This guy seems to be incapable of reporting on the Russian space program without injecting his personal bias.
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  PapaDragon on Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:25 am


    Federation would not be my choice and was not most popular option but was pretty high up nonetheless. I assume they are keeping Gagarin for something really big down the road and want to keep Soyuz ''tradition'' in some form. Only thing that would make sense because Gagarin was winner by wide margin.

    As for Anatoly Zak, that clown is Julian Roepke of space journalism. (If what they both do can even be called journalism)
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Big_Gazza on Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:42 am

    Rmf wrote:well i was advocate for zenit , it is compact and self diagnostic rocket ,as a booster it can carry 100 tonns to orbit , methane could be usefull for mars missions because you could synthesize fuel with nuclear power ,nice video -
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1MIAdBpZFA
    so phoenix could be energia with methane engines

    Agree 100%. Zenit is an excellent vehicle, its just a huge pity that is was manufactured in Ukraine.... If Russia was to modernise the design and manufacture, fit it with Methalox engines, and develop the long-planned re-usability provisions then it would be a great basis for a future (heavy) Soyuz replacement, Angara competitor (*) and as a strap-on for a future SHLV as it was with the hydrolox Energia core. I have to say I REALLY like Methane as a fuel, mainly because it doesn't cause coking like kerosene does, and therefore make reuseability much easier, but also it is cheap and very plentiful, especially for Russia with its VAST reserves of natural gas.

    (*) when I say "competitor" I mean in terms of an alternative capability to guarantee Russian access to space in the event of some future issues with the Khunichev product. I consider it important to have two independent launcher manufacturers, each with a current in-service product that duplicates the capabilities of the other. The US doesn't look to be abandoning either the Delta or Titan EELVs, probably because the USAF insists on a duplication of launch providers. A wise decision on their part, and one that Russia should adopt also.
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  PapaDragon on Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:19 pm


    thumbsup russia

    Rocket Science: Russia Builds Atomic Engine for Exploring Distant Space

    The Russian Federal Space Agency has presented its ten-year development plan, which includes the construction of a prototype engine powered by atomic energy, able to power a spacecraft on expeditions into the far reaches of the galaxy.


    http://sputniknews.com/science/20160118/1033313127/russia-spacecraft-nuclear-power.html

    The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) has presented its ten-year development plan to the Russian government, which includes the construction of a prototype engine that uses a nuclear reactor to propel it on expeditions into distant space.

    "All the work on the construction of the atomic engine is ongoing, in accordance with planned timescales. We can say with a large amount of certainty that the work will be completed within the provided timescale," Andrey Ivanov, a spokesman for Rosatom, Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporation, told Izvestiya.

    The project is part of the 2016-2025 Federal Space Program, which Roscosmos has recently presented to the Russian government for approval.

    Andrey Ionin of Russia's Tsiolkovskiy Cosmonautical Academy told Izvestiya that the program envisions a wider plan for space exploration, which will guide the direction of the engine's construction.

    "It is clear that an atomic engine is necessary only for exploration of distant space," said Ionin.

    "Projects like the creation of an atomic engine have to take place in the context of a larger project, in order to precisely understand what exactly we are making such a powerful energy source for."

    On Monday, Rosatom revealed that some aspects of the engine's construction are already underway.

    "Two important stages of the project have recently been carried out," said Ivanov.

    "Testing of the reactor's casing has been successfully completed. This testing subjected the casing to excessive pressure and took 3D measurements of the metal, welding and conical intersection."

    In addition, "A unique fuel element has been constructed which allows the engine to work in high temperatures, in large temperature gradients, and high doses of radiation," said Ivanov.

    Currently, space probes such as NASA's Voyager and Pioneer spacecraft use Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG) to convert heat from radioactive plutonium-238 into useful electricity.

    These atomic batteries have been used since the 1960s to power long-term, unmanned, space missions to the dark, distant reaches of the solar system, or to the night side of planets where solar cells are not practical. When it was launched in 1977 Voyager 1's three RTG's produced about 470 watts of electric power, with the power output degrading over time.


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

    Post  Rmf on Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:45 am

    actually Yuri is more apealing name to me then Gagarin , but i guess they could some deep space human vehicle not ptk capsule
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  Rmf on Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:51 am

    Big_Gazza wrote:
    Rmf wrote:well i was advocate for zenit , it is compact and self diagnostic rocket ,as a booster it can carry 100 tonns to orbit , methane could be usefull for mars missions because you could synthesize fuel with nuclear power ,nice video -
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1MIAdBpZFA
    so phoenix could be energia with methane engines

    Agree 100%.  Zenit is an excellent vehicle, its just a huge pity that is was manufactured in Ukraine....  If Russia was to modernise the design and manufacture, fit it with Methalox engines, and develop the long-planned re-usability provisions then it would be a great basis for a future (heavy) Soyuz replacement, Angara competitor (*) and as a strap-on for a future SHLV as it was with the hydrolox Energia core.  I have to say I REALLY like Methane as a fuel, mainly because it doesn't cause coking like kerosene does, and therefore make reuseability much easier, but also it is cheap and very plentiful, especially for Russia with its VAST reserves of natural gas.

    (*) when I say "competitor" I mean in terms of an alternative capability to guarantee Russian access to space in the event of some future issues with the Khunichev product.  I consider it important to have two independent launcher manufacturers, each with a current in-service product that duplicates the capabilities of the other.  The US doesn't look to be abandoning either the Delta or Titan EELVs, probably because the USAF insists on a duplication of launch providers.  A wise decision on their part, and one that Russia should adopt also.

    space x is still work in progress it will get better im sure. methane is interesting since there is allot in universe of it it seems and its stable, or can be synthesised with CO2 and H20.
    its simplest organic molecule CH4. so lost of hydrogen and high isp. its isp is lower then expected because it takes energy to break carbon -hydrogen bonds.
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    Re: Russian Launch Vehicles and their Spacecraft: Thoughts & News

    Post  PapaDragon on Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:32 pm


    Russia to spend over $300 million on developing super heavy rocket

    The prototypes and technology for the creation of the key elements of the super heavy class launch vehicle is expected to be developed by 2025

    http://tass.ru/en/science/850822

    Sponsored content

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