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Gap between NASA and Roscosmos budgets narrows

February 4th, 2011 Comments off

The gap between the funding of space programs in Russia and the United States is gradually decreasing every year, head of the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) Anatoly Perminov said on Thursday.

“[The gap] is not growing but decreasing. About two or three years ago NASA’s budget was 17-18 times that of the Roscosmos. Now, to my knowledge, it is seven-eight times. Of course, theirs is higher,” he said on Ekho Moskvy radio station’s twitter.

Source: Interfax-AVN

Roscosmos is looking at a 2011 operating budget of some $3.8 billion.

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Russian government to allocate 180 billion rubles for development of the Rus-M

January 29th, 2011 Comments off

The Russian government plans to allot 180 billion rubles for the development of a new family of Russian space rockets and other spacecraft, Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) chief Anatoly Perminov told journalists on Tuesday.

“The overall cost of the construction of a projected manned transportation system, a new space rocket system called Rus-M, and the ground technological complex will amount to about 180 billion rubles in the period up to 2015,” Perminov said following a government session dealing with the construction of the Vostochny spaceport in Russia’s Far East.

The sketches of the new launch vehicles and a new-generation spacecraft were patented in 2010, he said.

The Rus-M medium-class rocket capable of carrying payloads reaching 24 tonnes is being developed by the Samara-based TsSKB Progress space center. This rocket should put the new spacecraft Rus being developed by the Energia rocket corporation into orbit for flight trials in 2015. A manned launch of this spacecraft is planned for 2018.

Source: Interfax-AVN

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Russia to commission new generation early warning radars in Kaliningrad & Irkutsk regions

January 29th, 2011 Comments off

Two new generation radar stations incorporated into Russia’s early warning system will be brought into operation in the Kaliningrad and Irkutsk regions, Russian Space Forces Commander Lt. gen. Oleg Ostapenko told journalists on Thursday.

“One of them is already performing certain duties in the Kaliningrad region. Analogous work is being done outside Irkutsk,” Ostapenko said when asked where else early warning radar stations will be built.

The stations being installed in the Kaliningrad and Irkutsk regions are almost identical to the so-called prefabricated radar stations already built in Lekhtusi, the Leningrad region, and Armavir, the Krasnodar territory, the differences will be slight.

It was reported earlier that the first prefabricated radar station Voronezh-M was built in Lekhtusi and another, Voronezh-DM, in Armavir.

Source: Interfax-AVN

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5 billion rubles spent on cosmodrome improvements in 2010

January 29th, 2011 Comments off

The federal target program titled, “Developing Russian cosmodromes in 2006-2015″ involves the construction of ground infrastructure for the Angara space rocket family in Plesetsk (Arkhangelsk region) and infrastructure improvements, Space Troops Commander Lt. Gen. Oleg Ostapenko told journalists on Thursday.

“Total federal budget spending for the program implementation in 2010 was more than 5 billion rubles,” Ostapenko said.

The construction and reconstruction of a universal launch pad and the Angara, as well as reconstruction of the Plesetsk airfield, a unified technical complex for preparing military satellites, continued in 2010, he said. Boilers were reconstructed and are now operating. The reconstruction of the cosmodrome’s railways was fully completed, while reconstruction of motorways is 95% complete.

Under the plan to improve infrastructure and staff housing, wastewater works and engineering networks are being built for the area N2, reconstruction of an officers’ dormitory is complete and the kindergarten N12 is due to be completed in the first quarter of 2011, the Space Troops commander said.

In 2011, the plan to implement the federal target program involves the reconstruction of a launch pad for Soyuz-2 carrier rockets, water supply and sewage networks, officers’ dormitories, two medical centers, the Gorodskaya boarding platform and a military polyclinic and construction of the Burya checkpoint. Auctions were conducted and design documentation was prepared as required by law, the general said.

Source: Interfax-AVN

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Ukraine to manufacture ten Zenit-3SL carrier rockets for Sea Launch project

January 29th, 2011 Comments off

Ukraine’s Yuzhny Machine-Building Plant, Yuzhmash, will manufacture ten Zenit-3SL carrier rockets for the Sea Launch international consortium which launches spacecraft from a sea platform in the Pacific Ocean, Yuzhmash has reported.

“Yuzhmash managers signed an agreement in November 2010 to make ten Zenit-3SL carrier rockets, three of which are to be manufactured in 2011,” it said on its website.

Yuzhnoye Design Bureau’s General Director Alexander Degtyaryov earlier told reporters that two Zenit-3SL launches would be carried out in 2011, the first one in the third quarter. Five firm orders have been received for Zenit-3SL launches, he said.

Yuzhmash General Director Viktor Shchogolev said that the first carrier rocket for 2011 launches is 70% complete and the second – 50%. The next two carrier rockets are being laid, he said.

Source: Interfax-AVN

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GLONASS satellite restarts operations after maintenance

January 29th, 2011 Comments off

The 22nd satellite of Russia’s GLONASS global navigation satellite system has resumed functioning after routine maintenance.

The Glonass-M satellite No. 714 was put back into operation at 8:30 a.m. on January 27, nine days later than planned, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said on its website.

Roscosmos director Anatoly Perminov said earlier that “the 22nd satellite currently in orbit would be put back into operative condition before January 18.”

The Glonass-M satellite No. 714 was placed into orbit on December 25, 2005 and began operating on August 31, 2006.

Source: Interfax-AVN

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New early warning radar going up in Siberia

January 5th, 2011 Comments off

Russia has started building a missile warning radar station in Siberia, the third in a series of new-generation radar stations, said the director of the Federal Special Construction Agency (Spetsstroi).

“Under the state armaments development program, we are carrying out a set of tasks to create a new generation of radar stations. Two of them, in Lekhtusi and Armavir, are in operation already. Work began not so long ago to build a third one in the vicinity of the town of Usolye-Sibirskoye in the Irkutsk region,” Maj. Gen. Nikolai Abroskin told Interfax-AVN.

Source: Interfax-AVN

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The end of Dnepr

January 5th, 2011 Comments off

The Russian Defense Ministry does not think it expedient to carry on the Dnepr space program and will not assign a single RS-20 ‘Satan’ rocket for the program in 2011, an aerospace industry representative told Interfax-AVN on Thursday.

“Ten test and training launches of RS-12M ‘Topol’, RS-18 and RS-24 ‘Yars’ intercontinental ballistic missiles are planned for 2011. Meanwhile, there will be no RS-20 launches, including those in the Dnepr program,” he said.

He said the Defense Ministry called inefficient the disposal of RS-20B missiles in space launches. “It is much easer to scrap the missiles,” he said.

Earlier reports said that four Dnepr rockets would be launched from a launch site of the Dombarovskaya division of the Strategic Rocket Forces in the Orenburg region. A cluster launch of eight satellites, including Ukraine’s Sych 2 and BPA-2, Nigeria’s NigeriaSat-X and NigeriaSat-2, Turkey’s Rasat, U.S. AprizeSat-5 and AprizeSat-6 and Italy’s EduSat, was planned for the first quarter of 2011.

It was planned to launch the South Korean radar satellite KompSat5 in June-July. Two Dnepr launches were scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2011, including one to deliver the Mikhailo Lomonosov satellite and the cluster launch of several satellites, among them South Korean STSAT-3.

Cosmotrans international space company General Director Vladimir Andreyev told Interfax-AVN in September 2010 that the company hoped to use RS-20 missiles in the Dnepr space program until 2027. He said about 70 rockets would be launched.

The Russian-Ukrainian rocket Dnepr was based on the world’s most powerful delivery vehicle, RS-20 (NATO codename SS-18 ‘Satan’), with high thrust and reliability characteristics. The rocket weighs 211 tonnes, has the diameter of three meters and the length of 34.6 meters.

Sixteen Dnepr launches have been made since April 199, including twelve from Baikonur and four from the Orenburg region.

Source: Interfax-AVN

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Launch of weather sat postponed

December 17th, 2010 Comments off

Preparations for the launch of Russia’s Zenit-3M rocket equipped with the Fregat-SB upper stage and carrying the Electro-L weather satellite have been suspended, a source in the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan told Interfax.

Specialists in charge of the launch are now putting the rocket, the upper stage and the satellite in storage.

The source, however, denied the presence of any technical problems, adding that the launch was postponed on orders given by the administration of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos).

Officials of the Russian space rocket sector have so far been unavailable for comment.

The satellite is now expected to be put into orbit in the second half of January.

But if the launch does not take place in January, it will have to be postponed by at least six months in order to make all of the necessary calculations anew and to replace part of the satellite’s equipment and several blocks that are nearing their expiry date.

The Zenit-3M rocket fitted with the Fregat-SB upper stage and carrying the Electro-L Russian weather satellite was supposed to blast off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 3:27 p.m., Moscow time, on December 25.

The Electro-L launch is meant to help Russia start to restore its geostationary-orbit group of weather satellites.

Today Russia operates only the Meteor-M weather satellite.

The functioning of the Electro-L will help improve weather forecasts by providing more data about cloud cover levels, winds and the movement of ice.

Source: Interfax-AVN

More problems at Roscosmos….

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GLONASS-K launch likely to be postponed

December 17th, 2010 Comments off

The December 28 launch of Russia’s Glonass-K new-generation navigation satellite from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk region could be postponed, a spokesman for the Russian space rocket sector told Interfax-AVN on Friday.

“The possibility of postponing the launch until the start of next year is being considered because of the need to run more checks of all of the technical systems. A final decision on the launch date will be made within the next few days,” the spokesman said.

The director of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Anatoly Perminov, said earlier that the first Glonass-K new-generation navigation satellite would blast off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on December 28.

“The Glonass-K modernized satellite will be launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome with the help of the Soyuz launch vehicle equipped with the Fregat upper stage. Everything is going according to plan,” Perminov said.

The decision to add the new satellite to the GLONASS system ahead of schedule was adopted following the crash of the Proton rocket carrying three Glonass satellites into the Pacific Ocean on December 5, he said.

The Glonass-K has a number of advantages over its predecessors – the Glonass and Glonass-M satellites. The Glonass-K is hermetically unsealed, boasts improved technical characteristics and has a ten-year service life.

Source: Interfax-AVN

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