MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The year 2018 marked a new stage in Roscosmos development. From the moment Dmitry Rogozin was appointed the State Corporation’s General Director, a lot of work has been done to optimize the strategy of aerospace industry’s management. The results of the previous team’s work were investigated thoroughly, following which the Corporation’s management began to implement new systems of control.
The State Corporation’s administration set the goal of accelerating all processes aimed at enhancing the quality and reliability of the rocket and space equipment, improving the performance discipline at all levels of production, attracting the young specialists and promoting overall prestige of the aerospace industry.
During the applied research conference entitled “The Principal Objectives and Prospects for Development of ROSCOSMOS State Corporation,” the Corporation’s General Director articulated ten principles that should be followed by the Corporation and aerospace industry enterprises in their operations. Among them, Dmitry Rogozin mentioned insistence of high standards in performing state defense orders and Roscosmos’ direct involvement in all of its customers’ contracts. He also announced the plans for establishment of Administration of Technical Authority and incorporation of the Innovators’ Council into existing structures in order to assure scientific organization of labor at the industry enterprises and the use of best practices. Itwas also declared that together with the Advanced Research Foundation, the Corporation will establish the Advanced Research Administration to meet the needs of technological progress.
In 2018, Roscosmos began working on the conceptual design of the super heavy-lift launch vehicle (SHLLV) and plans to complete the design stage in 2019. The start of the vehicle’s air trials is scheduled for 2028. In order to implement these plans, the President of the Russian Federation issued a Decree “On Development of the Super Heavy-Lift Launch Vehicle.” Changes were made to the state program of the Russian Federation “Russia’s Space Activities in 2013-2020,” and a detailed timetable for its implementation in 2018-2020 was confirmed. Additional changes were introduced to the Federal Space Program of Russia for 2016-2025.
The Corporation completed the conceptual design and signed a state contract with Rocket and Space Corporation Energia for development of the next-generation medium-lift launch vehicle (LLV) with carrier rocket that will be used for the launch of the new manned spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome (the launch is scheduled for 2022). The state contract envisions the development of conceptual design, preparation of design documentation, ground work on the rocket and vehicle elements, manufacturing of flight models, and performance of air trials. The Rocket and Space Corporation Energia will have to perform these actions in cooperation with associate contractor enterprises incorporated in Roscosmos State Corporation.
Roscosmos also began the work on the second stage of Vostochny Cosmodrome in order to assure the first launch of the Angara A5 heavy-lift launch vehicle that is currently scheduled for 2021. In the future, establishment of the new launch complex willhelp to facilitate implementation of the deep space exploration program (with special attention given to the lunar exploration).
In 2018, for the first time in the history of the Russian cargo vehicle flight, the program for the approach of Progress MS-09 transport cargo vehicle to the International Space Station was implemented using the “super short” sequence. The duration of the flight from the moment of vehicle’s launch to the moment of its docking to the orbital station equaled 3 hours and 40 minutes. In the future, similar rendezvous scheme will be used in the manned missions involving Russian cosmonauts.
Operation of the International Space Station (ISS) continues as part of the manned spaceflight program. This year marked the anniversary of thestation’s flight: in 1998, 20 years ago, the station’s first module, Zarya Functional Cargo Block, was deployed into orbit. On 19 November 2018, Roscosmos organized an international conference in honor of this event that was dedicated both to the history of ISS creation and the prospects for the global manned spaceflight’s development. The majority of conference participants acknowledged the importance of continuing ISS operations in order to further accumulate the experience of manned flights.
Throughout 2018, the crews of the Russian segment of the ISS performed three spacewalks (EVA №44,45 and 45А) with a total duration of 23 hours and 43 minutes. In the course of the last spacewalk, Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopiev executed immensely complicated work on investigating the exterior surface of the International Space Station and of the habitation module of Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, where the cosmonauts previously discovered a hole that led to the air leaks from the ISS. The cosmonauts ascertained that following the procedure of pressure sealing that was conducted by the crew, the hole presents no danger for the ISS inhabitants. The landing of Soyuz MS-09 crew in the person of Sergey Prokopiev (Roscosmos), Alexander Gerst (ESA) and Serena Auñón-Chancellor (NASA) was made under normal conditions on 20 December.
International cooperation saw energizing of contacts with traditional partners outside of the European-American political bloc, such as India, China, and the CIS countries. The work was begun on development of cooperation with new partners, especially with the countries of the Arabian Peninsula. The Corporation signed a contract with United Arab Emirates for the space flight of the Emirati cosmonaut, renewed the positive dialogue with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and is currently completing the feasibility study on the possibility of implementing three-way (Russia/Kazakhstan/UAE) project for the use of Baikonur Cosmodrome’s infrastructure for commercial launch activities.
Roscosmos began implementation of the project for establishment of the unified space engine technology consortium on the basis of the R&D company Energomash. The purpose of the holding structure’s organization is to arrange internal cooperation between all enterprises in such a way that the work load is equally distributed among all participants of the integrated company. In the future, this will improve manufacturing efficiency and the quality of production at all of the holding’s enterprises, assure performance of public contracts and enhance competitiveness on the global market.
As of the end of 2018, the orbit group of space vehicles of socio-economic, scientific and dual purpose includes 89 space vehicles (SV), including9 space vehicles for Earth’s remote sensing (ERS), of which 2 SV have natural resource purpose, 3 SV have hydrometeorological purpose and 4 SV are used for on-line monitoring of man-made and natural emergencies. The Gonets-M system of personal mobile satellite communications that includes 12 SV services 125,000 subscribers.
Working in close cooperation with the Russian Academy of Sciences, Roscosmos executed anumber of projects in the sphere of fundamental space research and continues to run scientific experiments with the use of Russian devices on board of foreign space vehicles.
The GLONASS system encompasses 26 space vehicles, of which 24 are used in accordance with their designed purpose and assures the target level of performance characteristics.
In 2018, Roscosmos facilitated the launch of 20 carrier rockets with space vehicles of various purposes, of which one launch, the manned flight on 11 October, was identified as emergency start. Despite this, the Russian launch escape system that was developed through cooperation of domestic aerospace industry enterprises demonstrated its effectiveness and exceptional safety. Neither of the crew members of Soyuz-10 manned cargo spacecraft, which performed an emergency landing 20 km away from the town of Zhezkazgan (Kazakhstan), suffered any injuries and both felt well following the landing.
Roscosmos State Corporation would like to extend its gratitude to media representatives and to everyone who believes in the Russian space program. We thank the subscribers of our official social media pages (VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube), whose numbers have already exceeded 1,500,000 people!
Thank you, everyone, for your support, for joint projects, and for promotion of Russia’s spaceactivities. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!