Rogozin Provides Updates on Sfera Constellation, Soyuz-5 Progress, Reusable Angara and ExoMars

Angara-A5 launch (Credit: Russian Aerospace Forces)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — On January 25, 2022, Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin spoke about promising projects Roscosmos and its subsidiaries at Academic readings on cosmonautics (Korolev’s Readings 2022).

On Creation of Radar Observation Satellites

We need radio location. And I would like to say that this is the year 2022 when we launch Kondor, our first radar satellite, and in 2023 will launch two more satellites, Obzor-R and another Kondor, and then we will develop a multi-satellite multifunctional orbital constellation within the Sfera program.

On the Sfera System Development

Last year we received the first budget funding to start works to create spacecraft and at the end of this year we are planning to launch a demonstration model of the Skif-D spacecraft for broadband Internet access services. At the end of 2023 – beginning of 2024, the Marafon prototype spacecraft will be launched. This is the spacecraft of the Internet of Things system. Such a huge country as Russia can be connected only through space. We plan to have five communication constellations and five observation constellations in the Sfera project.

On Soyuz-5 Rocket Flights

We plan to take the risk and go for the launch of the Aist satellite in the first launch of a two-stage Soyuz-5 rocket with the world’s most powerful liquid-propellant engine, the RD-171MV. Not two, but we will definitely launch one, so we will not have empty launches. The next Soyuz-5 launch, respectively, will be in 2024 with the Fregat upper stage and also with a payload.

All in all, I think the Soyuz-5 rocket has a serious future! Being equipped with its own control system, it can and should become the main rocket of the Sea Launch platform.

Angara with Returnable Blocks

We have an idea, to look into the possibility of working with Angara in terms of the returnability of the first and second stages stack, without splitting it up, without scattering it into separate universal rocket modules.

Such an opportunity could appear when the developers will have oxygen-hydrogen engines with enough power reserve to orbit the payload and to return the first stage to Earth. We are talking about landing the first stage on a specialized platform somewhere on the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk.

About the ExoMars 2022 Mission

This year will see the mission to the Red Planet. This is a mixed, closely interconnected Russian-European mission, where our contribution is not only the Proton-M launch vehicle, but also the unique Kazachok landing module. It should provide a soft landing on Mars. Our module itself is an independent scientific station, which has a huge number of scientific instruments. Our scientific instruments are also installed on the European Mars rover.

The launch window opens to Mars every two years. This year it is from September 20 to October 1. I talked to our developers just yesterday, and they confirm that we are on schedule. The problems that our European colleagues had with the parachute system have largely been overcome, as have the problems that we faced. We have a soft landing on Mars to ensure. This is our most important task and we are determined to accomplish it.