Russia Signs Agreement to Fly Saudi Astronaut to ISS

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Roscosmos State Corporation Director General Dmitry Rogozin took part in the state delegation headed by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin during a state visit to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

During the trip to Abu-Dhabi the Head of Roscosmos met with Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre management and the first UAE astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori, who has recently returned to Earth after his flight to the ISS as part of the international crew. Hazzaa Al Mansoori stayed at the ISS from September 25 to October 3, 2019.

The meeting participants noted that the first UAE astronaut flight is a historical event not only for his homeland, but also for the whole region.

Moreover, during the visit of Vladimir Putin to Riyadh, Roscosmos and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement of cooperation in crewed spaceflights and global satellite navigation system GLONASS. Among other things, the agreement allows for launching a Saudi Arabian cosmonaut to the International Space Station.

Russians Go 12 Months Without Launch Failure

A Proton takes a nose dive at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. (Credit: Tsenki TV)

It’s been a long road, getting from there to here….

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The Russian space program reached a milestone last week: for the first time in nearly a decade, it went a full 12 months — 365 days — without a single partial or complete launch failure.

On Oct. 11 the program passed the one-year anniversary of the Soyuz MS-10 in-flight abort that sent NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin on a wild ballistic ride. Neither one was injured; both later flew to the International Space Station.

The last time Russia went more than one year between launch failures was a 14-month stretch between March 14, 2008 and May 21, 2009.

The last calendar year in which the Russian space program had a clean sheet was in 2003. They have 76 days left in 2019 to equal that feat.

The table below shows the program’s 22 failures and six partial failure over the past 15 years.

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Video: Alexey Leonov Discusses Historic First Spacewalk

WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — We’re saddened by the loss of legendary Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Leonov, who became the first human to walk in space on March 18, 1965. His venture into the vacuum of space began the history of extravehicular activity that makes today’s International Space Station maintenance possible.

Leonov passed away on Oct. 11, 2019. He was 85 years old. He was 85 years old.

In this May 2014 interview, Leonov relives the highlights of the spacewalk he conducted over 50 years ago — the first spacewalk in history — during an interview with NASA Public Affairs Officer Rob Navias. Leonov stepped out of his Voskhod 2 spacecraft on March 18, 1965 for a 12-minute spacewalk to test his spacesuit and maneuverability.

He was followed two months later by American astronaut Edward White, who performed the first U.S. spacewalk in history during the Gemini 4 mission on June 3, 1965.

Leonov went on to command the Soyuz 19 spacecraft that conducted the first docking with an American space vehicle — the Apollo spacecraft commanded by Thomas Stafford — during the historic Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in July 1975.

Russia Mourns Passing of World’s First Spacewalker, Alexey Leonov

Alexey Leonov (Credit Rocosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Roscosmos State Corporation is sad to announce the passing away of Alexey Arkhipovich Leonov.

The legendary Soviet cosmonaut No. 11 was the first human in the world to perform a spacewalk, was twice awarded with Hero of the Soviet Union title.

One of the first cosmonauts of the world space era, Alexey Leonov was committed to his Motherland and his cause, his name is lettered in gold in the world space exploration history.

Roscosmos State Corporation management and employees express deep condolences to the friends and relatives of Alexey Leonov. A telegram with condolences was sent to the friends and relatives on behalf of Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin.

Alexey Leonov was 85 years old.

The visitation with Alexey Leonov will be on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, at Mytishchi Military Memorial cemetery, at 08:00 UTC.

China Launch Surge Left U.S., Russia Behind in 2018

Long March 2F rocket in flight carrying Shenzhou-11. (Credit: CCTV)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The year 2018 was the busiest one for launches in decades. There were a total of 111 completely successful launches out of 114 attempts. It was the highest total since 1990, when 124 launches were conducted.

China set a new record for launches in 2018. The nation launched 39 times with 38 successes in a year that saw a private Chinese company fail in the country’s first ever orbital launch attempt.

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Astronauts Return from International Space Station

NASA astronaut Nick Hague, Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and visiting astronaut from United Arab Emirates (UAE) Hazzaa Ali Almansoori returned to Earth from the International Space Station at 6:59 am in Kazakhstan. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA astronaut Nick Hague returned to Earth from the International Space Station on Thursday, alongside Soyuz commander Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and visiting astronaut Hazzaa Ali Almansoori from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The crew landed safely at 6:59 a.m. EDT in Kazakhstan.

Hague and Ovchinin launched March 14, along with fellow NASA astronaut Christina Koch. Six hours later, they began their 203-day mission on the station, orbiting Earth 3,248 times and traveling 86.1 million miles.

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NASA Selects Space Biology Experiments to Study Living Organisms on Russian Bion-M2 Mission

An artist’s depiction of the Van Allen Belts, showing Earth’s magnetic field lines and the trajectories of charged particles trapped by them. The twin ELFIN spacecraft are shown following their inclined polar orbit, traced in yellow. (Credits: UCLA EPSS/NASA SVS)

WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — NASA has selected nine grant proposals for space biology research experiments, the results of which will contribute to the understanding of health risks humans will experience in deep space, including exploration at the Moon through the Artemis program and future missions to Mars. Selected investigators will have an opportunity to conduct rodent experiments to be flown on a biosatellite mission, known as Bion-M2, with the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

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World’s Most Powerful Engine to be Digitalized in October

RD-171MV engine (Credit: NPO Energomash)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — NPO Energomash (part of Roscosmos) is finalizing the works to digitalize the RD-171MV rocket engine design documentation. The engine is to be used in the Soyuz-5 carrier rocket. The works to create digital design documentation have been underway since May 2019.

The enterprise design bureau created a special workgroup for the project – all the details have been modelled, large and small assemblies have been completed, the final assembly is almost over.

“We plan to finish the works in the end of September – beginning of October. Beside 3D modelling we create the fully digitalized design documentation with all the information necessary for production, control and handing over the ready products,” – says Oleg Tveriye, NPO Energomash digital technologies introduction department chief.

Digital design documentation will allow controlling the production process at all stages and effectively manage it. This will substantially cut the production period and automatize many processes from details and assembly units manufacturing to the engine assembly and firing trials.

After finishing the works with the RD-171MV engine, the company’s engineers will start digitalizing the RD-191 engine design documentation used for the Angara carrier rocket, the works on which are to be finished in the end of 2020.

RD-171MV is a modernized version of the RD-170/171 engine designed by NPO Energomash in 1976-1986. The modernized engine has already been acknowledged as the world’s most powerful – with its own weight of 10 tons its thrust is more than 800 tons.

New Crew Launches to International Space Station

Update: The astronauts have arrived safely at the space station.

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (NASA PR) — A multinational crew, including NASA astronaut Jessica Meir and the first space traveler from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station Wednesday, Sept. 25. NASA Television and the agency’s website will provide live coverage of the crew’s launch and arrival.

Meir, Oleg Skripochka of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Hazzaa Ali Almansoori from the UAE are set to launch at 9:57 a.m. EDT (6:57 p.m. Kazakhstan time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft.

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GK Launch Services, ISL Team Up for Commercial SSO CubeSat Launch

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — GK Launch Services (“GK”) and Innovative Space Logistics (“ISL”) have teamed up for launching CubeSats on GK’s first commercial SSO mission from Q2 2020 that will fly from Baikonur Cosmodrome. 

The objective of this joint service is to address the need of the current CubeSat market for reliable launch solutions at a highly cost-effective pricepoint, supported by a team with unique experience.

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A New Journey into Earth for Space Exploration

Astronauts from five space agencies around the world take part in ESA’s CAVES training course– Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behaviour and performance Skills. (Credit: ESA – A. Romeo)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Six astronauts, five space agencies and a fresh start into underground worlds to help prepare for living on other planets. ESA’s latest training adventure will equip an international crew with skills to explore uncharted terrains on the Moon and Mars, this time with a focus on the search for water.

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Russian Regulative Documents on Earth’s Remote Sensing Database Signed

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The Government of the Russian Federation approved the regulation to create and maintain the Earth’s remote sensing federal database. The regulation defines the contents and ways of data transmission, as well as the time period of sending the data to the database.

The passing of these Decrees of the Government of the Russian Federation creates all the necessary conditions to maintain the federal Earth’s remote sensing database and data provision to the clients.

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Vostochny Cosmodrome Construction Begins Second Phase, Maintenance Work Conducted

Workers work on a concrete foundation at Vostochny Cosmodrome. (Credit: Roscosmos)


TSIOLKOVSKY, Russia (Roscomos PR) — The second phase of construction is at full speed at the Vostochny Cosmodrome. The Kazan industrial and construction association are carrying out the foundation armament of structures placed at the Angara carrier rockets family launching complex.

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Vladimir Putin Tours Vostochny Cosmodrome

Russian President Vladimir Putin gets a briefing on the progress of Vostochny Cosmodrome in September 2019. (Credit: Roscosmos)

TSIOLKOVSKY, Russia (Roscomos PR) — The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin visited Amur Oblast and held a meeting to discuss the matters of the Vostochny Cosmodrome infrastructure development, as well as on perspective rocket complexes.

Right before the meeting, the President visited the Cosmodrome itself to inspect the objects and get acquainted with the status of the Angara space rocket launch complex construction.

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France & Russia Agree to Expand Space Cooperation

MOSCOW (CNES) — On the occasion of the MAKS international air show in Moscow, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall met Dimitry Rogozin, Director General of the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos, Maxim Yakovenko, Head of Roshydromet, the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, and Kirill Sypalo, Director General of TsAGI, the Zhukovsky Central AeroHydrodynamic Institute.

In 2018, CNES and Roscosmos signed a framework agreement on space science to promote new space projects and extend their cooperation to a broad range of fields including space biology, solar research with the Russian Interhelioprobe project, the use of French robotics and navigation expertise for Russia’s lunar exploration programme, planetology, universe science and climate monitoring.

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