MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin briefed the President on the progress in the construction of the second stage of Vostochny Space Centre.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Rogozin, we met at Vostochny fairly recently, although several months have already passed, and discussed the issues of the industry’s development and the construction of the space centre. What has been done in the past period, which issues remain unresolved, and what is progressing as we agreed?
Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin: Mr President,
I would like to report on the construction of the second stage of Vostochny Space Centre. As you know, the first stage comprised the creation of the launch pad and a technical complex with infrastructure for the Soyuz 2 rocket. The second stage is for the Angara, a heavy load rocket. In accordance with your executive order, we are planning to have the first launch in 2023.
A Rokot booster placed a Russian military satellite into orbit on Friday on its last mission for the Russian Ministry of Defence.
The booster lifted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia and successfully placed the Geo-IK-2 No.13 military mapping satellite into orbit.
“The Rokot rocket’s launch was the last one under the Defense Ministry’s program. Another one is due for Roscosmos. The rocket’s operation is over because there are plans for using an advanced type of this vehicle,” Major-General Nikolai Nestechuk told Tass.
Nestechuk did not specify what advanced booster will be used in Rokot’s place.
Rokots are an adaptation of retired SS-19 Stiletto intercontinental ballistic missiles. The booster has launched 33 times with 30 successes, two failures and one partial failure since 1990.
Rokot was formerly marketed as a commercial launcher by Eurockot Launch Services, a joint venture of Russia’s Khrunichev and ArianeGroup. However, that program ended as Russia decided to phase out the booster.
The Eurockot website says the company’s activities are “under redefinition. We will start accepting launch requests in the near future.”
Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin said the state space corporation is once again eyeing the use of converted SS-18 Satan (aka, R-36M2 Voyevoda) intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) for small satellite launches, TASS reports.
“The matter is now being discussed, first of all with the Defense Ministry, because they are the number one here,” Rogozin said on Saturday, answering to a question about the possibility of converting Voyevoda ICBMs.
He said it would be “wrong to simply scrap” this “beautiful, legendary ICBM.”
“We could easily refit it for projects related to putting small spacecraft to civilian orbits. The matter is being discussed. This tactics should be applied to all combat missiles when they are being removed from combat duty, including Sarmat,” he said.