Russia Successfully Launch Angara-A5 Booster on Flight Test

Angara-A5 launch (Credit: Russian Aerospace Forces)

PLESETSK COSMODROME, Russia (Roscosmos PR) — The space forces of the Russian Aerospace Forces held on Monday, December 27, 2021, the third test launch of the Angara-A5 heavy carrier rocket with the overall mass model of the payload from the Plesetsk cosmodrome, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.

A few minutes later, the orbital block separated from the third stage. Further insertion of the orbital block into the target geostationary orbit will be carried out using the upper stage according to a typical nine-hour three-pulse scheme with four starts of the main engine of the upper stage.

Roscosmos State Corporation congratulates the Military Space Forces and the entire Russian space industry (the team of the Khrunichev Center, NPO Energomash, NPTs AP, TsENKI) on the successful test launch of the Angara-A5 launch vehicle with a new generation upper stage!

This flight showed that the tests of the Angara rocket are developing exactly according to plan. Next year, it is expected that work on the construction of a launch pad for this type of launch vehicle at the Vostochny cosmodrome will be completed. A year later – its first launch from the new Russian cosmodrome!

Chief Designers Meet to Design Soyuz 5 Launch Complex

Soyuz 5 launch vehicle

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — A meeting of the Council of Chief Designers was held at the Progress Rocket and Space Center (Samara, part of the Roscosmos State Corporation), at which issues on the creation of the Soyuz-5 space rocket complex (KRK) were considered.

Representatives of RSC Energia took part in the work of the Council of Chief Designers, chaired by the General Director of the Progress RSC – the chief designer of the Soyuz-5 spacecraft, Dmitry Baranov, and the Deputy General Director of the Roscosmos State Corporation for rocketry, NKI operation, quality and reliability assurance, Alexander Lopatin, NPO automatics, NPO Energomash, KBKHA, NIC RCP, NPO Lavochkin, RKS, TsENKI, as well as other enterprises and leading institutes of the rocket and space industry.

At the meeting of the Council, the organizational issues of the delivery of the conceptual design for the space rocket complex to the state customer, the State Corporation Roscosmos, were considered. The General Director of the Progress RCC presented a report on the progress of work on the creation of the Soyuz-5 launch vehicle. RCC “Progress” manufactures the first stage fuel tanks of the rocket, pipelines, pneumohydraulic units for ground experimental testing of the product. 

Completed static tests of prototypes of the oxidizer tank to confirm the strength of the first stage of the launch vehicle intended for bench tests. Firing tests of the development engine RD-171MV were carried out at the NPO Energomash stand, firing tests of the RD-0124MS engine in KBKhA continue.

The heads of RSC Energia, NPO Avtomatika, NPO Energomash, KBKhA, NPO Lavochkina, TsENKI and other enterprises-developers of the Soyuz-5 space rocket complex and its components also made reports.

The Council of Chief Designers made decisions aimed at ensuring the delivery of the preliminary design for the Soyuz-5 spacecraft complex this year.

Soyuz-2.1b Launch Vehicle with 34 OneWeb Satellites Installed on Launch Pad at Baikonur

Soyuz rocket with OneWeb satellites aboard. (Credit: Yuzhny/Roscosmos)

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — The Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage and 34 OneWeb communications satellites was rolled out from the Assembly and Test Facility on Monday. The launch vehicle was installed on the launch pad of the Baikonur Сosmodrome, the launch is scheduled for Thursday, August 19, at 22:23 UTC.

Pre-launch activities are carried out under the contracts of Glavkosmos (a subsidiary of Roscosmos) with the European launch services provider Arianespace (the company operates launches of OneWeb spacecraft with the use of the Soyuz launch vehicle), and the company Starsem. The joint team of the foreign customers and the representatives of Roscosmos enterprises: Progress Space Rocket Center, Lavochkin Association, TsENKI and Glavkosmos, is carrying out these works.

Currently, the specialists at the spaceport are performing the technical operations. The pre-launch tests of the Soyuz-2.1b systems are being conducted, and the interfaces between the on-board instruments and ground equipment are being checked.

Now, the fleet of the OneWeb satellites in the low Earth orbit amounts to 254 spacecraft, and hundreds more are to be launched. The upcoming launch should bring the number of OneWeb spacecraft in orbit to 288. OneWeb low Earth orbit satellites are designed to provide consumers on the ground with high-speed Internet.

A New Batch of OneWeb Satellites Arrives at Vostochny

OneWeb satellites arrive at Vostchny Cosmodrome in may 2021. (Credit: Glavkosmos)

VOSTOCHNY, Russia (Glavkosmos PR) — A new batch of 36 OneWeb satellites arrived at Ignatievo airport (Blagoveshchensk) by an An-124-100 aircraft on Thursday. The specialists of the Vostochny Cosmodrome (a branch of TsENKI, part of Roscosmos) transported the satellites to the cosmodrome.

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Russian Space Facilities Director Fired in Continued Shakeup Related to Vostochny

Ruslan Mukhamedzhanov (Credit: Roscomsos)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The previously reprimanded head of the Russian company that oversees Russia’s ground-based space infrastructure has been fired in a continuing shakeup related to schedule delays and alleged corruption at the Vostochny Cosmodrome.

The Board of Directors of the Center for Operation of Ground-Based Space Infrastructure Facilities (TsENKI) voted to relieve General Director Andrei Okhlopkov from his post beginning on Nov. 27. A month earlier, Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin had reprimanded him during a visit to Vostochmy.

Okhlopkov had been the head of TsENKI since June 2018. The board replaced him with Ruslan Mukhamedzhanov, a 20-year TsENKI employee who most recently headed up the company’s Barmin Research Institute of Launch Complexes.

TsENKI is responsible for the creation of ground space infrastructure and manages Russian cosmodromes. The company, which is part of Roscosmos, employs more than 12,000 people.

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Officials Arrested in Alleged Vostochny Embezzlement, Bribery Scheme

Work on expanding Vostochny Cosmodrome has commenced. (Credit: Roscosmos)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The Russian government says corruption has resurfaced at the Vostochny Cosmodrome despite years of efforts to get the problem under control.

Two government officials have been arrested for their alleged involvement in an embezzlement and bribery scheme at the spaceport in the country’s Far East. Russia Today reports:

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Equipment Installation Begins for Angara Launch Complex at Vostochny Cosmodrome

VOSTOCHNY, RUSSIA (Roscosmos PR) — On Thursday, October 15, 2020, the installation of technological equipment began at the Angara launch site of the Vostochny cosmodrome. The Vostochny Space Center (a branch of the Center for Operation of Ground-Based Space Infrastructure Facilities, part of the Roscosmos State Corporation) transported large tanks for storing naphthyl from the storage site of the Industrial Construction and Operational Base to the construction site, where the contractor’s specialists began their installation. The tanks are part of the naphthyl filling system.

This is not the first installation of technological equipment at the launch site of the Angara space rocket complex. On December 25, 2019, specialists from TsENKI and contractors completed the installation of large-sized tanks for storing oxygen and nitrogen ahead of schedule. In ten days, in the most difficult weather conditions, 9 unique containers with a volume of 250 m3, each weighing 92 tons and a length of 36 meters, were transported and installed to the construction site.

Ground-processing equipment for the construction of the Angara launch complex has been supplied to the TsENKI branch – Vostochny Space Center since September 2018. Already at the East there are components of 18 systems.

For the storage of ground-processing equipment, the TsENKI branch prepared 5 storage locations on the territory of the Industrial Construction and Operational Base with an area of ​​more than 70,000 m2: these are open areas for storing bulky cargo, and warehouses with the required temperature and humidity conditions. A special site has also been prepared at the launch site itself for unloading and storing equipment.

Heads Continue to Roll in Russian Space Industry

Roscosmos_logoChanges at the top of the Russian space industry have continued as Roscosmos announces a new director for the military projects it oversees, and the acting head of the organization that runs the nation’s spaceport is replaced, according to Russian media reports.

The Moscow Times reports:

Roscosmos deputy head Anatoly Shilov, the man responsible for managing some of the agency’s most sensitive projects — such as military space launches and the development of military and intelligence satellites — will leave the post he has held since 2009, Kommersant reported Wednesday, citing senior space officials.

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