Roskosmos Administrator Perminov Speaks About Past, Present and Future ISS Cooperation


Summary of Speech by Anatoly Perminov, Roscosmos Head During Videoconference with the Heads of the Space Agencies Involved in the ISS Program
ESA Headquarters in Paris
June 17, 2009

Concerning NASA`s current summary plan of human spaceflights in the International Space Station program, the issues related to transport and cargo supply support of the station are critical for us, since Roscosmos today puts significant efforts into maintaining human habitation in the space station, including crew rotation, rescue, payload delivery, under NASA`s orders as well. We are endorsing NASA endeavors to accelerate development of the Orion crew transport system and the Ares-1 launch vehicle.

Successful accomplishment of the ISS Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program provides the opportunity to streamline station transport and cargo supply support, and to make it more stable and systematic.

NASA human spaceflight program looks balanced enough and directed towards future perspective.

Cooperation between Roscosmos and NASA develops rapidly and steadily. As a result:

  • Human presence in the ISS was maintained after shuttle accident in 2005;
  • International crew rotation in the ISS, crew rescue ins case of an emergency, cargo and payload delivery and disposal are maintained, also in consideration of future shuttle retirement in 2010;
  • ISS USOS deployment is completed;
  • ISS crew extended to 6 members after Soyuz TMA launch and docking in May 2009.

I believe that the cumulated experience of Roscosmos/NASA cooperation provides the opportunity to go to the next stage of station utilization- full-scale realization of the national scientific programs and ISS usage as an international space laboratory.

Completion of the USOS ISS deployment, as well as accomplishment of Roscosmos` objectives on completion of the ISS RS in the nearest future, will allow enhancing ISS scientific potential significantly.

By 2015, the station will be able to provide unique capabilities for space experimental research, technological science, humanitarian, educational and commercial projects.

Taking this fact and the recommendations given during the meeting of the Heads of the Agencies in June 2008 into account, we consider it reasonable to prolong station life until 2020 at least.

Prospective of the Russian human space flight activities is defined in the Russian Federal Space Program, 2006-2015, «Evolution concept of Russian human space flight activities up to 2020» and a set of other documents approved by the Russian Government.

The main goals of the future human space mission are the following:

  • exploration and effective utilization of the near-earth space;
  • exploration and research of the Moon, Mars and distant space in order to solve global issues on the Earth and in space and to generate new knowledge of the mankind.

To achieve this, it is planned to accomplish the following by 2020:

  • finalize deployment and continue operations of the complete ISS Russian Segment
  • support development of the new advanced crew transport system on the basis of the advanced crew vehicle of new generation;
  • by the end of ISS active lifetime, develop and support beginning of the operations of the first elements in the orbital integration and experimental piloted station;
  • develop elements, technologies and key systems of the advanced interplanetary space systems for the missions to the Moon, Mars, new facilities and methods of biomedical support for long-term human space mission, etc.

The experience accumulated by Russia, the USA and Europe in development and log-term operations of the manned space systems, including ISS, today provides the opportunity to proceed to more grandiose and significant projects, in particular, development of the transport systems for expedition to the Moon and Mars.

Roscosmos supports the idea about involving technical and scientific potential of the other states in such large-scale projects.

Russia would accept the project with equal involvement of the parties, which implies partner`s share of results, as well as Russian involvement in development of critical elements (launch vehicles, propulsion system, technology and experience in support of the long-term space crew missions).

Regarding this, it would be reasonable to establish an international expert group for overall analysis of the integration capabilities in space exploration.

ISS lessons are obvious – it is necessary to provide redundancy for the project`s critical elements, such as LVs, transport and supply vehicles, MCC.

Redundancy of some functions, like habitation, power supply, and, partially, utilization payloads and systems, shall be provided during ops phase.

ISS could become a unique validation test facility for advanced technologies. Impartially, this process has already begun, and it will gain strength gradually in parallel with growth of our experience and capabilities of autonomous stay in the station.

ISS lessons show that educational and promotional activities are of high importance in its operations and utilization. This is very important for attracting young people to the space industry.

Existing international station control structure proved its justifiability in the framework of the ISS program. It is reasonable to use this heritage in other substantial international projects.

There are the following objectives of Russia and the USA on this stage:

  • support functioning of the ISS RS and USOS to maintain accomplishment of the goals defined in the national space experimental and research programs;
  • fulfill mutual commitments in the framework of the signed international agreements;
  • maintain ground ISS infrastructure;
  • maintain ISS transport and engineering support in accordance with the existing agreements with NASA linked with shuttle retirement in 2010;
  • maintain involvement in the ISS control (work of ISS groups and boards);
  • maintain effective ISS utilization.

We suppose that the USA as the main coordinator of the project will facilitate enhancement of stability and balanced development in the ISS program, including transport and engineering support of the station, creation of the necessary environment for the ISS crew, improvement of the station control structure, etc.

Roscosmos plans to develop and provide commissioning of the first elements in the orbital integration and experimental piloted station by the end of ISS active lifetime. This station is to provide a validation basis for crew transport systems intended for mission to Mars after 2030.

It is obvious that development of this complex is not possible without preliminary verification of its elements in space, validation of the applied solutions and technologies.

ISS habitation shows that utilization of the station provides the opportunity to solve unique tasks regarding lifetime prolongation of the station elements, as well as autonomous automatic space systems (space telescopes, etc.). This is an additional supporting argument in favour of prolonging ISS life up to 2020 and beyond.