- Parabolic Arc
- June 1, 2023
Russia Cuts Space Spending Forecast, Dumps Super Heavy Booster
With Russia facing a severe economic downturn, Roscosmos’ 10-year spending plan for 2016-2025 will be cut by 10 percent to 3.4 trillion rubles ($58.6 billion). A major casualty is a $12 billion plan to develop a super-heavy booster capable of lifting 70 metric tons into low Earth orbit (LEO).
“The project, which is being prepared for 2016-2025, looks completely different today,” Yury Koptev, head of Roscosmos internal planning body the Scientific and Technical Council, was quoted as saying.
The program was initially drafted late last year, but a 40-percent fall in the value of the ruble against the U.S. dollar since last summer and a massive space industry reform project have forced space officials to completely rewrite the document….
Koptev was quoted as saying that one proposal that was booted to the next federal program, which will cover the decade beyond 2025, was the creation of a new Russian super-heavy rocket — a project he estimated would cost 700 billion rubles ($12 billion).
Russia will not build such a vehicle until at least 2028, he said. In the meantime Russia will continue to focus on healing its scientific and industrial base to ensure it has the capacity to build the rocket down the line.
In a March 12 meeting, the Scientific and Technical Council instructed Khrunichev and RSC Energia to begin preliminary design work on an Angara-A5V capable of lifting 35 metric tons of cargo to LEO.
Russian media reports did not specify precisely what upgrades would be required to the existing Angara-A5 to allow it to lift 35 tons. The Angara-A5 is capable of lifting 24.5 metric tons to LEO.
However, the changes would probably involve an advanced upper stage engine. The Khrunichev website lists an Angara-A7 variant capable of lifting 35 metric tons that would include a KVTK-A7 upper stage consisting of a single RD-0146D powered by liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.
Angara is a modular family of rockets consisting of a single first stage core around which additional cores are clustered. Smaller versions include the Angara-A1.2 (3.8 metric tons to LEO) and the Angara-A3 (14.6 tons to LEO).
The launch vehicle made its inaugural flights last year with a suborbital flight by an Angara-A1.2 and an orbital test of an Angara-A5.
19 responses to “Russia Cuts Space Spending Forecast, Dumps Super Heavy Booster”
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I think I remember an article foreboding this from the end of last year. A Russian official (perhaps Koptev) was saying how difficult it was to create a budget since the numbers kept fluctuating so much.
The Angara family of boosters seems like a solid design. Their first two test launches were successful. Replacing a series of old rockets with a family of common systems should be a more economical approach with the added bonus of no longer using those toxic and corrosive hypergolic propellants.
IMHO, Angara is everything that’s wrong with Russia, its heavyweight government space program, and such programs in general. Its fauls are manifold.
– Instead of technological compatibility Kh chose literal compatibility between rockets that are too disparate in size. In essense they built a Falcon 9 by strapping together Falcon 1s. The obvious result is, the URM is overweight for what it does and its size is much too small for building FH. Therefore, A-7 was slated to have a larger module in the center. etc. etc. etc.
– not only they screwed larger rockets, they could not build a good enough small rocket either: URM 2 is much too big and cannot be shortened enough, Briz is much too small (and uses wrong fuel). DM is built at a competing company. Result is, the military supported Soyuz-2.1v just in case.
– another result of URM-1 being wrong-sized is a need for an insane performance from RD-191, in particular in its ability to throttle down. Otherwise, the parallel staging rocket would not reach the set payload targets. Development of that engine consumed inordinary amount of R&D money and time.
– ground infrastracture is insanely baroque, as expected from KBTM. it costs ridiculous amounts of money, and the country did not have anyone to build it in the aerospace. If the shipbuilders didn’t rescue the program, there would’ve been nothing even now. Even bridge-builders could not do it.
It’s as if everything about Angara was made to be as inefficient as possible.
Interesting. I was sorry to hear that “SLS-ski” is being delayed/cancelled. But if what you say is true, Russia may yet be stuck trying to run with one foot in a bucket of cement even without the pointless heavy-lifter. Confusion to the enemy!
I have very low expectations for the Russian space program. They haven’t sent anything to any other celestial body in over 30 years. Five other space agencies have done that since then. What use would they have of a superheavy launcher? They do well to replace their 1960’s rockets, the Soyuz and the Proton, with Angara.
Wow, I didn’t realise that. Their last Venus mission was ’84 (Vega2), then there was 1988-’89s Phobos 1 (failed) and 2 (reached Mars but not Phobos, so failed), and Mars 96 (failed). Of course they’ve never attempted the outer planets. Last lunar mission was in the mid 70’s. Their last small body mission was that same Vega 2 above back in 1984 that went on to Halley’s Comet after dropping off the Venus probe. Then, nothing.
Going through the list of deep space missions flown just now, I was surprised to see Japan has a noticeable presence these last few decades, while the Russians, none
well, they recently tried to go to Mars with China, but that failed.
I should have mentioned that they’re partnering with ESA on the upcoming ExoMars mission (2018 for the main Russian part), so that will at least get them back in the game (in a big way. In a HUGE way if the rover discovers life — I can’t believe the U.S. dropped out). Anyway, reading Kapitalist’s post above was an eye opener for me.
ExoMars is being trumpeted as being able to find life on Mars, but can it really? Lots of fluffy PR surrounding that mission.
Yeah, I hated seeing us pull out of ExoMars.
I really believe that it benefits all of us to work together.
However, if we gain red dragon for it, I will be fine.
With red dragon, we can send down a lots of tech, along with multiple satellites via a single FH
Didn’t they blame that on the US?
So with the death of the Angara 7 even before it gets off the drawing board, that leaves NASA with the only super heavy in the foreseeable future unless SLS gets cancelled too. Of course the Chinese have hinted at the Long March 9, but that probably wont get to the development stage at least until the 2020’s or 2030’s if ever. Meanwhile Space X will have more capability when it comes to lifting than any government agency on earth by the end of this year. Assuming there are no more delays.
Also assuming Space X pulls off making its launchers reusable to some degree, Space X could gobble up China, Russia’s and Europe’s satellite market in the near future. Either way, it doesn’t look like anyone is willing to fill America’s space when it comes to leadership in space anytime soon.
We can only hope that Congress doesn’t screw things up.
Congress is not the problem. Once the Heavy flies for an eight the cost SLS will die a deserved death (before re usability).
What about the $1.9 billion spending on climate warming this year that has been diverted from outer space projects that Obama insists on. That is the most malicious budgetary diversion.
What diversion of funds?
Please back this up.
Here, I will help you:
There is 1.9 B for earth science, which is 10.3% of the NASA budget.
Here is W’s 2008 budget.
it is $1.37 billion out of a $17.6 B budget, which is 7.8%.
Not much of a difference.
So, how was 1.9B diverted from ‘outer space projects’ to do a 1.9B project?
FH should be live this year. That will make America with the only SHLV.
Later this year, SpaceX is supposed to announce MCT and show how far along they are.
Assuming that both are true, then SLS will probably see only a couple of flights, at best.
Regardless of spaceX reusability, they will take the commercial market by storm and own nearly all of it within 3 years.
However, few of any of the gov. groups with their own launch systems are going to outsource it. While America did, that was due to insane politics. No other nation is this crazy.
And yup, CONgress will continue to screw things up.
I was wondering about that – the plans they kept announcing seemed dramatically out of line with a shrinking economy
And then, like us, they’d have the same problem of paying for payloads. It’s cool to have a giant Mars rocket and all, but if you can’t pay for the Mars expedition or lunar base that you’d lift with it, then that giant rocket becomes more of a giant albatross.
many predicted they would not do heavy lift … just didn’t seem to be tossing serious money at it.
Nope, not imply that at all. When it comes to space exploration/manned/unmanned Congress and the President have come close to screwing things up beyond repair the past five years or so. Yet still there is a sliver of hope that the US will remain a leader in space exploration/etc.