Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…

Rogozin Says 29 Launches, Lunar Lander & New ISS Modules on the Manifest for 2021

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
February 22, 2021
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Vladimir Putin receives a briefing from Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: Office of the Russian President)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — General Director of the Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities Dmitry Rogozin reported to President Vladimir Putin on the corporation’s performance in 2020 and plans for the near term.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Rogozin, let us have an in-depth discussion on the corporation’s performance in 2020. The issues we will discuss include carrier rocket launches, the state of the orbital group, your plans, fundamental space research, and, of course, the financial indicators. Please, go ahead. 

General Director of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin: Mr. President, last year we posted good results overall. For a second year running since 1993, there were no accidents. This is certainly a positive indicator – I hope we will continue in the same manner – of improved discipline in the sector as a whole and the reliability of our rocket and space technology.

We have launched 17 space mission rockets, and the Defence Ministry launched seven combat missile systems. This is 24 launches altogether, and all of them were successful. Many launches have been postponed until this year, mostly the commercial missions of our partners who stopped their production facilities in Europe last spring, and so we had no payload to launch. But we will complete these missions this year.

Vladimir Putin: How many launches did you complete?

Dmitry Rogozin: Seventeen plus seven.

Vladimir Putin: And how many do you plan this year? 29?

Dmitry Rogozin: We plan to launch 29 space missions alone. This is because of the missions we could not accomplish last year.

Moreover, we plan to complete several important missions. For example, we will resume a lunar exploration programme after a 45-year pause. In October, a Luna-25 moon lander will be launched from the Vostochny Space Launch Centre. And after that, as you are aware, we will increase robotic moon studies, to be followed by a manned mission, which I will report on today.

Next, we will send two modules to the ISS. They have already been delivered to Baikonur. We are completing their electricity tests and plan to launch the largest of them, the Nauka multipurpose lab module, in May.

Editor’s Note: The English language version ended at this point with the words, To be continued. The following section is from the Russian language version as translated into English by Google Translate.

Dmitry Rogozin: Of the important launches, of course, is the continuation of the Angara tests. As you know, in December we resumed flight tests. All the necessary technical characteristics have been achieved, which were specified by the state customer. This year we are planning one launch of the heavy Angara and two launches of the light Angara. We build up further. Accordingly, we are developing production in Omsk at the Polyot production association, where from 2023 we must serially produce it, practically satisfying all the necessary needs of both the Ministry of Defense and Roscosmos in these heavy missiles.

Of the important launches this year, I would also note, of course, the launch of a radar apparatus. For the first time, we are switching to radar. In order to explain how important this is, of course, this is the Northern Sea Route. Rosatom, as an operator, is developing the Northern Sea Route; this is, of course, a unique transit route for us. But in order to master the eastern route, from Yamal to the East, to the Pacific Ocean, you need to see everything that happens there. There are strong fogs, so ordinary ERS satellites do not see the ice situation. A radar device – it is night, day, winter, fog – it sees everything in detail. And in practice, we create navigation maps for the captains of nuclear icebreakers, who will be able, without stopping, to choose a route for themselves in real time and, accordingly, move the ice convoys.

Therefore, I believe that, of course, in this regard, a very busy year, but extremely interesting for us.

Undoubtedly, we have now almost approached to join the new manned program. The Oryol spacecraft, I reported to you about it, is our new strategic manned spacecraft, which is capable of delivering up to four cosmonauts to the Moon. We are starting its static tests now, in February. That is, it is already assembled, it is already in the gland. Work is underway on this issue.

The orbital grouping for socio-economic purposes – 89 vehicles. This year we are starting to introduce new devices “Glonass”.

Vladimir Putin : How many of them do we have in orbit now?

Dmitry Rogozin: We have 28 Glonassov. 23 are on alert, the rest are either under testing under the supervision of the general designer, or this is the so-called orbital reserve. If one device runs out of resource, respectively, the other turns on.

And on the ground we have one more device of the old generation, “Glonass-M”, and “Glonass-K2”, “Glonass-K” already with an increasingly increasing number, the share of Russian microelectronics. By 2025, Vladimir Vladimirovich, as promised, we will fully achieve 100% import substitution for Glonass.

Vladimir Putin: And we will increase the term of work.

Dmitry Rogozin: Of course. Up to 15 years minimum. But even now they are overworking the given period. It’s good. That is, if someone turns off, as I said, we have ground and orbital reserves, but nevertheless they themselves show very good, high reliability.

Vladimir Putin: And what about accuracy?

Dmitry Rogozin: Accuracy – 2.6 meters, 100% coverage of the entire Earth. Best of all, of course, in the northern hemisphere, as the constellation itself is configured, but the new-generation Glonass-K2 satellites and the development of ground infrastructure, that is, the signal calibration complexes themselves, will allow us to reach 1.3 meters in the coming years. This is a good indicator.

Vladimir Putin: This is very important for transport, especially for sea transport.

Dmitry Rogozin: This is extremely important. And it is extremely important, Vladimir Vladimirovich, of course, that any transport (aviation, sea) must be equipped with the Glonass system, if it is imported into Russia using a variety of schemes (rent or purchase).

Vladimir Putin: And financial results.

Dmitry Rogozin: The financial results are as follows. Our cash execution is 94 percent, the state defense order is 100 percent fulfilled. And there is, in general, a progressive reduction in overdue receivables. In general, our revenue is at the level of the previous year, but our revenue from diversification is increasing sharply, our supplies of energy equipment that we produce at our enterprises have almost doubled, to 12 billion rubles. That is, we do not sell surplus production, we will redesign, as you instructed us, this production. And, in fact, within the framework of the anti-sanction policy, we supply Gazprom and Gazpromneft with turbo pumps, and various fittings and gas pumping devices for the Amur GPP, and so on. That is, this very important area speaks of diversification and the development of the industry in general.

Well, of course, having such an engine building as Energomash, especially since you visited Khimki, opened a junction there, I thank you very much, because this is really a request from the team of our Energomash. As a holding, Energomash produces a colossal amount of power equipment for the benefit of our oil and gas producing companies.

Vladimir Putin: How is the project with Moscow?

Dmitry Rogozin: The project is moving with Moscow, I am ready to show it to you at any time. We have already reached the floors, that is, crawled out of the ground. We will start working on the main structure soon. In principle, Moscow promises that it will finish at the end of 2022, even 2023, and a little bit by 2024, we will probably capture, relocation to the National Space Center. The most important thing is that I am grateful here to the Moscow government, they are making transport junctions, that is, they are opening new metro stations, bridges across the Moskva River, so that there is no traffic collapse.

We plan to relocate 8,000 workers of the Khrunichev Center there. And, finally, KB Salyut will receive not just human, but highly qualified, high-tech jobs. I just dream about it in reality. And my colleagues asked me. I am very grateful that you approved this project. Plus 12 thousand more other employees of our leading Moscow design bureaus are moving there. And 90 hectares of long unused territory is a joint venture with Moscow, on your instructions we are also participating there, a controlling stake is held by Roscosmos, a technopark is being created there. That is, those Moscow enterprises that generally work for the aerospace cluster will appear there, with all the Moscow benefits.

Vladimir Putin: Good.