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Progress RSC Boss Gives Updates on Soyuz-5, Angara, Sea Launch and Amur-SPG Rockets, Aist Satellites

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
January 30, 2022
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Soyuz 5 launch vehicle

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Director General of the Progress Rocket and Space Center (Samara, part of the Roscosmos State Corporation) Dmitry Baranov summed up the results of the enterprise’s work in 2021 and spoke about plans for the future.

Soyuz-5 Rocket

“The work on the creation of the Soyuz-5 launch vehicle is in full swing at the Progress Rocket and Space Center. Last year, specialists began ground experimental testing of a new rocket. Four experimental installations were made – oxidizer and fuel tanks, designed for strength tests. One experimental setup has been successfully tested. 

By early 2022, the oxidizer tank and fuel tank are in various stages of assembly. In the first quarter of 2022, it is planned to send them to TsNIIMash (Korolev, part of Roscosmos) for testing. The assembly of the fourth tank is being completed, and in the second quarter it will also go for testing. The test results are planned to be received in the summer of 2022, after which the experimental samples of the tanks will be sent for firing tests at the Research Center of the RCP (Sergiev Posad, part of Roscosmos).

In addition, one of the three installations for friction stir welding (FSW) was put into pilot production. The launch of STP installations is slow, because many things are being worked out for the first time. Equipment of this class in our country has not yet been. The first STP unit is operating in an experimental mode, the workshop began to weld shells from alloy 1580 on it. In the coming weeks, the Progress RCC will begin manufacturing tank elements for the first flight model of the Soyuz-5 rocket.

Soyuz-5 and Sea Launch

“The Soyuz-5 carrier rocket for Sea Launch will differ from the rocket launched from Baikonur, only by the telemetry system. A ground-based missile is being made for the existing system for receiving telemetric information, but there is no “ship system” today, there will be certain technical limitations. And there will be improvements in the measurement system. Everything else is unchanged.”

Amur-SPG Rocket

“On another promising project – the creation of the Amur-LNG launch vehicle, an examination of the preliminary design was carried out, a number of comments were received from scientific institutes of the industry. In 2022, the specialists of the enterprise are faced with the task of completing the development of additions to the preliminary design, carrying out its defense and proceeding to the stage of technical design.”

Aist-2D and Aist-2T Satellites

“The small spacecraft Aist-2D has been operating in orbit for almost six years. During this time, he shot a little less than 70 million square meters. km of the earth’s surface. The Earth remote sensing data obtained from it is provided by RCC Progress to state authorities, educational and commercial organizations. 

The survey materials found practical application, monitoring of the destruction of infrastructure and engineering facilities, flood control, detection of illegal mining sites, identification of illegal dump sites, monitoring of natural fires and volcanic activity, control of urban development. In addition, educational projects were implemented.

Active consumers of information are the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense, Emergency Situations and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters, the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography, the Ministry of Forestry, Environmental Protection and Nature Management of the Samara Region, the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Samara Region, etc.

Now we are working on the creation of small spacecraft Aist-2T. At the end of next year, two devices should be launched. They are created on the basis of Aista-2D, they have more functionality: they will be able to provide stereoscopic shooting. Based on the information received from Aist-2T, it will be possible to make maps in 3D format.”

Visit of Roscosmos Cosmonauts to Progress RCC

“In January 2022, for the first time, we met a delegation of 15 cosmonauts at the Progress RCC. The delegation was headed by the head of the Cosmonaut Training Center Maxim Kharlamov and the commander of the cosmonaut detachment Oleg Kononenko, who previously worked at our enterprise. A training program was held for representatives of the Cosmonaut Training Center: the leaders and specialists of the RCC Progress presented reports on the production of rocket and space technology and the work of the enterprise on promising space projects. 

As part of the visit, the cosmonauts visited the main production sites of the enterprise, where Soyuz-2 launch vehicles are being assembled and tested, as well as workshops where work is underway to manufacture the new Soyuz-5 launch vehicle. The cosmonauts expressed only positive impressions of the RCC Progress as a modern, high-tech enterprise, having great prospects in the creation of rocket and space technology. And it’s very nice.”

Results of 2021

“I believe that we have completed 2021 with satisfactory results. The production cycle of rocket and space technology is long, so the restrictions of 2020 largely affected the work of the enterprise in 2021. There were certain difficulties, delays in the supply of components, but by the end of last year the situation had stabilized.

Last year, the enterprise ensured 22 successful launches of launch vehicles – this number has not been seen since 2014. This is a good pace of work. In 2022, about 20 launches are planned, it depends on the readiness of the spacecraft. Technically, the enterprise can provide more launches.”

Personnel Policy

“The average salary at Progress is more than 53 thousand rubles a month. For Samara, these figures are above the average in the field of mechanical engineering. If a young specialist comes to us, he receives a salary of 31 to 33 thousand rubles. After some time, he gains experience, and his income begins to grow. Currently, the subdivisions of the RCC Progress require highly qualified workers in the following specialties: turner, miller, operator of machine tools with program control, adjuster of machine tools with program control, design engineer, process engineer, software engineer. We are ready to accept good specialists for the enterprise.”