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Russia and China Prepare For Joint Space Missions

Russia will begin pursuing even more ambitious rocket designs...inSamara inAugust.

Published: July 2, 2014 (Issue # 1818)



  • A meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President China Xi Jinping laid the groundwork for the joint space missions.
    Photo: Kremlin.ru

Russia and China are ready to undertake joint-missions to the Moon and Mars, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Monday at the first-ever Russian-Chinese Expo.

If we talk about manned space flight and about the exploration of outer space, the joint-development of the Solar system is primarily [focused] on the Moon and Mars, we are ready to move forward with our Chinese friends hand-in-hand, Rogozin said during a roundtable discussion at the expo in the Chinese city of Harbin, RIA Novosti reported.

Rogozin conceded that the Russian space industry is in a precarious position a string of spectacular and embarrassing launch failures by generally-reliable vehicles in recent years have highlighted the need for reform.

However, he assured the panel that Russia attempts to consolidate the industry under the recently-created United Rocket and Space Corporation would fix the malaise very soon.

As Russian engineers work to identify why Russias first rocket of post-Soviet design, the Angara, failed to launch on June 27, Oleg Ostapenko, head of the Federal Space Agency, or Roscosmos, said Monday that Russia will begin pursuing even more ambitious rocket designs at a meeting with space industry officials in Samara in August, Interfax reported.

According to Ostapenko, Russia is looking to create a super-heavy rocket for missions to the Moon and Mars. This rocket will not be the heavy version of Angara but an entirely different rocket.

To fly to Mars, the Moonthe [Angara] rocket is not enough, Ostapenko said. The Angara heavy booster, built on the foundation of the light booster that failed to launch this weekend for a yet unknown reason, will be able to lift just 25 tons into Earth orbit, while the Saturn V rocket that took American astronauts to the Moon in 1969 could lift 130.

This raises the question of creating a new class of super-heavy vehicle, he said, adding that any nation capable of doing anything serious in space primarily the U.S. and China are on that path.

In the meantime, Russia and China are looking to join forces on near-term projects, such as the creation of spacecraft using only components from those two countries, as well as building satellites for earth observation and communication.

Following Putins visit to Beijing in May, Roscosmos and its Chinese counterpart have signed a series of spaces agreements, the most concrete being one that concerns satellite navigation programs. Rogozin said that Russias Glonass navigation system and the Chinese Beidou will be very good if combined with each other.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Tuesday, Oct. 21


The Environment, Health and Safety Committee of AmCham convenes this morning at 9 a.m. in the organizations office.


Take the opportunity to pick the brains of Dmitry V. Krivenok, the deputy director of the Economic Development Agency of the Leningrad region, and Mikhail D. Sergeev, the head of the Investment Projects Department, during the meeting with them this morning hosted by SPIBA. RSVP for the event by emailing office@spiba.ru before Oct. 17 if you wish to attend.


Improve your English at Interactive English, the British Book Centers series of lessons on vocabulary and grammar in an informal atmosphere. Starting at 6 p.m., each month draws attention to different topics in English, with the topic for this months lessons being visual arts.



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