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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

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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