Russia's Moon Mission Rocket Creeps Closer to Completion
December 28, 2012 3:31 PM
comment(s) - last by
In Soviet Russia, space travels you
The U.S. may have
given up on a fresh Moon shot
for now, but its former Cold War-era space race rival
has fresh hopes
to finally achieve what it could not do in the Soviet-era -- set foot on the moon.
Corporate president Vitaly Lopota, head of one of Russia's largest commercial space companies -- Space Corp. Energia --
that it had fulfilled a its design objectives it took on when it won an April 2009 contract to design a new multi-purpose rocket.
Comments Mr. Lopota, "We have completed the technical design project taking into account the fact that the new spaceship is to fly to the Moon, among other places."
In addition to a potential Moon shot, the rocket will be tasked with ferrying cargo and passengers to and from the International Space Station (ISS). Federal Space Agency Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin announced earlier in the year that the rocket would be constructed and operational by 2018; the news from Energia shows that target may indeed by reached.
Energia's heavy lift rocket is moving ahead towards a 2018 launch.
[Image Source: RCS Energia]
Russia seemingly is in a bit stronger position than the U.S., in that it still maintains domestic capability to launch humans into space (aboard the seasoned Soyuz capsule craft). However, the program is under pressure after a string of failed
commercial launches. Most recently a suspected failure in the Briz-M booster
scuttled a Proton rocket launch
from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. The expensive August 2011 failure destroyed two commercial satellites.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gave the Russian space agency and its private partners until the end of the summer to work out a plan to fix the deterioriating situation.
While the design side of the equation appears to be rolling forward, the business plan to remedy the recent issues is still very much up in the air. Chief Popovkin had proposed creating a holding company that would tie together top commercial space firms -- such as Khrunichev and TsSKB Progress. The plan then involved creating a sub-holding company inside the greater holding pool to specifically pull in the smaller engine producers, including Energomash, the Khimavtomatiki design bureau, the Voronezh mechanical works, Proton PM, and others.
However, Mr. Lopota blasted that plan, calling it a non-market measure. Some opponents feel that shareholders in the corporate space firms will be short-changed if the government combines them, and further feel that it's a return to Russia's communist past -- a controversial topic in modern Russia.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: go for it!
12/29/2012 1:15:03 PM
mining the moon for h3 is not a valid reason to fund a space program.
it may become a reasonable proposition in the far future
ITER won't working for decades and even if its successor DEMO functions - it won't be running on h3.
helium 3 fusion cycle is even more energetic and harder to achieve than 'simple' D-T fusion.
thus we are 50 years minimum from possibly needing helium 3 enough to warrant a mining operation on the moon.
going to the moon/mars because its an awesome thing to do / spread life to other planets in case there is a zombie outbreak on earth (insert other disaster) is a better reason.
RE: go for it!
1/1/2013 11:20:05 PM
Helium3 is aneutronic, and therefore much easier to harvest than D-T. Therefore more of the energy produced can be harvested.
RE: go for it!
1/2/2013 9:59:05 AM
Although the D-He3 reaction is aneutronic, the D-D side reactions are not. So the system as a whole is not aneutronic, it just has a reduced neutron flux.
It also requires much higher reaction temperatures than D-T and has a much lower reaction rate, so losses, particularly Bremsstrahlung losses may reduce the system Q to less than is needed to make a viable energy production system. It's unlikely that He3 will be a viable fuel in any thermalized fusion device such as a Tokamak in the near future.
Unfortunately it seems a long shot that any fusion approach will yield an economically viable power supply in the near future. There are a number of unsolved problems such as the First Wall problem that have still not been resolved even after 60 years of research. Not that we shouldn't keep trying, but it would be imprudent to make any economic bets based on an expectation of a working fusion energy system.
He3 seems to be primarily an economic excuse to justify space budgets by space enthusiasts.
I'm fully in support of increased space budgets for other reasons but He3 does not seem to be a legitimate reason.
"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
Russia's Space Plans Include Spacecraft to Moon, Jupiter, Mars, Venus by 2030
March 16, 2012, 2:48 PM
Russian Soyuz Capsule Successfully Launches to ISS After Rocket Troubles
November 14, 2011, 9:59 AM
Unmanned Russian Spacecraft Crash Lands After Launch
August 25, 2011, 7:30 AM
NASA's Moon Mission Cancelled, Senate Votes In New Plan
July 18, 2010, 12:12 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Most Popular Articles
Exclusive: If Intel and Micron's "Xpoint" is 3D Phase Change Memory, Boy Did They Patent It
July 29, 2015, 10:52 PM
Windows 10 to Get New Features in October Service Release 2 (SR2)
July 30, 2015, 5:50 PM
Cortana Help Button is Coming Soon for $23
July 30, 2015, 5:07 PM
EA Set to Milk the Star Wars Cash Cow w/ Video Games
July 31, 2015, 12:36 PM
Quick Note: Apple Watch to Get Brick and Mortar Boost From Best Buy
July 27, 2015, 3:00 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information