Russia to launch work on 1st module of future national orbiter in 2024

 MOSCOW: The work on the first module of the future Russian Orbital Station (ROS) will begin next year, Energia Rocket and Space Corporation...


 MOSCOW: The work on the first module of the future Russian Orbital Station (ROS) will begin next year, Energia Rocket and Space Corporation Deputy Chief Designer, ROS Chief Designer Vladimir Kozhevnikov told TASS on Friday.

"The issue of financing the creation of the research and power module (NEM) has now been resolved and the entire contractual work has been carried out and operations with subcontractors have been launched. Next year, work on the module itself is set to begin," he said.

The Energia Rocket and Space Corporation will manage to build the research and power module by 2027, if a contract is signed in 2024, the ROS chief designer said.

The ROS chief designer told TASS in February that the launch of the first research and power module of the Russian Orbital Station was planned for the end of 2027 while the future orbiter’s nodal, gateway, baseline and special-purpose modules were expected to be launched in 2028-2030.

First crew to travel to ROS six months after 1st module launch

The first crew will travel to the Russian Orbital Station immediately after the gateway and nodal modules are orbited, which will take place about six months after the launch of the first module, Kozhevnikov said.

"Pursuant to the conceptual design, the plan is as follows: the NEM module is orbited and six months later a TGK-MM space freighter carrying small modules will travel to it to bring the gateway and nodal units. Immediately after the gateway and nodal modules are orbited, a crewed flight is planned," the ROS chief designer said.

Russian crews will deal with re-docking the gateway module, unloading and installing additional equipment. The first launch of a manned spacecraft will take place in the uncrewed mode with its docking while a second spaceship will bring a crew to the national orbiter, he elaborated.

Work on space freighter for ROS to begin in 2024

The work on creating an upgraded Progress space freighter for the Russian Orbital Station is set to begin next year, the ROS chief designer said.

"Its creation [the work on creating a Progress-ROS space freighter] is due to begin in 2024 as a separate part of the ROS project so that a Progress resupply ship can travel to the national orbiter in the first half of 2028 immediately after the launch of the NEM [research and power] module," Kozhevnikov said.

By now, specialists have finished work on the space freighter’s design, he said.

"As part of the conceptual design, books have been issued on the Progress spaceship upgrade and on what to do with this spacecraft so that it can travel to the ROS and all necessary upgrades have been outlined, calculated and shown," the ROS chief designer said.

Ground specialists to maintain two communication channels with ROS

Two communication channels will ensure constant communications of the ground personnel with the future Russian Orbital Station, the project’s chief designer said.

"We envisage two communication channels: one channel through ground-based stations similar to the RSPI [radio-technical data transmission] system available on the [ISS] Russian segment and through Luch communications satellites. They are also envisaged in this project. We have these communications in orbit practically round-the-clock," he said.

Available Luch satellites are sufficient for communications but more of them will be needed for making a reserve and replenishing the orbital cluster, the ROS chief designer said.

"The issue of creating high-speed inter-satellite communications lines and communications with ground-based stations is extremely important and there are a lot of people who try to deal with this in addition to piloted programs, particularly, the issue of creating special new rebroadcasting satellites. We are also ready to participate in this work by offering ROS facilities as a platform for testing technologies and carrying out experiments in this area," he stressed.

Requirements for ROS cosmonauts largely to match criteria for work on ISS

There will be no major difference between the requirements for ROS cosmonauts and those existing for work on the International Space Station, the project’s chief designer said.

"I can say that this will hardly involve anything new because the cosmonauts’ activity will not change due to orbit. Naturally, the station will be more computerized and will get digital control. In this regard, there will be a difference but hardly fundamental," he pointed out.

Cosmonauts should be able to operate equipment, make spacewalks, carry out maintenance, repairs, do physical exercises, he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with young scientists and space industry staff on October 26 that the first module of the Russian Orbital Station could be launched in 2027 as the International Space Station used up its resource potential. The future national orbiter should maximally ensure Russia’s interests in the security and economic spheres, the Russian leader stressed.


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Local Glob: Russia to launch work on 1st module of future national orbiter in 2024
Russia to launch work on 1st module of future national orbiter in 2024
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