CONCEPT OF RUSSIAN MANNED SPACE NAVIGATION DEVELOPMENT
At OAO Korolev RSC Energia a "Concept of the Manned Space Navigation Development Program in Russia for a period of 2006-2030 years" has been developed and offered for discussion. The concept is interesting not only to specialists, but also to the general public, since a solution of grandiose, qualitatively new tasks is proposed.
During the meeting-interview on 24 May 2006 with editor-correspondent of the "News of Cosmonautics" journal
S.Kh.Shamsutdinov, Korolev RSC Energia President, General Designer Nikolay Nikolayevich
Sevastiyanov has told about this concept, about the present-day status of reusable
Clipper space transportation system and the proposals on development of the Russian
Segment of the International Space Station (ISS).
Nikolay Nikolayevich, tell, please, about the concept of national manned space navigation proposed by RSC Energia.
The proposals on the concept of Russia’s manned space navigation development program were prepared by RSC Energia in the latter half of the year 2005 in order to determine technically and economically sound lines of activities in this area for the next 26 years. The Corporation possesses a more then 45-year experience in implementing the manned space flight programs in cooperation with tens and hundreds of enterprises and organizations of the industry. As a prime contractor for activities in this area, the enterprise is responsible for execution of the already approved projects, for their rational continuation and evolution.
This has spurred us to develop the proposed concept, which provides implementation of the following four phases of national manned space navigation:
- development of an economically efficient reusable Clipper space transportation system.
- near-earth space industrialization based on ISS Russian Segment development.
- implementation of the Moon program, which initiates the Moon industrialization.
- implementation of manned exploratory missions to Mars.
Phases of Russian manned space navigation development
The technical means of each phase of the program are constructed using already available research, technological and production developments of the previous phases. The concept is aimed at a consequent and phased solution of the task of near-earth space industrialization and research with the subsequent transition to Moon industrialization program and implementation of flights to the Mars. We realize that the time has already come when the manned space navigation should go to the space industrialization based on the principles of economic efficiency.
The concept of the manned space navigation development program was considered and approved on 14 February 2006 at the session of the enlarged Scientific and Technical Board (STB) held at RSC Energia. Among participants in STB work were representatives of Roskosmos, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), officials of leading enterprises and organizations of the industry, core institutes of higher education of the country. In session debates spoke:
RAS Academicians B.E.Chertok, O.M.Belotserkovsky, G.I.Severin, I.V.Barmin, Head of Roskosmos Manned Program Division A.B. Krasnov, Progress Samara Space Center General Director A.N.Kirilin, Baumann Moscow State Technical University Rector, RAS Corresponding Member I.B.Fedorov, Space Research Institute Director, RAS Corresponding Member L.M.Zelenyy and others.
The speakers noted urgency of elaborating Russia’s manned space navigation development concept for a distant prospect and need for further joint efforts on forming this advanced program, proceeding from the requirements of its balanced character and feasibility, coordination with programs of developing automated space vehicles and launch vehicles. At the STB session it was proposed to send the materials on the concept to the state authorities for consideration when developing the national space program for a period of 2006-2030 years. The concept was presented also at the scientific conference of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics named after K.E. Tsiolkovsky, held on 25 April 2006 in Roskosmos in connection with the 15th anniversary of the Academy.
At present it is submitted for updating and coordination to Roskosmos, the Russian Academy of Sciences and the prime enterprises of the industry.
Clipper manned spacecraft (with SHM)
Clipper and Soyuz TMA in one scale
The first phase envisages development of a reusable Clipper transportation space system. In NC #7, 2005, it was first in detail told about the project of the manned spacecraft of this system, proposed at that time in a "carrying body" design. It is also known that Roskosmos is conducting a tender for the construction of a Russian reusable manned spacecraft of new generation, in which participate Korolev RSC Energia with the Clipper project, as well as Khrunichev Space Center and NPO Molniya with their projects. In this connection, the following question: was the Clipper project changed for the past time? In what form was it submitted for tender?
Yes, the project was changed. In the latter half of 2005 we have considerably remade and improved it. Why have we done it? We looked at the project as at a system. Exactly as at a system, which should give the society and country a new quality. As important point we determined that investments laid down into the project should be returned in process of operating the system. We want to make an economically efficient industrial transportation space system, like the aircraft or sea transport, which has successfully worked in the market already for a long time.
So we looked at the project first of all from the position of its consumer characteristics. First, the prime cost of cosmonauts and cargo flight on the Clipper spacecraft, according to our calculations, should decrease more then by three times in comparison with this indicator of the present Soyuz and Progress spacecraft. It is a must in order to make launch services for cosmonauts and payload available for a large circle of users. Second, the Clipper spacecraft would enlarge the potential circle of users at the expense of more comfortable conditions of flight and landing. This is also very important, since it allows considerably reducing the requirements to the health status of people who would fly on it into space.
Third, if we state that the system should be self-supporting, then the spacecraft should obviously fly not only professional cosmonauts, but also amateur ones. The amateurs go in for space flight to solve their tasks and, naturally, they pay for its flight. Such users, on the condition of reducing the flight cost and health requirements, would be more in the number than presently, when we fly on Soyuz spacecraft. It is possible to send into space only one amateur cosmonaut on Soyuz, but as Clipper crewmembers four amateur cosmonauts would be able to fly simultaneously (totally, six crewmembers, of them two professionals).
Exactly so we abandoned the "carrying body" design in favor of a wing-flying option of the spacecraft, which was presented to Roskosmos tender commission.
You have mentioned amateur cosmonauts. Whom do you refer to this category?
Scientists, specialists, who want to test in space new technologies or conduct some experiments and studies, and, finally, tourists. We expect that amateur cosmonauts would be trained for the flight on Clipper no more than three months. Thereby, the circle of our potential clients is considerably enlarged, but at the same time the market of space services for manned space flights is enlarged as well.
What sectors presently appear in this space market? The first sector – these are professional Russian cosmonauts, who fly on a governmental order and solve governmental tasks. The second sector – these are foreign astronauts. This sector market is found in the phase of development. It is divided in three categories. First, professional astronauts of other national space agencies. Second, as I already spoke, foreign scientists and specialists in different areas of science, technology and industry, presenting both governmental and private research organizations and companies. Third, tourists. This sector of the market of space services for manned flights is real, but practically not developed, and we have a possibility to its development.
Decrease of payment for flight and cargo delivery by more than three times, significant lowering of the level of requirements to the health of candidates and reduction of the period of their training for the flight from one year to three months would bring about that the market of space services for manned flights to be rendered to our potential clients would increase from present several tens of people to several hundreds. Thence, it follows that after the appropriate, as presently spoken, "promotion" of this market, the Clipper system would become not only self-supporting, but also would bring an additional income.
It should be also said that construction of such a complex system like Clipper foresees performing activities and tests connected with technical risks. So we propose to lead work on Clipper in phases and this is reflected in our tender bid sent to Roskosmos.
Tell, please, about the phasing of activities when making Clipper.
It should be immediately said that, when making Clipper, one would maximally use the available technological developments for spacecraft Soyuz, Progress, Buran, as well as for the Yamal communications satellite.
Clipper should be organically and painlessly integrated into the currently applied manned program, the space infrastructure of Soyuz/Progress processing and launch and the ISS operation infrastructure. It is on one hand. On the other hand, the construction of Clipper should rely on the existing production capacities of Korolev RSC Energia and its subcontractors, which should be used. It would be wrong to say that here we have a new project and we would do it, having built new production capacities, and we do not need the old ones. It is economically inefficient.
We should maximally use the already existing production infrastructure. So we propose to lead work on the Clipper project in three phases.
The first phase is a deep upgrading of the Soyuz spacecraft. We intend to upgrade all on-board systems of Soyuz, having left unchangeable only the structures of its module bodies. Figuratively, an absolutely new modern stuffing would be in the old forms of the spacecraft. Why do we do it? The on-board systems presently used on the Soyuz TMA spacecraft are designed basically in 1960-70s years. It is a very old, morally outdated equipment, which we have still to produce. So presently our task is to upgrade this equipment and, in this case, execute centralization of the on-board systems of the spacecraft. The upgrading and centralization would allow us not simply to move to a modern element base, but also shorten the amount of the systems on board.
I will give a simple example. Presently, on Soyuz TMA stand separate radio engineering systems: radio command link, telemetry, orbit radio control, voice communication, television. Five systems – these are only for the command-information support of the flight. What are five systems? These are five antenna feeder devices, five transmitters, five receivers, five amplifiers, and etc. But today the digital technologies allow creating for all this one universal system. That’s what means centralization. Such approach is applicable to other on-board systems as well.
Thus, using centralization, we reduce and optimize the number of systems and the transition to modern element base makes the equipment lighter in mass and smaller in volume. All this would finally bring about reduction of the prime cost of the spacecraft and some reduction of the total mass of its structure, which, in turn, would allow increasing the mass of the accommodated payload. In this case, we move to a new quality with new possibilities.
Parom interorbital tug
It should be also noted that the upgrading of the spacecraft would bring about the renewal of the Control Ground Complex (CGC), which today is obsolete too. Presently, the significant amounts of funds go on its operation. But the CGC upgrading would allow reducing the expenses and enhancing its capabilities.
So, in the first phase, we obtain a new quality already on Soyuz. What would this give us? We develop modern on-board systems, test and run in them on Soyuz and already afterwards they move to the Clipper spacecraft.
Besides, and this is very important, the renewed Soyuz spacecraft would be able to fly not only to ISS, but also to the Moon. It would be a universal spacecraft. The main difference of a moon spacecraft from an orbital one is only that the thermal insulation of a descent vehicle of moon option should be bigger (approximately by 300 kg) in order to land on the Earth when re-entering its atmosphere on the path of return from the Moon with the second space velocity.
Soyuz after upgrading would be able to be a part of the Orbital Station up to 360 days. We plan to set it in operation in 2010.
Further, in the second phase of work on Clipper system development we implement the project of a multifunctional reusable Parom interorbital tug, which should come to replace the disposable Progress cargo vehicles being in operation today.
The third phase of work on the Clipper system is development of a reusable Clipper manned spacecraft, using the available developments and the results of flight qualification of systems and structures of the first two phases.
What is the Parom tug?
Parom (Ferry) is a multifunctional reusable interorbital tug intended to transport to the Orbital Station different cargo containers and Clipper manned spacecraft. The Parom tug would be developed on the basis of the upgraded systems of the Soyuz spacecraft.
Parom has two active docking units: one for docking to container or to Clipper spacecraft and the other for docking to the Orbital Station. The interorbital tug has a propulsion system, is equipped with tank with long-term storage propellant components and solar arrays for power supply of on-board systems.
How does the interorbital tug operate? Most of time it is a part of the Orbital Station. After placing the next cargo container into the working near-earth orbit the tug undocks from the Station and docks to the container and then transports it to the Orbital Station. Inside the tug there is a pressurized module, through which the cosmonauts could go from the Station into the pressurized part of the container for its unloading. Upon completion of work with the container, after accommodation of the disposable cargoes therein, Parom leaves the Station again and jettisons the container, which in a certain time as a result of braking comes off the orbit and burns up in the thick layers of atmosphere. And the tug catches a new container and delivers it to the Station. This process is repeated many times.
The cargo container is simple enough and a relatively low-price system element. It has a pressurized module for cargoes and equipment and an unpressurized module, in which propellant components are delivered to the Station. Propellant transfer from the container to the Station is performed through the pipelines laid in the Parom tug. The container has a minimum amount of the service on-board equipment. The main of them includes a small module with stabilization servomotors and a passive docking unit.
The containers are designed for launch via Soyuz and Proton LV. They could deliver the payload having a mass from 4 to 13 tons. For comparison: a maximum mass of cargoes delivered via Progress makes up a little more than 2 tons. Thereby, a container could substitute several Progress spacecraft. The calculations show that the use of Parom and cargo containers would allow reducing the prime cost of cargoes placed into the orbit by three-four times in comparison with the operation of Progress spacecraft.
Generally speaking, it could be a variety of containers, depending on what cargoes need to be delivered to the Orbital Station. The containers could differ in size and mass and be placed into orbit via different LV, including the foreign ones. Besides the containers, cargoes for Parom could be different unpressurized platforms with a large-size scientific equipment, Orbital Station modules, as well as Clipper spacecraft.
For Parom mission life extension, the cosmonauts would periodically service the on-board equipment of the tug and, if the need arises, replace the unserviceable equipment. "Spares" for tug would be delivered by cargo containers. Besides, Parom would be refueled also from the container.
We plan to launch the first Parom in 2009. It would be first tested and adjusted in delivering cargo containers to ISS and already afterwards it would be possible to use it for transportation of the Clipper manned spacecraft.
What are the main parameters and characteristics of the Parom tug?
- Launching mass of the tug – up to 12500 kg;
- "dry" mass - 5990 kg.
- Geometric characteristics:
- length along the body - 6550 mm;
- maximum diameter of modules -3200 mm;
- pressurized module volume - 26 m3.
- Duration of the free flight – up to 180 days.
- Number of the cycles of orbital transitions – up to 60.
- Mission life – up to 15 years.
- Parameters of the insertion orbit:
- inclination - 51.6-73° ;
- altitude - 200 km.
- Launch vehicle - Soyuz-2-3.
Clipper spacecraft building-block design
Tell about the special features of the third phase of activities on the Clipper system, in which, strictly speaking, begins the construction of the reusable Clipper manned spacecraft.
The activities of the third phase on the Clipper system are implemented using the available developments on Soyuz upgraded on-board systems and the capabilities of the Parom tug. These start reserves and the results of flight qualification of Soyuz new on-board systems and tug are one of the basic principles of reducing technical risks at the implementation of the Clipper manned spacecraft project. Today, together with us, Sukhoi Aviation Holding Company, Central Civil Aviation Institute, Central Research Institute of Machine-building, Progress Samara Space Center, Design Bureau of General Engineering (KBOM) and other leading enterprises and organizations of the industry decided to participate in the Clipper spacecraft project.
Structurally, the spacecraft consists of the following integral parts: re-entry vehicle (RV) and service-habitation module (SHM). RV, in turn, consists of glider (fuselage) and pressurized cabin module, which has now a cylindrical shape. The crew takes seats in three rows with two persons in each row.
The module of the emergency recovery system (ERS) of the spacecraft performs two functions:
1 – final ascent of the spacecraft into orbit as required;
2 - emergency recovery of the crew in the event of launch vehicle accident at the Launch Complex or during insertion.
After placing into the reference orbit, the spacecraft, according to a two-day scheme of approach, using a propulsion system (PS), located in SHM, flies to the orbit of ISS and docks to it. During return to the Earth, PS provides issue of a braking impulse for spacecraft de-orbiting. Then SHM is separated from the spacecraft and burns up in the thick layers of atmosphere. Thus, it is a disposable module, and so the given option of the spacecraft is partially reusable.
|Clipper manned spacecraft (with a propulsion module)
||Soyuz 2-3 LV of two modifications
But we decided to obtain a complete reusability of the Clipper spacecraft. So appeared the idea to use as a part of the Clipper system the Parom interorbital tug, which primarily was developed only for replacement of the Progress spacecraft. The use of Parom allows abandoning the disposable SHM, since the tug completely substitutes this module. Parom has its own PS, using which it would be able to transport Clipper from the reference orbit of insertion to ISS. During crew return to the Earth the tug would provide the spacecraft transfer to the orbit, from which the spacecraft further by itself returns to the Earth through a subsequent issue of a braking impulse and descent in the atmosphere. But the tug remains on the orbit in expectation of insertion of the next cargo for it.
Outlook of the Russian Segment as a part of ISS
Thus, we develop a completely reusable Clipper spacecraft. This option of the spacecraft consists of RV and propulsion module (PM), to which the ERS module is transformed.
PM performs two functions:
1 - final ascent of the spacecraft into orbit as required and issue of a braking impulse for spacecraft de-orbiting during its return to the Earth;
2 - emergency recovery of the crew.
It should be noted that the cost of Clipper option with PM would be lower than with the disposable SHM.
Clipper would be placed into orbit via the Soyuz-2-3 LV of two modifications with different load-carrying capacity. The LV project study is being already performed at the Progress Samara Space Center.
The first test flight of Clipper in the unmanned mode is planned for 2013 and the first test manned flight – for 2014. And from 2016 it is planned to set the Clipper system as a part of the fleet of five spacecraft into nominal operation.
What are the main design parameters and characteristics of the Clipper spacecraft?
- Launching mass of the spacecraft:
- option with SHM (without ERS) – up to 14000 kg;
- option with PM – up to 12500 kg.
- Launching mass of modules:
- re-entry vehicle – up to 9200 kg;
- service-habitation module – up to 4800 kg;
- ERS module/PM - 3300 kg.
- Crew size- up to 6 persons.
- Mass of cargoes (with 6 crewmembers):
- delivered – up to 500 kg;
- returned – up to 500 kg;
- disposed – up to 200 kg.
- Duration of free flight – up to 5 days (in option without SHM).
- Duration of the attached flight as a part of the Orbital Station – up to 360 days.
- Nominal g-load on de-orbiting – up to 2.5 g.
- Range of the lateral maneuver - 1200 km.
- Type of landing - on the airfield.
- Number of flights of one spacecraft – up to 60; operation life of one spacecraft – up to 15 years.
What are the economic indicators of the Clipper system project?
The Clipper system is a fleet of Clipper spacecraft, reusable Parom tug and cargo containers, as well as ground and space infrastructure of processing, launch and mission control facilities. In this connection, we sometimes call the given system as a Clipper-Parom system,
Today we estimated the development, ground testing of the spacecraft on different mockups and manufacturing of a fleet of five Clipper spacecraft at US $1.5bn (40bn rubles). Is it much or little? Is it worth going to these expenses?
The countries participating in ISS took a decision on the increase of the Station crew size up to six persons from 2009. Supporting the Station operation with such crew size requires launch of four Soyuz TMA and 12 Progress spacecraft per year unless other transport space vehicles are available. The delivery of six crewmembers in the course of year, using the Clipper-Parom system, would require only two launches of the Clipper spacecraft annually.
Further, for supporting the ISS flight with the crew of six persons, the launch of three-four cargo containers would be required per year. They would be delivered to the Station via one reusable Parom. This is much less costly than 12 Progress spacecraft to be launched annually.
The calculations show that the saving for the countries participating in the ISS project, when using the Clipper-Parom system, for one year of operation of this Station with a crew consisting of six persons could make up to US $500m in comparison with the today’s applied transport space vehicles. Thence it follows that the Clipper-Parom system construction could be completely repaid through this saving already in 3-4 years of ISS operation. And considering that Clipper would be used not only for delivery of main crews and cargoes to ISS, but also for commercial programs with participation of amateur cosmonauts, the Clipper-Parom system would be not only self-supporting, but also would bring an additional income. Our estimation shows that for 15 years of operation of this system the value of gains could make up to US $7bn.
Tell, please, about the second phase of the concept.
We propose to pursuit the near-earth space industrialization on the basis of ISS and, in the first line, on the basis of its Russian Segment. At present and in the next future ISS would perform the following tasks:
- international space port;
- fundamental scientific studies and experiments;
- testing of new space technologies in interest of Earth industry and economy;
- testing of long-duration manned interplanetary flights;
- assembly of interorbital complexes for flights to the Moon and their servicing.
At present ISS is already an international space port, since Russian Soyuz, Progress spacecraft and American shuttles dock now to the Station, and in a short time the European ATV cargo vehicles and Japanese HTV “freighters” would fly to it.
In order to perform fundamental scientific studies and experiments, as well as to test new space technologies a long-term Russian scientific program has been developed, which would be implemented on the ISS Russian Segment. Within the framework of this program it is expected to perform 331 space experiments in 11 directions: biomedical studies (70 experiments), study of Earth natural resources (32), study of Solar system planets and small bodies (10), biotechnological studies (47), technical experiments and studies (53), exoatmospheric astronomy (b), integrated experiments (36), problems of space power systems (14), studies of space rays (8), space technology and material science (19), geophysical studies (36).
For implementation of this research program it is required to develop and place on the Russian Segment of the Station 267 names of the scientific equipment with a total mass of 7.5 t, and it is only inside pressurized modules. Outside pressurized modules it is planned to install 153 names of the scientific equipment with a total mass of 9.5 t. So for accommodation of this equipment it is necessary to develop the Russian Segment ISS and dock to the Station several new research modules.
How is it proposed to develop the Russian Segment?
The proposed further development of the ISS Russian Segment and its new configuration should provide a maximum technical-economic efficiency of its utilization in the future. This should be done, beginning with the Multi-functional Laboratory Module (MLM), which is planned for launch in 2009. MLM should become the main functional element of the ISS Russian Segment. This module should be made as a multi-functional scientific laboratory that allows implementing the technology of replaceable payloads under both Russian research program and foreign customers’ projects.
It is proposed to dock to the nadir port of MLM a spherical node module with six docking ports. This would allow later-on attaching two Research Modules IM-1 and IM-2, as well as two Scientific Power Platforms NEP-1 and NEP-2 to the Russian Segment. Besides, the Parom tugs with cargo containers and Clipper spacecraft would be able to dock to the node module.
The new Russian modules should carry modern equipment of the service hardware systems and their layout should be optimized with accommodation of universal workstations for scientific and applied experiments. It would allow in the future getting an essential income from services rendered to Russian and foreign users to perform experiments and studies on the ISS Russian Segment. And it, in turn, would allow In future new Russian modules to be developed on the off-budget financial basis.
Moon circling scheme
Flight scheme with circumlunar orbit capture
Flight scheme with crew landing on the Moon surface
Does RSC Energia propose to implement in the third phase a Moon manned program?
Yes, exactly so. We have developed the proposals, whose purpose is to explore the Moon. In this case, the following tasks could be solved:
- mining of natural resources, including Helium-3, to satisfy the energy needs of the Earth;
- transfer of "harmful" production lines from the Earth to the Moon and construction of production lines requiring a low gravity;
- construction of a power system on lunar resources on the Moon surface;
- construction of propellant production facilities to ensure interplanetary flights;
- astrophysical studies from the Moon surface.
Permanent base on the Moon
During Moon program implementation one would use the already existing ground infrastructure: production capacities of enterprises, Launch Complexes, Mounting and Testing Facilities, Control Ground Complex, and etc. All these are already available. In due course, our state has invested the enormous investments in this infrastructure and so we are simply obliged to use it. Besides, our country has an abundant experience in performing dockings of spacecraft. Docking technologies and processes have been tested long ago and have presently a high reliability. We would use this experience too. So we do not need to build jumbo rockets for moon spacecraft launch. Moon Complexes could be presently assembled on the orbit, using a well-proven and reliable docking technology. The Moon manned program is proposed to be implemented in three phases.
The first phase: circling of the Moon and landing on the Moon on the basis of existing space technologies. In this phase the serial-production Proton and Soyuz LV, DM and Fregat Upper Stages (US), as well as the upgraded Soyuz spacecraft would be used. All these vehicles possess a high reliability, which would considerably reduce technical and economic risks. In the first phase it is proposed to carry out the following expeditions to Moon.
The first expedition is cycling of the Moon. A two-launch scheme. First the Soyuz spacecraft is inserted via the Soyuz LV (the crew consists of three persons). Depending on tasks to be solved, it could first dock to ISS and stay a certain time attached to the Station, and could be immediately used for flight to the Moon. Then the DM Block Upper Stage is placed into the near-earth via the Proton LV. It carries a habitation module from Soyuz (with a passive docking unit), which serves the crew as an additional pressurized module. After spacecraft docking to US an accelerating burn is produced - and Soyuz executes circling of the Moon. The crew returns to the Earth in the descent module of the spacecraft on the re-entry trajectory with the second space velocity. The first manned circumlunar flight could be implemented already in 2011 or 2012. The second expedition is a flight with circumlunar orbit capture. A four-launch scheme. First, two DM Block US are placed into the near-earth reference orbit and they dock between themselves. Then via the Soyuz LV the Fregat US is placed into the near-earth orbit and via one more launch of the Soyuz LV the insertion of the Soyuz spacecraft is implemented. The assembly of the Moon Complex composed of two DM Block US, Fregat US and Soyuz spacecraft is carried out. The boost to the Moon is executed using the first DM Block. The second DM Block provides braking and spacecraft transfer to the near-circular reference orbit by the Moon. Fregat is required for launch from the circumlunar reference orbit to the Earth. The manned flight to the circumlunar orbit is possible in 2013.
Third expedition is a flight with crew landing on the Moon surface. A seven-launch scheme. With three consequent launches two DM Block US and a Moon ascent and descent system (ADS) are placed into the near-earth orbit. Their docking is performed and ADS flies to the reference orbit by the Moon. Then with two launches two more DM blocks are started, and via two Soyuz LV the Fregat US and the Soyuz spacecraft with crew consisting of three cosmonauts are started. All these elements are assembled to a departure complex and Soyuz is transferred to the reference orbit by the Moon, where the unmanned ADS waits for it. On this circumlunar orbit the Soyuz docking to ADS takes place. Two cosmonauts transfer to ADS and land in it on the Moon surface. After work execution on the Moon, the ascent module from ADS takes off and docks on the circumlunar reference orbit to Soyuz. The cosmonauts transfer to the spacecraft and the ascent module is jettisoned. Then, using Fregat, the Soyuz spacecraft returns to the Earth.
The expedition according to this scheme is expected to be first without crew landing on the Moon surface. In this case, the ADS adjustment and test are performed in the automatic mode. This flight could take place in 2014. The first manned expedition with Russian cosmonaut landing on the Moon is possible in 2015. At present the Moon program is not included into Russia’s Federal Space Program. Korolev RSC Energia is keeping study records on its initiative and will offer them for implementation.
For implementation of the Moon program of the first phase there are practically all elements: Soyuz spacecraft, Proton and Soyuz rockets, DM Block and Fregat Upper Stages. It is necessary only to upgrade Soyuz and adapt LV and US to solution of new tasks.
Earth-Moon-Earth reusable transportation system. Close-up – interorbital tug
A new element is only ADS, but also here during its development we could use that wide experience, which was received in the 60-70s years when developing and testing a moon spacecraft (MSC) under the N1-LZ program.
In the second phase of the Moon program, to which it would be possible to proceed after 2015, we propose to develop a permanently operating reusable Earth-Moon-Earth transportation system. It comprises the following:
reusable interorbital manned spacecraft (RIMS), which would be developed on the basis of the Clipper cabin module;
reusable interorbital tug (RIT) with liquid jet engines - for transportation of RIMS and cargo containers; RIT with an electric propulsion system (EPS) and large-size solar arrays - for a "slow" transportation of large cargoes. In this phase a permanent Moon Orbital Station (MOS) should be developed as a spaceport (by analogy with the near-earth Orbital Station) with a reusable moon ascent-descent module, which would provide transportation of cosmonauts and cargoes between MOS and Moon surface.
In the third phase (after 2020) it is proposed to build a permanent base on the Moon in order to begin industrialization of the natural satellite of the Earth.
General view of the Martian Mission Complex
And, finally, how would the fourth phase be implemented, which foresees undertaking manned missions to the Mars?
The Manned mission program for exploration and research of the Mars planet integrates all technologies developed in previous three phases. At present, the Martian project is being developed, together with us, by Keldysh Science Center, RAS Space Research Institute, IMBP and a number of other organizations. This project is proposed for implementation after 2025 in the following sequence of three phases.
In the first phase a Martian Mission Complex (MMC) is developed. Its adjustment and test are conducted during test flight to the circumlunar orbit and return to the near-earth orbit.
The second phase is the first manned mission to the Mars without crew landing on the surface of the planet. The Martian ADS landing is performed on the planet in the automatic mode; its testing and adjustment are conducted. ADS is controlled by the crew from MMC residing on the near-mars orbit. The cosmonauts conduct a detailed study of planet surface and atmosphere. Afterwards, MMC returns to the Earth. One conducts routine maintenance on it and carries out its re-equipping.
The third phase is the first manned mission with crew landing on the Mars.
MMC is reusable. After each return to the near-earth orbit from the Mars, one performs routine maintenance and repair work on MMC. The Martian Complex is re-equipped, supplied with different cargoes and afterwards starts again its flight to the Mars.
MMC comprises the following: Interplanetary Orbiter (IOrbiter), ADS, rescue spacecraft for return to the Earth (in the event of emergency situations), electric propulsion and solar tug.
The IOrbiter consists of one habitation and two storage modules. Propellant tanks are used for protection from radiation. The Life Support System is of a partially closed cycle. The IOrbiter prototype is the Zvezda Service Module, at present being a part of ISS. ADS consists of descent, habitation and ascent modules and is a new development.
When developing EPS for MMC, one would use technologies tried-out on the interorbital tug with EPS for the Moon program. For solar tug construction it is proposed to use film solar arrays. The structure of the solar tug is made using the technologies, which were used when developing Sofora, Rapana, Krab truss structures on Mir Orbital Station.
Delivery of crew and cargoes from the Earth to MMC and their return back to the Earth after carrying out the Martian mission and MMC arrival to the near-earth orbit would be implemented via Clipper-Parom systems.
The main features of MMC:
- Initial mass of MMC - 480 tons.
- Mass of ADS - 35 tons.
- Specific thrust of EPS - 7000 êãf/(kg/f).
- Electric power of solar arrays -15 MW.
- Crew size - 4 persons.
- Total time of the flight to the Mars and back to the Earth - 2.5 years.
- Time of landing crew operation (2 persons.) on the Mars surface - 15-30 days.
In conclusion of our conversation, tell, please: what could be seen as the goal of manned space navigation development?
The main goal of manned space navigation in the XXI. century should become the Solar System industrialization by the mankind. This would allow the mankind to get access to new resources of the Solar System, discovering simultaneously a new knowledge in the interest of civilization evolution.