Roscosmos boss urges haste in developing next-generation Federation spacecraft
Head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin is urging haste in the development of Russia’s next-generation crewed spacecraft known as “Federation.” He expects all hands on deck to build the vehicle in the shortest possible time.
Rogozin made his remarks on the development of Federation on July 18, 2018. He said that the first spacecraft should be manufactured within shortest time in order to correlate the work with the development of Russia’s new medium-capacity Soyuz 5 launch vehicle that is planned to carry Federation into space.
“We plan that this spacecraft will be built within the shortest possible period of time,” Rogozin said. “We will pool all our efforts, including the technical client department, which will control the work of Energia Rocket and Space Corporation on this project. We plan that the first trials of this spaceship will be carried out when launches of Soyuz 5 carrier rockets begin from Baikonur under the Baiterek project.”
RKK Energia, the manufacturer of Federation, aims to complete the construction of the first spacecraft by 2021. The first uncrewed flight of the spacecraft is expected to take place in 2022, followed by a crewed flight to Earth orbit two years after that. The selection of the first crew for the flight could come as early as the second half of 2018.
Meanwhile, the first test launches of the 160-foot (49-meter) tall Soyuz 5 are planned to be conducted in 2022. The two-stage rocket in its heaviest variant is expected to be capable of delivering up to 25 metric tons to low-Earth orbit (LEO).
Although Rogozin’s latest remarks seem to show that Roscosmos is on track to build the Federation spacecraft within three years, there were recently reports that the project is facing delays that could delay the spacecraft’s first test flights to 2025.
Federation, which is slated to replace the country’s flagship Soyuz vessel, is expected to measure some 20 feet (6.1 meters) in length and have a mass of approximately 14.4 metric tons. The spacecraft is being developed to be capable of delivering up to four cosmonauts and cargo to the Moon as well as to space stations positioned in LEO. It is also being designed to operate autonomously for a period of up to 30 days, with the possibility of staying attached to the International Space Station for up to a year.
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