The lunar rocket flies into infinity, budgets follow it

The lunar rocket flies into infinity, budgets follow it

14 January , 09:43
After Dmitry Rogozin's report, the Russian Academy of Sciences advised Roscosmos to postpone the development of the Yenisei super-heavy-class launch vehicle for the lunar program, replacing it with the Angara.

Victoria Petrova

Suddenly it turned out, and Dmitry Rogozin himself told about this, that the Yenisei is not modern enough for the lunar program. This discovery was made three years after the publication of the presidential decree on the development of superheavy and the beginning of preliminary design. At the same time, the outdated design was incorporated into the project even before the official decree on its creation was issued. On November 13, 2017, the general director of NPO Energomash, Igor Arbuzov, announced that the Soyuz-5 medium-class launch vehicle would become the basis for the Yenisei, for which Energomash was developing a new version of the RD-171MV engine. Did no one tell Dmitry Rogozin, who was then the chairman of the supervisory board of Roscosmos, that Soyuz-5 is a modification of the Ukrainian Zenith, which is based on the accelerator from Energia, which flew for the first time back in 1987?

All these years, the outdated design did not stop anyone. Moreover, in 2018, Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the creation of a complex for launches of the Yenisei at the Vostochny cosmodrome, at the beginning of 2018 Roscosmos signed an act of acceptance of work on the development of specialized software for simulating tests of super-heavy rocket engines, in March 2018 for 1.6 billion rubles Roskosmos ordered a draft design of a super-heavy rocket complex, in April of the same year, a draft design of a launch vehicle complex was approved, at the end of 2018, a design bureau was formed by Roscosmos for the development of a super-heavy class, at the beginning of 2019 Dmitry Rogozin reported to Putin that the state corporation had practically decided on the technical appearance of the Yenisei, in December 2020 Roscosmos signed a contract for the development of a technical design for the Yenisei super-heavy launch vehicle by mid-November 2021 for 1.47 billion rubles. Of course, based on the same "Union-5". Now all these contracts and developments (if they actually existed), at the suggestion of Dmitry Rogozin, go under the table.

Will we take off on the Angara, as the RAS advises? Angara was originally conceived as a modular rocket with the broadest capabilities. And it was this modularity that was supposed to ensure the mass production of components and their cheapness. The line included the super-heavy "Angara A7", but even she could put only 50 tons of cargo into orbit (the Yenisei was calculated for 100 tons). After the closure of the Angara A7 project, only Angara A5 remained, which can only lift 24.5 tons into low earth orbit. 4 times smaller than the Yenisei.

Therefore, the academicians from the Council proposed a two-launch scheme - that is, instead of one Yenisei, two Angars will fly one after the other. Each of them costs 7 billion rubles, which is 3 times more expensive than the Proton, which it replaced, and is comparable to the Falcon Heavy, which can lift almost 64 tons at a time. Thus, the scheme proposed by RAS is very expensive and complicated. And pay attention: the Yenisei project is not canceled, but only postponed.

One of the options for the further development of the Yenisei could be the construction of a super-heavy rocket based on the promising Amur-LNG rocket, which in turn represents the development of the Soyuz-6, which was to be used as the second stage of the Yenisei... It's hard to follow the progress events? Now imagine what it is like for Rogozin and his employees, because for each project you have to develop a justification and knock out money.

The result of this entire space puzzle is as follows. The development of this superheavy is postponed indefinitely, which was already postponed from 2028 to 2035. But finances are regularly flowing from pocket to pocket: the methane engine for the Amur is being developed for 765 million rubles, and the total cost of development is estimated at 70 billion rubles. And this is only the first stage. First again...

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