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Russian next generation space station?

Grey Havoc

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Via Slashdot: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/russia-may-be-planning-national-space-station-to-replace-iss/511299.html


ORIGINAL CAPTION: A model of the long considered space station hanging at a Moscow exhibition on space exploration in 2009.
IMAGE CREDIT: Andrei Makhonin / Vedomosti

Russia may be planning to build a new, independent national space station rather than prolong its participation in the $150 billion International Space Station (ISS) program beyond its current 2020 end date, the Kommersant newspaper reported Monday.

The U.S. space agency NASA proposed last year to extend the life of the ISS — the largest international project ever undertaken by nations during peacetime — beyond its currently scheduled 2020 end date to at least 2024.

While engineering studies quickly found that the station was structurally capable of surviving well into the 2020s, the space agencies involved in the project are now waiting for government approval to extend the project. But with the conflict in Ukraine driving a wedge between Russia and the West, officials in Moscow have said they may reject NASA's offer and chart their own path in space — marking a possible regression to Cold War-style competitive space exploration.

Although no official word from Russian space officials has yet been issued on an ISS extension, a senior source at the Central Research Institute of Machine Building (TsNIIMash) — the federal space agency's think tank — told Kommersant on Monday that Russia will begin constructing a new space station to replace its segment of the ISS as early as 2017.

Referring to three modules currently intended to be attached to the ISS between 2017 and 2018, the source said: "The initial configuration [of the new Russian space station] will be constructed on the foundation of the Multipurpose Laboratory Module, a node module, and the OKA-T free-floating laboratory spacecraft."

Russian space industry analyst Pavel Luzin told The Moscow Times that he did not put much stock in the proposal.

"How can they suddenly plan a new space station? It's impossible," he said, adding that although there are new ISS modules on the way, they are in various states of completion and require additional funding.

TsNIIMash's press service declined to comment when asked by The Moscow Times to confirm the existence of plans for the new space station. Russia's federal space agency, Roscosmos, did not respond to a request for confirmation.

Later on Monday, Interfax cited an unidentified Roscosmos source as saying that the agency had no plans to begin developing a new space station in 2017, and that such a proposal would be technically and financially unfeasible.


Old Idea, New Circumstances

Proposals for a new Russian manned space station project known as the Orbital Piloted Assembly and Experiment Complex (OPSEK, in Russian) predate the current period of U.S.-Russian tensions as well as NASA's recent proposal to extend the ISS program beyond 2020.

Since as early as 2004, Russian space officials have planned on using their ISS modules to build a new national space station once the international program draws to a close in 2020.

But according to Kommersant's TsNIIMash source, Russia is now looking to bypass the ISS altogether and use the upcoming modules to create a brand-new space station three years ahead of schedule.

According to the paper, the new space station would be placed in an orbital inclination — the path a spacecraft or space station follows relative to the Earth's equator — better suited for Russian launches from its new Vostochny Cosmodrome in the far-eastern Amur region and the northern Plesetsk cosmodrome.

This would allow Russia to easily use to station as a base for testing yet-undeveloped spacecraft to transport people to the moon and into deep space. The path, angled at almost 70 degrees off the Earth's equator, also allows the station to observe 90 percent of Russia's territory, including the Arctic shelf.

[snip]
 

archipeppe

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The model hanging from the ceiling in the photo is exactly the current ISS, it is possible to see the ATV attached at one side, while the europ-nippon part on the other side (Columbus + Kibo).
 

Michel Van

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That's ISS in original configuration watch from above.

About New Russian Space Station, The OPSEK project here
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/opsek.html
 

Grey Havoc

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Indeed, a fully constructed (phase 3?) OPSEK would be likely much closer to the Mir-2 project in appearance.
 

carmelo

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What about a cooperation with China?
A sort of Tiangong /Opsek program?
 

blackstar

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carmelo said:
What about a cooperation with China?
A sort of Tiangong /Opsek program?

The Russians recently announced that they might cooperate by sending their cosmonauts/taikonauts to each others' space stations--so a Russian might visit the Chinese station and a Chinese might visit the ISS (at least the Russian side). No spacecraft involved, they would just trade seats.

But as far as a joint effort, I think the answer is pretty clearly no. China wants to go it alone, and Russia probably does not want to get out of one international partnership only to sign up with another one.
 

athpilot

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HI!
Semi-off topic, because its a little retro futurism: The "nadeshda" and "russ" spacestation concepts were seriously considered as MIR follow-ups. It was accepted in 1999 but soon after the russians decided to take part in the ISS and to have no all russian station."Nadeshda" should be completed by 2007 and operated until 2015. The "Nadeshda" station is technical very interesting and innovativ and used also old components combined with an inflatable section. The article is from an old german space magazine called "Raumfahrt concret" (issue 13/2000). It still exist today and is worth reading. So hope you enjoy it too...

Greetings
Athpilot

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Michel Van

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I never hear about "nadeshda" and "russ" space station concepts

"nadeshda" is so unconventional for a Soviets Space Hardware, with use of Inflatable Habitat

it use a FGB block with 4 LKS capsule (modified for 4 person each) as core, encase in Transhab like cover
once in orbit it inflated the hull and formed additional work space and serve as basic module for Biological experiments

next to that three FGB module for Experiments: Technology, Astrophysics and a special module (what ever that is)
the Station is equip with very big robot arm who catch Progress Transporters (seem lesson after Progress MIR collision)
 

ouroboros

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Interesting hard core around the inflatable shell. If it's like the normal block, then it's a safe sealable refuge in case of the outer shell developing a leak, compared to TransHab/Bigelow modules that only have a central strongback/spine that's open.
 

Grey Havoc

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http://aviationweek.com/space/russia-quit-iss-2024-build-space-base-leo
 

athpilot

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Thanx for the information Grey Havoc! Especially the following senteces aroused my interest: "During the meeting, the STC also evaluated concepts for advancing Russia's manned space program beyond low Earth orbit over the next two decades. Near-term plans are focused on studying the Moon using robotic spacecraft in lunar orbit, and to send humans to its surface by 2030." Hmm... russia said things like these so often before. We´ll see what the future holds...
 

Grey Havoc

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This may put a crimp in things, or alternatively it may help to speed things up: http://science.slashdot.org/story/15/05/26/2141210/russian-space-agency-misused-18-billion-may-be-replaced
 

Grey Havoc

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Speaking of the new Vostochny launch site: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35413133
 

FighterJock

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How big would the new space station be? As big as the ISS or even bigger?
 

blackstar

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FighterJock said:
How big would the new space station be? As big as the ISS or even bigger?

No, smaller. A few modules.

But it is not going to happen. The Russians are having major problems. They have had a laboratory module to launch to the ISS that has been in trouble for almost a decade now. They discovered contamination problems in the fuel system back in 2013 that they still have not fixed. Take a look at russianspaceweb.com for details. It's a big mess.
 

FighterJock

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blackstar said:
FighterJock said:
How big would the new space station be? As big as the ISS or even bigger?

No, smaller. A few modules.

But it is not going to happen. The Russians are having major problems. They have had a laboratory module to launch to the ISS that has been in trouble for almost a decade now. They discovered contamination problems in the fuel system back in 2013 that they still have not fixed. Take a look at russianspaceweb.com for details. It's a big mess.

I did not know that they had discovered contamination problems in the fuel system, and to have not fixed them since discovering them back in 2013 is shocking to say the least.
 

blackstar

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FighterJock said:
I did not know that they had discovered contamination problems in the fuel system, and to have not fixed them since discovering them back in 2013 is shocking to say the least.

http://russianspaceweb.com/iss-fgb2-mlm-2013.html

How MLM module was hit with a contamination disaster

In 2013, when the MLM/Nauka module was believed to be less than a year away from launch, engineers testing its systems made a startling discovery. The spacecraft's critical propulsion system turned out to be heavily contaminated with metallic dust. It was spread around the maze of pipelines, valves and combustion chambers during the "upgrades" of the spacecraft in the previous years. One almost unbelievable rumor had it that workers charged with sawing off redundant components thought they had been cutting the vehicle to scrap! Here is the inside story of the MLM module contamination blunder.
 

FighterJock

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blackstar said:
FighterJock said:
I did not know that they had discovered contamination problems in the fuel system, and to have not fixed them since discovering them back in 2013 is shocking to say the least.

http://russianspaceweb.com/iss-fgb2-mlm-2013.html

How MLM module was hit with a contamination disaster

In 2013, when the MLM/Nauka module was believed to be less than a year away from launch, engineers testing its systems made a startling discovery. The spacecraft's critical propulsion system turned out to be heavily contaminated with metallic dust. It was spread around the maze of pipelines, valves and combustion chambers during the "upgrades" of the spacecraft in the previous years. One almost unbelievable rumor had it that workers charged with sawing off redundant components thought they had been cutting the vehicle to scrap! Here is the inside story of the MLM module contamination blunder.

Thanks for the link blackstar.
 

blackstar

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FighterJock said:
Thanks for the link blackstar.

There is a lot of good stuff on that site. You should follow him on Twitter, Facebook or wherever. It's the best way to keep up about what is going on with the Russian space program.
 

Moose

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That seems like a decision which could seriously come back to haunt them.
 

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