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The return of Lunar Soyuz?

Flyaway

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A possible return to its Lunar roots for the venerable Soyuz spacecraft.

Russia's Soyuz Spacecraft Could Find New Life as a Lunar Taxi

On June 28, the new head of the Roscosmos State Corporation Dmitry Rogozin said that Russia could begin human missions to the Moon before completing the development of its next-generation spacecraft Federatsiya (Federation). Instead, Russia will once again rely on its 50-year-old legend.

Rogozin says moonshots could be possible with the existing Soyuz spacecraft, which currently taxis crews to the International Space Station orbiting the Earth. "The Soyuz was originally developed for the (Soviet) lunar program and that means its upgrade (for lunar missions) is quite possible, until we get the new vehicle," Rogozin says.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because various schemes to send Soyuz on a long loop behind the Moon have been on the table for years, but never got the green light from the Russian government—until now.

To reach lunar orbit, the Soyuz would need an additional push with the help of a modified Blok-DM space tug currently used for satellite missions in Earth’s orbit.

The space tug will be launched separately either on the Proton rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan or on the new Angara-5 rocket from the yet-to-be-built pad in Vostochny. In either case, the Soyuz can then lift off from Baikonur and link up with the Block-DM stage in the low Earth orbit for the subsequent boost in the direction of the Moon.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/rockets/a22074215/soyuz-lunar-station/
 

blackstar

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This idea has been around for a really long time. And there's a lot of history to it not happening:

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3436/1

2014:

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/05/29/commspace-update/

2011:

https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/rockets/a13025/just-one-150-million-seat-remains-on-space-adventures-lunar-flyby/

2007:

https://www.airspacemag.com/space/lunar-clipper-21290187/

2004:

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/6558855/#.Wz_ONH4nbNJ

Surprisingly, Space Adventures still has an active website for this, even though they are being sued about it:

http://www.spaceadventures.com/experiences/circumlunar-mission/
 

Michel Van

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If Proton rocket or a Angara-5 rocket bring a modified Blok-DM space tug into orbit is questionable

because the manufacture GKNPTs Khrunichev is in financial problems.
they lost 23 billion rubles or $367 Million US Dollar in 2017.
and asking Russian Government for infusion of cash of 30 Billion rubles or 478 Million US Dollar for 2018

This partly to do with the there the new-generation Angara rocket and its problems,
like the issues with new Angara factories in Omsk, while A 5 second test launch is delay and delayed again since 4 Years !
Also hardware issues and delays on new MLM module for ISS
and series of Proton failures

so far it seems the Proton days are numbered...

source
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/proton_2018.html#0627

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/angara5-flight2.html

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/angara-production.html

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/iss_fgb2.html
 

Archibald

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It is just like Excalibur Almaz or Kistler: a very good idea in the hands of the wrong people, unfortunately... :(
 

Byeman

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Archibald said:
It is just like Excalibur Almaz or Kistler: a very good idea in the hands of the wrong people, unfortunately... :(

Neither were good ideas.
 

Archibald

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I meant, they were technically sound at least. The VA capsules worked, at least unmanned. The K-1 was a reasonable TSTO design.
 

Michel Van

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yes VA capsules worked, but it was victim of intrigue of soviet space program and Chelomey arrogance

Rocketplane Kistler K-1 was very good concept
but the Company failed to reach the NASA milestones in 2007, so NASA terminate the contract.
Interesting the K-1 had to use NK-33 engine

one moment NK-33 engine, there was some thing
a yes this:
https://youtu.be/MZ0SgAU9LXI
 

blackstar

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Archibald said:
I meant, they were technically sound at least. The VA capsules worked, at least unmanned. The K-1 was a reasonable TSTO design.

Excalibur Almaz's plans were often misunderstood, but I don't think that the overall scheme was viable. They were never planning on flying any of their heritage hardware. In fact, I think that their agreement with the Russians forbid them from flying the equipment. What they claimed was that they would construct new equipment based upon those designs. I heard a presentation where an EA representative used (I think) the term "build to print." I later asked a colleague who knows materials and manufacturing sciences what this meant and he explained that the term refers to having blueprints/CAD drawings that are so good that you can make exact copies of a device/object/vehicle. But he also said that it is a misused term and really doesn't exist in the aerospace industry, where every aircraft that comes off a production line has slight differences from the one that preceded it. And trying to apply that approach to a pre-existing vehicle (rather than designing it like that from the beginning) just isn't workable. So there was no way that EA was ever going to copy that TKA spacecraft. And who would use 1960s era Soviet electronics?

I always thought Excalibur Almaz was a neat idea for a science fiction novel, but not workable in the real world.
 

Grey Havoc

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Possibly related:

Grey Havoc said:

Secondly, it is important to implement a number of major significant projects in a timely manner, including the creation of a super-heavy class rocket complex.

Importantly, all previous deadlines for developing it should be met, and flight tests should begin in 2028 as planned.

There is a similar requirement for the Soyuz-5 medium-class carrier rocket, which, in fact, will become the first stage of the super-heavy rocket. As you may be aware, the Soyuz flight tests should begin in 2022.
 

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