Jan 09 2015

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Outstanding article on changing Russian space priorities as a result of the collapse of the ruble

Un-international Space Station.

Highlights (or lowlights, if you’re Russian):

  • Russia is considering building its own space station, which would orbit at an inclination of 64.85 degrees, instead of the 51.6 degrees at which the ISS orbits. This would allow the station (designated the VShOS in Russian) to observe more of the Russian land mass. “Obviously, building such a station would divert resources and time from any lunar expedition, observers said.”
  • The heart of the new station would be the Multi-purpose Laboratory Module (MLM), which originally was slated to be added to the ISS, but multiple delays and quality control concerns have delayed its deployment until at least 2017, if at all. It “would also utilize all future modules of the Russian segment, which were expected to follow MLM to the ISS, such as the Node Module, UM; the Science and Power Module, NEM; an Inflatable Habitat, and the OKA-T laboratory.”
  • Launches for the new station could take place from the Vostochny spaceport, near completion but without a viable launch mission. The first manned launch from Vostochny is scheduled for 2018.
  • The last and possibly most important factor prompting the Kremlin to urgently review the concept of an all-Russian space station is the latest ruble collapse. It is already clear that the current economic downturn could postpone if not outright kill all the lunar dreams in Russia.

Soyuz (left) mated to the MLM module (center) and a specialized node with six docking ports (right).

I don’t think the ruble could drop low enough to suit me. Just sayin’…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/01/09/outstanding-article-on-changing-russian-space-priorities-as-a-result-of-the-collapse-of-the-ruble/

1 comment

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