Le futur spatial de la Russie selon A Zak

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Je crois qu'il est intéressant de citer ce passage extrait du site d'Anatoly Zak qui résume bien ce qu'on sait et ce qu'on ne sait pas à propos des projets de la Russie. Tout a déjà été posté ici mais en désordre et je crois qu'ici c'est un bon résumé:

ACTS work jump starts

On Aug. 21, 2007, the Russian space agency, Roskosmos, announced that it reached an agreement with Europe to form a working group on the development of a new manned transported system, which could support missions to the International Space Station, ISS, as well as lunar expeditions and even flights to Mars. Talks between head of Roskosmos Anatoly Perminov and the head of the European Space Agency, ESA, Jean-Jacques Dordain had been taking place at the MAKS-2007 air and space show in Zhukovsky, Russia. Perminov added that representatives of the Russian and European space industry were expected to start work on the project in September 2007 and the framework for the cooperation would be ready before the end of 2007. Roskosmos did not reaveal any details on the possible configuration of the future spacecraft.

On Nov. 9, 2007, Roskosmos announced that the Russian government had approved its proposals for the development of the new spacecraft, the launch vehicle and the launch site. According to Roskosmos, such proposals had been submitted to the government six months before. It was expected that a special meeting of the agency's board, including leading industry officials, would consider the new program after consultations with foreign partners, who were interested to take part in the development, Roskosmos said.

Vostochny factor

On Dec. 20, 2007, speaking at the meeting of the division on energy, machine building, mechanics and control process of the Russian Academy of Science, the head of RKK Energia Vitaly Lopota said that his organization developed two versions of the "new reusable" spacecraft: a capsule and a lifting body with folding wings. According to Lopota, the history of space exploration had proved the advantage of the capsule design over the winged configuration, prompting NASA to abandon Shuttle in favor of Apollo-like capsule, but in reusable form. "RKK Energia's designers chose the same path," Lopota said, "making the Soyuz upgrades... the first step in that process."

A new factor, which apparently could affect the design of the next-generation spacecraft, was the government's decision to base future manned space operations in Vostochny in the Far East. Lopota said that since the launch trajectory from Vostochny would extend some 12,000 kilometers beyond Russian borders, the future spacecraft would have to be capable of extended maneuvering in case of emergency during the launch. To solve the problem, RKK Energia proposed a "transformer" or "lifting body," which would unfold its wings after overcoming highest temperature loads at the altitudes from 90 to 50 kilometers. The vehicle would then land on the runway as a glider. Lopota admitted, however that few airfields were available in the Far East for emergency landings.

Speaking of launch vehicles for the prospective manned spacecraft, Lopota stressed the importance of the heritage left by the Zenit rocket, which "nobody surpassed."

Push into 2008

At the year-end press conference at the official Interfax news agency on Dec. 27, 2007, the head of Roskosmos, Anatoly Perminov said that the "competition for the best project of a new-generation manned spacecraft would be completed by April 2008." Perminov called a "lifting body" the preferred configuration, but went on saying that it will be "capsule-type vehicle" derived from Soyuz.

Perminov said that the new spacecraft would fly from the new site in Vostochny and its launches from Baikonur were unlikely.

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