Kazakhstan is ready to discuss development of Sodruzhestvo superheavy rocket in cooperation with Russia and Ukraine 29 августа 2012, 11:26
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Rocket launch from Baikonur cosmodrome. ©RIA Novosti
The joint project of Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to develop Sodruzhestvo (Commonwealth) superheavy carrier rocket employing Energia-Buran Russian Space Shuttle System technology has good prospects of being successful, Interfax-Kazakhstan reports citing head of Kazakhstan Space Agency (KazKosmos) Talgat mussabayev.
“This is the first time that major Russian company Energia invited us to take part in an equal cooperation (participation in Sodruzhestvo project), which certifies to the growth of the level of our space industry. Now we need to work out all issues, weigh all pros and cons,” Mussabayev told Interfax-Kazakhstan on Tuesday, August 28, in Astana.
According to him, Kazakhstan can provide a launch pad at the territory of Baikonur cosmodrome. “We can participate by offering our existing rocket space complex,” Mussabayev said and added that experts of Kazakhstan's design bureaus might also take part in the project. He positively evaluated the project’s prospects and reminded that it was suggested to use the existing Energia-Buran technologies and the world’s most reliable rocket engine RD-171 for Sodruzhestvo project. “The project is very interesting,” Head of KazKosmos declared.
Earlier Vitaly Lopota, president and chief designer at S.P. Korolyov Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, suggested to develop the new superheavy carrier rocket Sodruzhestvo in cooperation with Ukraine and Kazakhstan to perform perspective space missions and flights to the Moon in particular. According to him, such rocket has to have the capacity of 60-70 tons to lift a 20-ton space vehicle to the orbit at the height of 200km.
The rocket can be built by three countries within 4 years, Lopota said. The project was supported by head of RosKosmos Vladimir Popovkin. According to Interfax-Kazakhstan, the issue of possible cooperation under the program of development of the new superheavy carrier rocket with the use of Energia-Buran technologies was raise at the meeting of presidents of Ukraine and Russia in Kiev in July.
Energia rocket is a Soviet carrier rocket of superheavy class developed by Energia company in the 1980s. This rocket was launched twice: on May 15, 1987, with a mass-dimensional dummy and on November 15, 1988, with Buran space vehicle. In the beginning of the 1990s works on Energia-Buran were suspended. 5 pieces of the rocket at different construction stages were stored at the territory of Energia company at Baikonur cosmodrome by that time. They were destroyed by the 2000s. RD-170 rocket engine developed for Energia project is used in updated versions in Russia-Ukrainian carrier rockets Zenit (RD-171) and American Atlas-5 (RD-180).