Russia to Create Backup Manned Vehicle for Moon Flights Without NASA Funding

© Sputnik / RIA Novosti / Go to the photo bankSoyuz-19 spacecraft
Soyuz-19 spacecraft - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia's State Space Corporation Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin has said that NASA had asked Roscosmos to create a lunar version of the Soyuz spacecraft as a backup manned space transport system for flights to the Moon.

A senior Russian space industry source told Sputnik that Moscow will develop an ugraded Soyuz version at its own expense, and no funding from NASA is expected.

"NASA will not pay, it is planned to carry out all the work at own expense," the source said.

To ensure the capability of the Soyuz spacecraft to fly to the Moon, an accelerating unit and a new thermal protection that will allow the ship to return to the Earth’s atmosphere at the second cosmic velocity (11.2 kilometers per second, or 6.95 miles per second) are needed.

READ MORE: Roscosmos Selects Super-Heavy Rocket Concept Designed for Moon Flights — Source

The lunar version of Soyuz will also require new power supply, communications and life support systems.

Documents of Russian spacecraft manufacturer RSC Energia available to Sputnik show that installation of star sensors, manual control devices, an evaporative system, additional engines and oxygen cylinders are necessary to ensure the spacecraft's flights to the Moon.

One artist’s concept of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, the next flyby target for NASA’s New Horizons mission - Sputnik International
NASA Reveals VIDEO of Probe's Close Flyby of Asteroid on Solar System's Edge
In 2017, former head of RSC Energia, Vladimir Solntsev, said that several people appealed to the corporation to fly around the Moon and are ready to pay $120 million for a ticket. He called such flight possible in 2021-2022. In this case, the modernization of the Soyuz for the flight around the Moon required $500 million.

In late June, Rogozin said that manned flights to the Moon on the Soyuz spacecraft are possible, while the development of the new Federation spacecraft is being completed. The development of a new spacecraft designed specifically for flights to the Moon has been underway since 2009.

READ MORE: NASA Administrator Accepts Roscosmos Invitation to Visit Russia

China's lunar rover Yutu-2, or Jade Rabbit 2 rolling onto the far side of the moon taken by the Chang'e-4 lunar probe is seen in this image provided by China National Space Administration January 4, 2019. - Sputnik International
US, China to Share, Publicly Release Data From Dark Side of the Moon - NASA
On January 17, Rogozin announced that RSC Energia could create new Federation spacecraft and, at the same time, upgrade the Soyuz spacecraft for flights to the Moon.

In addition, he said that Roscosmos was expecting new negotiating positions with NASA on the near-Moon station in connection with the start of the upgrade of the Soyuz spacecraft for flights to the Moon.

NASA did not respond to Sputnik's question whether it really turned to Russia with a proposal to create a backup manned space system. Roscosmos also could not quickly respond to Sputnik's request about the sources of the project's funding.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала