The Advanced Research Foundation (FPI) plans to implement the Air Start project in 2020-ies - launching an orbital plane (space plan) from a super-heavy transport plane, according to a report by the Public Council attached to the Military Industrial Commission under the Russian government in the State Duma on Tuesday.
"The first step in the way of commercial space exploration can be a multi-purpose aerospace system - a project of a two-stage space designation that was sufficiently developed in 80-90-s, which consists of an aircraft carrier (An-225" Mriya ") and launched from it orbital spacecraft - a rocket glider (spaceplane), called an orbital plane, ”- says one of the paragraphs in the section of priority areas of research and development of FPI.
According to the report, the orbital rocket glider can be both manned and unmanned. The launch of a disposable cargo rocket stage instead of an orbital plane is also considered.
The advantage of the project is that today one of its main elements has been created - the Anh-225 Mriya super heavy transport aircraft, “the construction of which can be resumed with minimal costs while implementing the project to restart the production of the An-124 Ruslan aircraft, Considering that “Mriya” is built on the technologies of “Ruslan” and on the basis of its aggregates, ”the report says.
To test the system, a second copy of the Mriya aircraft can be used, which remains unfinished in Kiev. “The acquisition of this aircraft in the interests of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation is already being discussed,” the report authors say.
Development of the spaceplane and development of launch technologies may take 10-15 years from the moment of the decision to create such a system. “The result will be the construction of the first two or three spaceplanes in the second half of the 2020-s and the launch of commercial launches by the end of the 2020-s,” the report says.
In the future, to deliver cargo to orbit, the authors of the report suggest using a “space elevator”, which may appear during the next few years 60-70.
The authors of the report note that the space shuttles of the type of the Soviet Buran and the American Space Shuttle turned out to be redundant in features and too expensive to operate. “Nevertheless, the very idea of a“ space plane ”- a reusable shuttle that can perform both military and scientific and commercial tasks, continues to be relevant. In the future, this technology, if properly implemented, will dramatically reduce the cost of transporting goods into orbit and open the way to further commercial and military use of space, ”the FPI’s research and development priorities are noted.
In addition to the creation of a spaceplane, the priority areas also included the search for new solutions in the energy sector, the development of military robotics, bioengineering of human organs, the production of human blood, cryopreservation, the creation of a resuscitation robot, the development of network technologies and new transport systems.