At the round table, which was devoted to cooperation between the two countries in the field of satellite navigation, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin spoke about the fact that Russia is preparing to develop the solar system "hand in hand" from the Middle Kingdom. The round table was held in Harbin, China, within the framework of the exhibition “The First Russian-Chinese EXPO”. At the same exhibition for the first time, photographs of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev were presented. Dmitry Rogozin stressed that space navigation is only one of the segments of the space services market in which countries can work together. In addition, he noted the possibility of working together in the field of creating space materials and spacecraft, as well as in cartography and communications.
In the future, we could talk about creating our own independent radio component base and developing spacecraft. “It would be a very serious step towards each other in the field of cooperation in space,” said Dmitry Rogozin. After that, no one would have any doubt that Russia, "hand in hand" with the PRC, was ready to develop a manned cosmonautics, ready to take up the exploration of the Moon and Mars, and the entire Solar System as a whole.
According to the Russian vice-premier, the parties deserve to move to a new level of high-quality technological cooperation between the states, and you can start with cooperation in the GLONASS and Beidou projects. According to Rogozin, these programs are perfectly combined with each other. Due to the specifics of these two systems today, we have no real competition in the Northern Hemisphere, especially if we are talking about northern latitudes, the Vice Premier developed his idea. At the same time, China, when creating its own satellite navigation system, expands the orbital constellation to the south. Therefore, GLONASS and "Beidou" could be perfectly combined with each other, complementing one another. In this issue, our countries have a great future.
At the same time, the Russian-Chinese space exploration event took place against the background of continuing failures that are haunting our country in this area. Dmitry Rogozin himself noted a high accident rate and stressed that it was simply impossible to put up with this state of affairs. Currently, the Russian Federation is carrying out a profound reform of the entire rocket and space industry, its goal is to catch up with technological progress, Rogozin stressed. According to him, deep reforms in this area should eventually lead to the consolidation of the entire Russian rocket and space industry.
The last of the major accidents in the Russian space industry occurred in May 2014. As a result of the collapse of the Proton-M, Russia has lost its most powerful communications satellite, which has never been launched into orbit. Among the versions of the incident was considered even sabotage. In addition, in the planned time frame it was not possible to test the latest Russian ecologically clean Angara missile. But this launch, although it was postponed several times, did take place. The first tests of the light rocket were successful.
But even despite all the recent failures, the round table in Harbin ended on a rather optimistic note. A memorandum of understanding was signed on cooperation in global navigation satellite systems. From the Chinese side, it was signed by the Satellite Navigation Office, and from the Russian side - by the Federal Space Agency. This memorandum establishes a new level of cooperation between the two states in space exploration.
Russia loses space race to China
At present, Russia is losing the space race to China, this is becoming noticeable even in numerical terms. The Angara launch vehicle family is the mirror that reflects all the pros and cons of the post-Soviet space industry. In the advantages of modern Russia, it is possible to write down the ability to create fairly complex space technology (although, for the most part, we are talking about rockets). The disadvantages, of course, include the failure to meet the deadlines of the projects. The same "Angara" was developed almost 20 years, if you count from the moment of determining the winner in the competition of projects. Also in the passive of our space industry is cost overruns and inefficiencies. To these criteria, the Accounts Chamber of Russia turned its attention back in the year 2013. The Russian Angara will become a rather expensive rocket, and its price may adversely affect its future, especially if the Americans and the same Chinese succeed in creating rockets with a lower prime cost of putting the payload into orbit, and that’s it.
At the same time, for Russia, it is the commercial market for the delivery of various goods into space that continues to be the segment where we still maintain leadership. About 40% of Russian rockets fly into space exclusively with foreign payload in the form of various satellites and astronauts. However, in the scale of the entire modern economy of space, this is a very small segment, it accounts for less than 1% (about 2 billion dollars). With the arrival of new competitors in this market, there is a high probability that Russia will have to seriously make room here.
In the very near future, in the space race, Russia can finally press down precisely China. Currently, the number of satellites operating in orbit in Russia and China has become equal: in 3 last year, China brought the number of satellites to 117 units (an increase of 72%), and Russia - to 118 units (an increase in 20%). At the same time, at the end of 2013, China launched its first lunar rover, which successfully landed on the moon. By 2020, the Celestial Empire expects to land a man on the Moon and build its first full-fledged orbital station. Currently, China has already caught up with the United States in the number of missile launches, and in terms of the pace of development of the space industry, it has just come out on top in the world.
Today, China is far ahead of our country in the number of non-military satellites in orbit, designed to study meteorology, Earth exploration, space exploration and the development of its technologies. At the same time, China will not stop there. Euroconsult experts believe that only from 2013 to 2016 years will China launch about its satellites around 100 - the most in the world. It is important to note the quality component. Today, the average expected time of operation of Chinese satellites is 7,4 of the year, Russian - 6,3 of the year. For comparison: in Europe and the USA - 10,2 and 9,9, respectively).
At the same time, the expenditures of the Russian Federation on space exploration alone over the last 10 years grew immediately in 14 times, last year our country spent about 10 billions of dollars on space, which is 14% of total world government spending in this area. Despite the fact that Russia is one of the leaders in terms of costs, our country occupies only peripheral positions in terms of income from space. According to estimates given by RBC, today the Russian Federation accounts for no more than 1,6% of the revenue of the entire global commercial space, which, according to expert estimates, is estimated at 240 billions of dollars a year.
At the same time, Russia may lose its leadership in commercial starts. All participants in the race - the USA, China and the EU - are creating their own new spacecraft and rockets, including for the delivery of cargo and pilots aboard the ISS. For example, after the start of flights of the space shuttles Dragon, which are produced by the American company SpaceX, the demand for domestic transport workers Progress immediately fell by a third. Vitaly Lopota, who is the head of RSC Energia, told reporters about this. At the same time, in the development of SpaceX, there is also a new heavy-class Falcon Heavy rocket, which is able to put up to 53 tons of various cargoes into low reference orbits for just 1,5-2,5 thousands of dollars per 1 kg. The PRC is currently also working on relatively inexpensive Long March 5 / 7 heavy rockets, and by the year 2020 hopes to bring its share of commercial launches to 15%. It expects to make a country that in 2013 did not make a single commercial launch.
The newest Russian rocket "Angara", whose first flight was to take place as early as 2005, attracted the attention of auditors from the Russian Chamber of Accounts. The auditors concluded that the funds that were invested in the project over almost 20 years of work (an unprecedented time for world practice) have multiplied the cost of this rocket many times over. At the same time, the exact cost of the finished rockets has not yet been disclosed. Judging by the cost of the engines for the first stage, the upper stage and the complex of launch services, the price of one Angara-5 rocket (a heavy version of the PH) that can deliver tons of cargo to 24,5 orbit can reach 100 million dollars. Shipping cost - 4,1 thousand dollars per 1 kg of cargo. This exceeds not only the cost of shipping Falcon Heavy cargoes (from 1,5 to 2,5 thousands of dollars for 1 kg), but also the existing Proton-M missiles (3,3 thousands of dollars per 1 kg).
Russia is very inefficient spending money on space
From all this follows the fact that Russia is not efficiently spending money on space. According to the Space Report 2014, the total government spending on space in all countries of the world in 2013 amounted to 74,1 billion dollars. At the same time, more than half (41,3 billion) fell on the United States. However, Russia has spent a lot of money - 10 billion dollars. Over 10 years, costs have increased 14 times. Currently, with 47 dollars for every 10000 dollars of the country's GDP, Russia ranks first in the ranking of government spending on space, in the United States this figure is equal to 25 dollars, and in the PRC only 4 dollars.
Money in space in Russia do not regret. Within the framework of the implementation of the new state program “Space Activity of Russia for 2013-2020”, it is planned to allocate an impressive amount - 1,8 trillion rubles. But the one who "looks" at this figure has a question: how effectively were the funds spent on the previous program, for which 2006 trillion rubles was allocated from 0,5 onwards? According to the previous state program of development of the Russian rocket and space industry, the Russian share in the world market of rocket and space technology was supposed to increase from 11% to 21% to 2015 year. But now, as reported by RBC with reference to ORKK (United Rocket and Space Corporation), this proportion is 12%. That is, it almost did not change compared with the rate reached 8 years ago. At the same time, in the new state program this indicator is planned to be brought only to the 16% by the 2020 year.
Under the 2006 program of the year, it was planned that the share of modern industrial equipment at the enterprises of the industry (age of equipment less than 10 years) by 2015 will increase from 3% to 35%. However, according to ORKK, this indicator was able to bring only to 12%. To date, more than 70% of technological equipment, which is already older than 20 years, is used in the Russian rocket and space industry. The sad situation with patents. During the period from 2000 to 2008, our country accounted for only 1% of patents related to the space industry, for the USA - 50%. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the fact that in Russia the space industry is patented 3 times more often than others.
The audit by the Accounts Chamber of 15 targets and indicators that were set for the 2010 year showed that only 6 (40%) was fulfilled, 2011 (10%) in 66,7, and 2012 (11%). At the same time, the number of Russian satellites launched into Earth orbit in 73,3-2010 amounted to only 2012% of the planned targets, which is significantly below the required level. At the same time, the cost of developing Russian satellites in 47,1 is several times higher than foreign standards, and their operational and technical characteristics are very low, and their accident rate is growing. According to the auditors, in recent years, the industry has practically "formed a system of collective irresponsibility." Roskosmos, which simultaneously performed both the functions of the manufacturer and the functions of the customer, and sometimes the operator of various space systems, in practice was not responsible either for the execution of tasks or for their deadlines. All this has led to a situation that we now have and can be corrected which, perhaps, can only be achieved through a deep reform of the entire industry.