US wants to find a replacement for the Soyuz spacecraft and Russian engines

The US aerospace agency NASA is going to abandon the use of Russian transport manned spacecraft "Soyuz-TMA" in favor of similar devices of its own production. Currently, American astronauts are delivered aboard the ISS with the help of the Russian Soyuz. In the coming weeks, NASA may sign a contract with one of the private American firms for the construction of shuttle spacecraft to be used for flights to the ISS. This is done in order to avoid dependence on Russian spacecraft and Soyuz rockets.

According to the publication of The Washington Post, the conclusion of a multi-billion dollar contract for the construction of American spacecraft will breathe new strength into the US space program, which is experiencing certain difficulties. Journalists of the publication write that instead of paying 70 million dollars for a place in the Soyuz, this contract will allow the States to send astronauts from the territory of the United States for the first time in many years.

According to the publication, currently there are three main competing companies to enter into this contract. We are talking about two newcomers to the space industry - Sierra Nevada and SpaceX, as well as such a veteran of the industry as the concern Boeing. While the designers of Boeing and SpaceX are working on creating a capsule to deliver American astronauts to orbit, the third company, Sierra Nevada, is probably the most interesting proposal at the moment. We are talking about a spacecraft, which resembles a reduced model of the space shuttle and can be used from ordinary runways.


The Washington Post journalists emphasize that the launch of the first crew in the new American spacecraft was scheduled for 2015 year, but because of problems with budget funding, it was postponed to 2017 year. The American Aerospace Agency expects that the new shuttle will be able to make an average of two trips to the ISS every year. At the same time, the newspaper does not disclose the sources from which they received this information.

The idea of ​​sending astronauts to the ISS on "their" spacecraft for a long time excites the minds of representatives of the American aerospace community. Talk about this began after the Space Shuttle manned program was finally curtailed in the past decade. These ships were very interesting in their own way, but their operation, apparently, was very expensive even for the US budget. For this reason, over the past few years, Americans have been flying to the ISS only with the help of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. At the same time, the contract for the implementation of such shipments between Roscosmos and NASA is constantly extended.

The latest version of this contract is valid until the end of 2020. This date is not accidental, as the Russian Federation does not yet see the need to extend the station’s operation after the end of the current decade. At the same time, the ISS for the United States is indeed an important object. The sanctions that Washington imposed on the Russian space industry before the aggravation of the situation in Ukraine - in the summer of 2013, had no effect on the flights of American astronauts on the ISS. Even at the moment when large-scale hostilities began in eastern Ukraine, the United States and Russia continued to fulfill their contractual obligations to deliver astronauts onboard the ISS. Although after increasing pressure on Russia, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin threatened American politicians in his usual manner that if the situation developed in this vein, the Americans would have to send their astronauts to the International Space Station on a trampoline.

Dragon V2

At the same time, using as an excuse the events taking place in Ukraine, aerospace companies from the United States probably began to put pressure on the aerospace agency and the government of the country, demanding increased funding for space programs that are aimed at developing American means of delivery into space. Most likely, the publication in the newspaper The Washington Post should be considered as an element of information pressure, noted in the Russian edition of "Expert".

Currently, one of the main contenders for the conclusion of a billion-dollar contract with NASA is the young company SpaceX. The company, which was created by billionaire Elon Musk, at the end of May 2014, held the first presentation of its updated Dragon spacecraft - Dragon V2. According to the creators of this unit, he can deliver the crew of 7 astronauts to the ISS, and then return them back to Earth, landing at any point on the planet. The presentation emphasized that the Dragon V2 is a reusable ship.

The spacecraft Dragon V2 was designed with the financial support of NASA. His first flight with astronauts on the ISS was to be held next year, but was moved to 2017 year. During his presentation, the cost of one seat in this spacecraft, 20 million dollars, was announced. It is planned that the ship will be used not only to deliver American astronauts to the ISS, but also to visit the space station by scientists and wealthy space tourists from different countries. It is Dragon V2 that is currently being considered by NASA as a direct replacement for domestic Soyuz spacecraft.

Soyuz FG carrier rocket

On the one hand, American successes in this direction are obvious. The American industry has really almost completed the work on creating a very cheap (in terms of place) “half-cash”. The “Ghetch” is because the Dragon can only independently descend from orbit, where it is taken by the new one-time launch vehicle Falcon 9. And it is precisely this rocket that conceals a hidden threat.

At the moment, the whole world (with the exception of China) uses exclusively the Soyuz carrier rocket with the same spacecraft on board to deliver people into space. Such a commitment to Russian space products is not accidental. Since the time of Yury Gagarin’s flight into space, Russian (formerly Soviet) spacecraft and their delivery vehicles have been the most reliable on the planet. The last 20 years for these purposes is used rocket "Soyuz-U". This launch vehicle on 850 of perfect launches has a total 21 failure (at the same time, all unsuccessful launches occurred only with a load, not a single case with cosmonauts). Another Russian rocket, Soyuz-FG, which was specially created to launch the Soyuz-TMA and Progress cargo ships to the ISS, has already made 48 successful launches from 48 since the beginning of the 21st century. The reliability confirmed by long operation.

At the same time, the American Falcon 9 rocket, which is also manufactured by SpaceX, managed to make the entire 4 launch with the Dragon spacecraft on board. The difference, as they say, is obvious. In this case, if NASA in fact decides ahead of time (before accumulating reliable statistics on crash-free flights) to transfer from the Soyuz to the American spacecraft now being built and their means of delivery into orbit, the risk to the lives of astronauts seems to be quite serious.

Launch of Falcon 9

Rocket engines from Russia are also looking for a replacement.

In the USA, they would like to refuse not only the forced use of the Soyuz, but also the Russian rocket engines. The command of the US Air Force promulgated a request for information on rocket engines that will be used on American launch vehicles to deliver various cargoes into orbit. According to the Defense News, new rocket engines should replace the RD-180 - Russian-made closed-cycle liquid-propellant rocket engines, although it is not directly reported in the published request.

The US military is ready to consider various options, including the production or creation of analogs of the RD-180, or the development of another type of rocket engines that could be used with advanced EELV launch vehicles. According to the published requirements of the US military, new rocket engines should be relatively inexpensive, commercially viable for use on launch vehicles, and quite effective.

It is reported that the proposals from the development companies will be accepted until September 19 of the current year. After this date, it is planned to hold a tender for the creation and supply of rocket engines. At the end of May 2014, the Senate Committee on Armed Forces of the United States has already proposed to allocate 100 millions of dollars to create a rocket engine in the United States that could replace the engines purchased in Russia.

Currently, the United States is forced to regularly acquire in our country the RD-180 rocket engines, which in America are used on Atlas V missiles created by Lockheed Martin. 21 August, it was reported that the 2 first RD-180 rocket engines were received by the United Company United Launch Alliance. The engines from Russia were delivered as part of the contract for the production of this type of 29 rocket engines. At the same time, this is the first delivery of RD-180 power units after the annexation of Crimea to Russia.

Currently, the production of rocket engines RD-180 is engaged in the Russian scientific and production association "Energomash" them. Glushko. These rocket engines use kerosene as fuel, and oxygen acts as an oxidizing agent. The running time of these engines is 270 seconds. One such engine is able to develop thrust in 390,2 ton-force at sea level and 423,4 ton-force in vacuum conditions. Gross engine weight is 5,9 tons, diameter - 3,2 meters, height - 3,6 meters.

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  1. +8
    28 August 2014 08: 51
    Rogozin offered them a good option smile
    1. +5
      28 August 2014 10: 44
      Trampoline or slingshot?
      1. +8
        28 August 2014 16: 25
        Quote: Mareman Vasilich
        Trampoline or slingshot?

        This is a two-stage system ...
        1. +1
          29 August 2014 08: 44
          forced slingshot using the Einstein-Rosen tunnel, antimatter and quantum gravidynamics .... wassat
        2. +3
          31 August 2014 19: 48
          Quote: Alex
          This is a two-stage system ...

          Cool. But really, what are the Americans so suddenly concerned about their own starting systems?
          1. 0
            8 August 2017 22: 49
            They have their own import substitution.
  2. +16
    28 August 2014 08: 55
    Do not despair too much or hope that Americans are not lucky. Everything is going as it should go. Sooner or later - but rather sooner, the mattresses will find a replacement for our engines and our alliances. We ourselves need to more realistically approach this issue. Americans do not need us in space exploration. We must either create a station ourselves or with the Chinese and begin our further journey into space - but only without the Americans.
    1. 0
      28 August 2014 09: 22
      It is necessary to create an orbital lunar intermediate station to create a lunar base.
      1. +3
        29 August 2014 01: 05
        Quote: bmv04636
        Need to create lunar orbital intermediate station

        So nevertheless:
        -or intermediate
        Quote: bmv04636
        for creation moonlight base.
      2. 0
        8 August 2017 22: 51
        If sleepwalkers give a visa.
    2. +2
      28 August 2014 10: 56
      So the fact of the matter is that the real space programs for all the time at mattress makers have always been implemented at the expense of others (even the space shuttle gunpowder in accelerators did not work until they spianed the formula from the USSR and used it all the time) Apollo is very expensive, the engines are uneconomical the program was closed, "atlas" uses the RD-180, the falcon too, so ... hi
    3. +3
      28 August 2014 12: 34
      This is what we should leave the ISS from and create everything from scratch. We don’t have any money or we invested less than the rest. Well, no.
      1. 0
        12 March 2018 21: 18
        There are two compartments on the Russian ISS, and the rest is the USA, Europe ...
    4. +1
      28 August 2014 15: 00
      Quote: Archikah
      create a station with the Chinese

      With these problems, then the station’s clones at each bazaar will be sold
    5. Voronbit
      29 August 2014 17: 31
      NASA’s statement-in 18-a small load into deep space-70 tons. It’s not clear yet chemical missiles -... well, fluorine ....----- all further engines-separation from our orbit ... if amers had a way to deliver our atmosphere through 170 tons ... without burning everything underneath with radiation, it would be cool
    6. timer
      1 September 2014 21: 31
      I doubt one thing, at the expense of the station and the Chinese.
      I think it is necessary to organize a consortium with a leading role in Russia (including as the main recipient of the benefits of operation) to build not a station, but a lunar base for research. Surely the Moon will give us a lot of interesting things.
    7. 0
      2 September 2014 00: 22
      Quote: Archikah
      We must either create a station ourselves or with the Chinese and begin our further journey into space - but only without the Americans.

      Russia is the parent of Space stations! And what does America have to do with it? China is a copywriter.
  3. +2
    28 August 2014 09: 14
    It is clear that they will find a replacement, but what will it be for them? After all, ours do not stand still, whatever they say about dense stagnation in this area. While on the Dragon people they are afraid to run. Apparently not just like that. Most likely, our paths will diverge with the Americans. Too different principles are laid in the foundations of cosmonautics. Hopefully our principles will triumph.
    1. +2
      28 August 2014 14: 19
      Moreover, development and implementation is not a year or two. Not the fact that will come out. Globalization has gone far enough.
      dragon is not a bad machine, but do you need a 7 seater shuttle? a one-time launch of the "Dragon" is 2 times more expensive than the "Union" Hence the question, will this minibus go half-empty?
    2. Voronbit
      29 August 2014 18: 24
      I'm sorry. but the principles are laid down the same believe me - if our son1 has a true love for the Motherland. I am a techie, but I'm Russian .... we would have to defend our own in the Arctic and many many generations before me - we don’t throw ......... and then we didn’t give a shit about the Basfor -------- we-Russians don’t leave us
      1. -1
        31 August 2014 18: 17
        That's it! That in American or Russian, not to mention other countries, promising technologies, the old basic physical principles are laid down, on which engines and propulsors are created. It is fundamentally important now to understand to politicians, on whose actions the future of the whole people depends, that those who fulfill their order in the field of scientific and technological achievements should always have an alternative to what scientists offer them.
        Looking even at the appearance of the rd-180 engine, we can say that the key device, namely the turbo fuel supercharger, is built on old physical principles. This means that with the increased parameters of the payload of the rocket’s useful take-off weight ordered by the customer, it is these turbofuel superchargers that are not able to fulfill their tasks. This also means that there is no scientific justification for increasing the throughput and working efficiency of the supercharger. Everything again rests on basic scientific theories without which it is impossible to start an algorithmic physical process.
        1. 0
          1 September 2014 15: 00
          It’s time for politicians to hammer one phrase into their heads, I will quote (although I don’t remember the author) - External "coolness" and show-off do not affect the laws of physics!
  4. +2
    28 August 2014 09: 21
    "... This is a space plane that resembles a scaled-down model of a space shuttle and can be used from conventional runways."

    I wonder how this airplane is going to go into space, is there atomic hydrogen as a fuel? :-)
    1. 0
      28 August 2014 17: 51
      Quote: saag
      go out there that atomic hydrogen is the fuel

      And what about atomic hydrogen in the world, are there any shifts? In the eighties I also read about the possibility of a man taking off into space, and the size of the shuttle in a passenger car. So it seems that the problem with atomic hydrogen has not been solved.
      1. 0
        31 August 2014 20: 49
        Not a single device in the form of a fuel mixer and an oxidizer is capable of meeting the mixing speed in order to ensure a productive process. Therefore, what you call atomic hydrogen and what it means to be an atomic oxidizer can only be obtained in one way. It is necessary to blow up an already mixed product. All and at the same time in each serving portion, And this is done very simply.
    2. 0
      31 August 2014 05: 08
      Dear saag, look for materials on our MAKS system. Everything will become clear to you.
    3. 0
      31 August 2014 20: 44
      Yes, they are generally dreamers. You ask who they have in the DARPA selection commissions for promising projects. They think that from the fact that you will change the design of the aircraft they will fly better. This is a laugh.
    4. 0
      8 August 2017 23: 01
      This is not an airplane, but a space ship, so it will go on oars.
  5. +2
    28 August 2014 09: 26
    Honestly, I'm not very upset about the cessation of US engine sales. We need to make new ships, and engines for them will need new ones. And let Omeriga herself look for ways out of this situation. Cooperation and cooperation have a more promising future for both countries, but you will not be forcibly sweet. And the mericos, quite logically and fairly, does not want to depend on the import of engines or to stand in line for a flight into space on our carrier, and the flag is in their hands. The rivalry also bore fruit; let us recall the dawn of astronautics and the lunar race, how many finds were made and realized.
  6. axiles100682
    28 August 2014 09: 32
    That's where in the space industry it would be better to join forces. If we have mastered the near-earth orbit and get the benefits from it, then with long-range space exploration everything is much more complicated. Alone, development is too costly for any country.
  7. 0
    28 August 2014 09: 39
    Given the fact that the Americans have made up for their space industry for 10 years, they need another 20 years to catch up.
  8. +5
    28 August 2014 09: 42
    (in this case, all unsuccessful launches occurred only with the load, not a single case with the astronauts).

    Sorry, but this is not entirely true. Soyuz T-10-1 exploded in 1983, the crew was saved by an emergency rescue system. Although the astronauts were not injured, but this launch was manned and not successful.
  9. 0
    28 August 2014 09: 49
    The trampoline is the American "everything" in the space program.
  10. +1
    28 August 2014 10: 13
    The US simply cannot repeat our RD 180, where they can create their new. Well done Chinese, they were given our technologies and they clearly copied everything. Remember what a sharp breakthrough they had, and if they were so smart, let them fly on a broomstick.
  11. 0
    28 August 2014 10: 39
    Some genius will appear that will give an impetus to space exploration. We hang out in orbit. They could have mastered the moon for a long time. And so I want to plow the expanses of our galaxy.
    1. +3
      28 August 2014 11: 56
      "We" do not hang out in orbit, but do a bunch of useful things that give tangible ECONOMIC BENEFITS (communications, cartography, meteorology, geological exploration, etc.). "We could have mastered the moon for a long time." What for? What will it give? Of course, work in the direction of the moon needs to be done, for the future, so to speak. With a clear understanding that the return will not be soon.
  12. 0
    28 August 2014 11: 12
    It is unlikely that they will be able to create an analogue of the Russian closed-loop engine RD-180. So they will pay for the launch a couple of tens of percent more ...
  13. +2
    28 August 2014 11: 33
    The right to seek a replacement is not a sin, but for now, in the case of ...:
  14. +5
    28 August 2014 11: 52
    While the Americans can create their own rocket engine, nuclear-powered engines will be created in Russia. The Americans on "kerosene" in their egg will fly to the ISS in 2017, and in Russia in 2018 the FIRST flight on a ship with nuclear-powered engines is planned !!!!!! And there it is not far to a flight into deep space. In the field of nuclear power plants, the United States is hopelessly behind the Russian Federation. No wonder they at the UN pushed a ban on the use of such installations - because they could not create anything of the kind.

    Here is an interesting article:
    Already at the end of this decade, a spacecraft for nuclear-powered interplanetary travel can be created in Russia. And this will dramatically change the situation both in near-Earth space and on the Earth itself.
    The nuclear reactor for the future high-power space nuclear power plant (NEPP) will be ready in Russia by the end of 2014. And the YaEDU itself will be ready for flight in 2018. This was announced by the director of the Keldysh Center, academician Anatoly Koroteev. “We have to prepare the first sample (of a nuclear power plant of a megawatt class. - Approx." Expert Online ") for flight tests in 2018. Whether it flies or not, that's another matter, there may be a queue, but it must be ready for flight, "RIA Novosti told him. This means that one of the most ambitious Soviet-Russian projects in the field of space exploration is entering the phase of immediate practical implementation.
    The essence of this project, whose roots go back to the middle of the last century, is this. Now flights to the near-Earth space are carried out on rockets that move due to the combustion of liquid or solid fuel in their engines. In fact, this is the same engine as in the car. Only in a car gasoline, burning, pushes pistons in the cylinders, transferring its energy to the wheels through them. And in a rocket engine, burning kerosene or heptyl directly pushes the rocket forward.

    Over the past half century, this rocket technology has been worked out all over the world to the smallest detail. But the rocket scientists themselves acknowledge that further development is problematic. To improve - yes, it is necessary. Trying to increase the carrying capacity of missiles from the current 23 tons to 100 and even 150 tons based on "advanced" combustion engines - yes, you need to try. But this is a dead end in terms of evolution. “No matter how many rocket engine specialists all over the world work, the maximum effect that we will get will be calculated in fractions of percent. Roughly speaking, everything has been squeezed out of existing rocket engines, whether it’s liquid or solid fuel, and attempts to increase thrust and specific impulse are simply futile. Nuclear power plants, however, give an increase of several times. Using the example of a flight to Mars, now you need to fly one and a half to two years there and back, but it will be possible to fly in two or four months, ”ex-head of the Russian Federal Space Agency Anatoly Perminov assessed the situation at the time.
    1. 0
      28 August 2014 12: 01
      Quote: JonnyT
      nuclear powered engines will be created in Russia.

      RD-0410 back in the 70s was created and tested both in the traction version and in the power generating version, they will "create" aha
      1. Voronbit
        29 August 2014 17: 37
        .... this is a type of flight f-111 ----- self-propelled guns disconnected- and u1 no planning-stupidly-pique
    2. +2
      28 August 2014 13: 01
      Quote: JonnyT
      While the Americans can create their own engine for missiles, nuclear-powered engines will be created in Russia

      What is it - come on immediately anti-gravity! Dreaming is not harmful.
      1. +1
        28 August 2014 14: 05
        Quote: Bayonet
        What is it - come on immediately anti-gravity! Dreaming is not harmful.

        Dreaming is really not bad! I just don’t understand your sarcasm. The experimental setup has already been created, work is being carried out according to plan. In the field of creating a nuclear power plant in the Russian Federation, vast experience and world leadership. The road will be overcome by a walker!
      2. +1
        28 August 2014 16: 33
        Quote: Bayonet
        What is it - come on immediately anti-gravity! Dreaming is not harmful.

        Researchers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA, have discovered that the microwave engine system can run without fuel and produce a small amount of traction. This publication Wired UK announced on July 31. If this technology can be developed, the result could be cheaper and faster flights into space.
        Ironically, however, NASA recognized the reality of this technology, it took years ... and the Chinese team, which last year tested the performance of the microwave accelerator, invented by British scientist Roger Shower.
        The concept and prototype of the so-called EmDrive have existed for years, during which Shower unsuccessfully tried to convince that he really created an accelerator that can operate only on electricity, without the need to use rocket fuel, by reflecting microwave radiation in a closed container. Even despite a series of demonstration systems, critics were not ready to accept such a technology, claiming that it violates the law of conservation of energy.
        Now, the American scientist Guido Fetta, built his own model of a microwave engine, persuading NASA to still test it. The results were published two days ago, at the 50th Joint Propulsion Conference. And, surprisingly, they are positive.

        Physicists have long relished the idea of ​​realizing the Alcubierre bubble. Until now, it was believed that the curvature of space-time would require unrealistically high energy costs. Several other problems were discovered, including the possibility of annihilating stellar systems at the destination upon arrival of the ship.
        However, NASA engineer Harold White is confident that there is a way to significantly reduce energy costs. He convinced NASA management to conduct an experiment to create Alcubierre bubbles in the laboratory to test the theory, writes New Scientist.
        Harold White explains that for ease of perception, a star ship with a warp engine can be imagined as an American football ball with a toroidal ring surrounding it.
        1. The comment was deleted.
        2. 0
          29 August 2014 15: 38
          Quote: And Us Rat
          The concept and prototype of the so-called EmDrive

          Quote: And Us Rat
          Physicists have long relished the idea of ​​realizing the Alcubierre bubble

          The ideas are interesting, but unfortunately hardly feasible in the near future. Again, these are open space installations, and other systems are required to put spacecraft into orbit. Superstrong nano-carbon tubes are already being created, although it is still of insufficient length, and how we learn to make a cable out of them, we can think about a space elevator!
      3. Voronbit
        29 August 2014 17: 57
        I didn’t understand7 .... but what7 didn’t the chapel come to chemical jet engines7 .... as I understand it, kerdyk.if they started talking about natural gas .... all1111 engineering all111
    3. +3
      29 August 2014 01: 14
      Quote: JonnyT
      and in the Russian Federation in 2018 the first flight on a ship with nuclear-powered engines is planned !!!!!!

      the problem of withdrawal to the LEO remains.
      Not on any nuclear taxiway start is impossible .. (well, except that the great Ukrainians such uchudyat soon)
      Quote: JonnyT
      In the field of nuclear power plants, the United States hopelessly lagged behind the Russian Federation

      NERVA I, NERVA II, KIWI, Pewee and Pewee 2, Phoebus, RIFT System
      Rover / NERVA operating time is 17 engine hours; including 6 hours at temperatures above 2000 K.
      Quote: JonnyT
      Now flights to near-earth space are carried out on rockets that move due to combustion in their engines of liquid or solid fuel.

      Quote: JonnyT
      . Nuclear power plants provide an increase by several times.

      Starting from Earth to YARD is tantamount to suicide: Chernobyl will seem like an easy cold
    4. 0
      8 August 2017 23: 20
      I absolutely agree with you. Jet thrust dead end branch. I would like to hope that somewhere deep in the basement of the research institute, scary classified scientists are developing some kind of anti-graviton that can be inserted into a bucket of VAZ or GAZ and fly spitting up from the top onto GAI officers,
      until they inserted the same into their bucket.
  15. +3
    28 August 2014 11: 54
    Therefore, in 2010, the President of Russia, and now the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, ordered that, by the end of this decade, a space transport and energy module be created in our country based on a megawatt-class nuclear power plant. It is planned to allocate 2018 billion rubles from the federal budget, Roscosmos and Rosatom to develop this project until 17. 7,2 billion from this amount was allocated to Rosatom state corporation for the creation of a reactor installation (the Dollezhal Research and Design Institute of Energy Engineering is involved in this), 4 billion to the Keldysh Center for the creation of a nuclear power plant. 5,8 billion rubles is intended for RSC Energia to create a transport and energy module, that is, in other words, a rocket-ship.

    Naturally, all these works are not done from scratch. From 1970 to 1988, only the USSR launched into space more than three dozen spy satellites equipped with low-power nuclear power plants of the Buk and Topaz type. They were used to create an all-weather surveillance system for surface targets throughout the oceans and to provide target designation with the transfer of weapons to command vehicles or command posts - the system of marine space reconnaissance and target designation "Legend" (1978 year).
    NASA and the American companies manufacturing spacecraft and their delivery vehicles have not been able during this time, although they tried three times, to create a nuclear reactor that would work stably in space. Therefore, in 1988, through the UN, a ban was made on the use of spacecraft with nuclear power propulsion systems, and the production of US-A satellites with nuclear powered nuclear weapons on board in the Soviet Union was discontinued.

    In parallel, in the 60-70 years of the last century, the Keldysh Center carried out active work to create an ion engine (electroplasma engine), which is most suitable for creating a large-capacity propulsion system that runs on nuclear fuel. The reactor generates heat, it is converted by the generator into electricity. With the help of electricity, the inert gas xenon in such an engine is first ionized, and then positively charged particles (positive xenon ions) are accelerated in the electrostatic field to a given speed and create traction, leaving the engine. This is the principle of operation of the ion engine, a prototype of which has already been created at the Keldysh Center.
    “In the 90 of the XX century, we at the Keldysh Center resumed work on ion engines. Now a new cooperation should be created for such a powerful project. There is already a prototype of the ion engine, on which you can work out the basic technological and structural solutions. And regular products still need to be created. We have a deadline set - by the 2018 year the product should be ready for flight tests, and by the 2015 year the main engine development should be completed. Next - life tests and tests of the entire unit as a whole, ”said the head of the Department of Electrophysics at the MVV Research Center last year. Keldysh, professor at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Department of Aerophysics and Space Research Oleg Gorshkov.
    1. 0
      29 August 2014 15: 45
      Quote: JonnyT
      From 1970 to 1988, only the USSR launched into space more than three dozen spy satellites equipped with low-power nuclear power plants such as the Buk and Topaz.

      The units were designed to generate electricity supplying the on-board equipment, but they were not engines!
    2. 0
      29 August 2014 15: 58
      Quote: JonnyT
      In parallel, in the 60-70s of the last century, the Keldysh Center conducted active work on the creation of an ion engine (electroplasma engine), which is most suitable for creating a large-capacity propulsion system that runs on nuclear fuel.

      The ion engine is a well-developed in practice and historically the first variety of electric rocket engine. The disadvantage of the ion engine is SMALL THRUST (for example, accelerating a spacecraft with a car mass from zero to one hundred km / h requires more than two days of continuous operation of the ion engine), which cannot be increased due to space charge limitations. However, the low fuel consumption (more precisely, the working fluid) and the long operating time of the ion engine allows for a long period of time to disperse a lightweight spacecraft to decent speeds. Scope: control of the orientation and orbit position of artificial Earth satellites (some satellites are equipped with dozens of low-power ion engines) and the use of a small automatic space station as the main traction engine. The working fluid is ionized gas (argon, xenon, etc.).
  16. +3
    28 August 2014 11: 55
    What is the practical benefit of Russia from these developments? This benefit far exceeds the 17 billion rubles that the state intends to spend before 2018 on the creation of a launch vehicle with a nuclear power plant on board with an 1 MW capacity. Firstly, this is a sharp expansion of the capabilities of our country and humanity in general. A spacecraft with a nuclear engine gives real opportunities for people to travel to Mars and other planets. Now many countries are developing such ships. They also resumed in the United States in 2003, after two samples of Russian satellites with nuclear power plants came to the Americans. However, despite this, a member of the NASA special mission on manned flight, Edward Crowley, for example, believes that Russian nuclear engines should be on board the ship for an international flight to Mars. “Russian experience in the field of nuclear engine development is in demand. I think Russia has a great deal of experience both in the development of rocket engines and in nuclear technology. She also has extensive experience in adapting humans to space conditions, as Russian astronauts made very long flights, ”Crowley told reporters last spring after a lecture at Moscow State University on American plans for manned space exploration.

    Secondly, such ships can sharply intensify activities in near-Earth space and give a real opportunity to start the colonization of the moon (there are already projects for the construction of nuclear power plants on Earth’s satellite). “The use of nuclear power propulsion systems is considered for large manned systems, and not for small spacecraft that can fly on other types of installations using ion engines or solar wind energy. IEDs with ion engines can be used on an interorbital reusable tug. For example, carry loads between low and high orbits, fly to asteroids. You can create a reusable lunar tugboat or send an expedition to Mars, ”said Professor Oleg Gorshkov. Such ships are dramatically changing the economy of space exploration. According to calculations by RSC Energia specialists, a nuclear-powered launch vehicle reduces the cost of putting payload into a lunar orbit by more than two times compared to liquid-propellant rocket engines.
    Thirdly, these are new materials and technologies that will be created during the implementation of this project and then introduced into other industries - metallurgy, mechanical engineering, etc. That is, this is one of such breakthrough projects that can really push the Russian and world economies forward.
    It's not a secret for anyone that the Soviet Union was actively developing the concept of "atomic aircraft" for interplanetary flights. In this regard, we have much more experience than in the USA. So Russia was, is and will be the world leader in the space industry !!!!!
    1. 0
      1 September 2014 22: 44
      This technology does not allow obtaining a sufficient energy density. Moreover, the intermediate stages for obtaining a sufficient level of polarization, and hence the emf, will not allow the creation and are necessary of the so-called thrust vector, and in fact the level of directional and adjustable polarization for moving in space as required. By the way, theoretically and reasonably enough it can be argued that much more efficient and higher energy density can be obtained using not radioactive materials with a vector of radial polarization of the so-called radiation, but simple ones in everyday life, but polarized by well-known liquid metals, like an outflow stream. In this case, ionization with liquid met. and others can be carried out and radioactive "blades". Moreover, the same technology is used in near-earth space, but the ionizer is air.
  17. +1
    28 August 2014 13: 02
    Cosmos will be ours!
    1. 0
      29 August 2014 15: 47
      Quote: borru74
      Cosmos will be ours!

      Yes, please, there are many places ...
  18. +3
    28 August 2014 16: 35
    With "Dragon" and "Falcon" everything is more or less clear, there is nothing particularly new here. But what kind of space plane is planned to replace the Shuttle - that would be interesting ... It's a pity there is practically no information.
    1. 0
      31 August 2014 05: 16
      As it is there is no information. They took our systems "MAKS" and "Spiral" as a basis. Do you think the flight of "Maria" in conjunction with "Buran" was made just like that?
      1. 0
        31 August 2014 16: 18
        Quote: Temer
        As it is there is no information. They took our systems "MAKS" and "Spiral" as a basis. Do you think the flight of "Maria" in conjunction with "Buran" was made just like that?

        * Mriy
  19. -1
    28 August 2014 16: 56
    It is high time. For these decades, the United States has been engaged in slowing down the development of our space industry. They did it very simply: they gave money for the start of research and the production of experimental and design developments for a certain project, the money is scanty, not comparable to the costs if these studies were carried out in the USA. Then, when success in the work of our scientists and engineers was outlined, funding was curtailed, all the research results and documentation were taken away and everything was taken away. Hence the "Dragon" and other "Bibigons".
  20. 0
    29 August 2014 01: 43
    One such engine is able to
    develop a thrust of 390,2 tons-force
    at sea level and at 423,4 tons
    forces in a vacuum. Full
    engine weight is 5,9
    tons, diameter - 3,2 meters,
    height - 3,6 meters.
    Yes, with such power, it is possible to make military missiles, such as hypersonic !?
  21. Uriah Mushroom
    29 August 2014 08: 51
    And I am absolutely sure that nothing will come of the amers, the leaven is not the same! Dumb and dumber, of course, brains can be bought in other countries too, but nothing will come out anyway, the earth will not give birth to more geniuses! Yesterday I listened to an interesting uncle on the radio, an old honored teacher, worked as a physics teacher for about sixty years. So, he just raised the topic of the space industry and bitterly stated that all the best is so far behind! Those people who stood at the origins, such as Tsialkovsky, Korolev, etc., are those on whose development the industry has hitherto been kept, little has been invented! And all because these people studied under the tsarist regime, then there was a completely different system of education, another bunch of teacher-student, modern education, completely degraded ... So you can no longer wait for geniuses from science ... If only a miracle ?
  22. Voronbit
    29 August 2014 17: 45
    who studied physics in the 5th grade guesses that cosmic rockets. launching a cargo into orbit of the earth are different from rockets kicking them further
  23. Voronbit
    29 August 2014 17: 49
    nonetheless. but not the Kama Sutra — all the same — active motions
  24. Sheremetev
    1 September 2014 19: 47
    All attempts by the Americans regarding the replacement of the RD-180 are unlikely, and their "Folkens" are pure bluffs. They are trying to break us, as they once divorced Gorbachev by showing him "cartoons" about Star Wars. The recent accident of "Folken" is the best confirmation of this, besides, the Americans paid more than $ 420 million for another year and a half - until June 2017, although Alon Musk has promised a manned flight before this date. Even the Americans do not believe him. And we sold the RD-180 to them, with the rights to its production - 19 years ago! They promised to put it into production in 2000 - the cart is still there. What Musk was able to do was, by court order, prohibit further contracts for the purchase of the engine, fearing competition.
  25. 0
    2 September 2014 00: 38
    US wants to find a replacement for the Soyuz spacecraft and Russian engines

    It's never too late to "want".
  26. 0
    6 September 2014 15: 18
    And all this illusory carousel convinces me of the correctness of my opinion, there were no Americans on the moon and that's it !!! After 45 years (!!!!), to say that something is expensive is funny!
    Quote: studentmati
    US wants to find a replacement for the Soyuz spacecraft and Russian engines

    Where! In the trash ???
    Hundreds of engine designs on the market, we can’t make a choice !!!!