In the previous chapter, we very thoroughly and with illustrative examples dismantled the basic postulates of the great Russian design school, which are excellent in space design. However, you need to know one thing. The fact is that the accents are placed here in a slightly different hierarchy, and you wonder why.
The military space industry is significantly different, say, from tank or armory. The cosmic processes of celestial mechanics are those processes and speeds that are difficult for us to imagine just as it is difficult to see a bullet fired from a rifle, and it flies at a speed of "only" 800 m / s. But in order to "pull" into Gagarin’s orbit, you need to give him a speed 10 times the speed of a bullet! It is easy to say “give”, you still need to make sure that it does not turn into a mess. Upon returning to Earth, Yuri Alekseevich showed his famous smile and gave an interview.
It is therefore not surprising that in space technology, reliability has become a top priority, and with a large margin. Agree that if a breakdown occurs in the aforementioned T-34 or IL-2, this is a fixable matter, even for an airplane, but if a small "roughness" happens in a rocket, then this almost always leads to the death of astronauts. Safety, reliability, simplicity - everything in the Korolev rocket is subordinated to these concepts, ranging from engines, multiple backup systems and ending with the famous crew emergency rescue system (CAC).
Emerging hatches on the "Union" have become a kind of "product brand", as the grille on the BMW. Evil tongues, in order to pour at least some spoon of tar into the Soyuz, rant about the "imperfect" indicator of the rocket - about the ratio of the mass of the ship to the payload. In general, this can be challenged, but the matter is quite different. The American cosmonaut, flying in the “seven” on the ISS, completely spit out some kind of “mass” for some attitude, the most important thing is that the “invaluable mass” of his body be delivered to the orbital station in integrity and safety. The same can be said about the American infantryman, who is not at all pleased with the poor accuracy of the AK-47. But he is very worried that his Vietnamese "colleague" is "pouring" him with Kalashnikov bullets, being in the sand, in the mud, in the water. Well, and then the Vietnamese digs into the ground, using a bayonet instead of a shovel and not even bothering to remove it from the machine, it is more convenient. A Marine, if he survives, will shoot from his M-16 in a dash with air conditioners and tell about the good accuracy of his automatic rifle.
We need to recognize, not without pride, that Russia is now the de facto monopolist of manned space flights. Here is the result, as a result of reliability and simplicity. As American astronauts love to say enviously, they “confidently trust Russian Van with a wrench”.
Everything is clear with the Americans in this matter, but not so much with the Chinese. And so I propose to briefly deal with the course of cosmic affairs with our "comrades from the Middle Kingdom."
The space program of the “Middle Empire”, as always, is of a cosmic scale, up to the landing of a man on the moon and an extensive Martian program. We, of course, are interested in knowing the real state of affairs, and the Chinese have done a lot over the past decade, but on the one hand, these achievements are impressive, and on the other, they raise many questions. However - about everything in order.
After two unsuccessful space programs on manned flights, in the third program, the Chinese still managed to get their Gagarin. In 2003, the Celestial Empire became the third power in the world, independently sending man into space. In 2008, China already got its Leonov - a Chinese astronaut went into outer space. Four years later, they had a "Chinese Tereshkova." Moreover, unlike Valentina Vladimirovna, the Chinese girl, with two more astronauts, "managed" to dock with the Chinese orbital module. Well, finally, in 2013, the Chinese moon rover began to drive around Mother Luna. At first glance, everything is impressive, but then the question arises about the price of this success.
The point here is not the cost of start-ups, although I’ll say right away that our G-7 will take Americans for more than a year, it’s nothing to worry about, you will understand why. The problem is the cost of human life.
For obvious reasons, the Chinese space program is informationally woven from white spots and closed by what has created a mass of near-science gossip, to the extent that the Earth is entangled in orbit, like Saturn in rings, consisting of dead Chinese astronauts. The question is not white spots and rumors, but that the Celestial Empire launches its astronauts into orbit on original launch vehicles. We will dwell on them in more detail.
The Chinese “Gagarin” can be congratulated not only on the fact that he has become the third “national” cosmonaut in the world. He became the number one astronaut on the planet who flew into space on heptyl. Briefly explain what it is. Virtually all in the world of liquid-fuel rockets, military and “civilian”, use asymmetric dimethyl hydrazine (heptyl) as a fuel, and nitrogen tetroxide (amyl) as an oxidizer. These are extremely toxic, carcinogenic substances. The tanks with residues of fuel falling to the ground contaminate the surrounding territory, not to mention the moments when an accident occurs on the rocket. However, when the country's defense capability is at stake, such “trifles” as ecology and oncology are not paid attention to. Can you imagine what would happen to the "Greenpeople" if they were on their ship attacking the most "democratic" cosmodrome in the world at Cape Canaveral, as they were previously boarding our drilling platforms? That's right, at best, they would have rotted in some guantanes.
Moreover, this fuel, compared with a kerosene-oxygen pair, has two main advantages. The first is the possibility of long-term storage of the heptyl-amyl pair in a rocket. Agree that it is not very convenient to put a ballistic missile on alert, refueling it with kerosene and oxygen, and then merge it all if the launch is canceled. Another very important advantage is that the “heptyl” launch vehicles are simple in their design. The fact is that when heptyl combines with amyl, spontaneous combustion occurs, and the participation of the third component - the ignition system - is not required, which not only simplifies the rocket’s mechanism, but also gives the entire system a certain degree of reliability.
I will explain with a simple example. For example, a third rocket stage with a cargo consisting of five satellites went into space, and each needs to be placed into an individual orbit. Let me remind you that when we drive in a car, changing the speed, the direction does not change, in celestial mechanics - on the contrary, by changing the speed, we change the orbital trajectory of the satellite. In a word, the rocket engine must be switched on and off repeatedly, you agree, for a “heptyl” rocket it is easy.
In general, even a one-time inclusion of subsequent steps on “kerosene” rockets is a headache for any designer. Judge for yourself: somewhere at a high altitude, three components must simultaneously turn on - kerosene, oxygen, ignition, and before this “happy hour” the rocket was beaten in overloads, it was subjected to vibrations and God knows what else. The problem was so serious that Korolev developed a fundamentally new layout scheme for rocket stages, which became classic in the world "kerosene" rocket production - the engines of the first and second rocket stages should be turned on simultaneously, that is, on the ground. When Sergei Pavlovich made sure with his own eyes that the first and second stages were working, only then did he go to the barn, to swallow validol.
As we can see, the Chinese did not bother with headaches and heart pains, they solved the problem primitively, landing astronauts on the dangerous ballistic missile they produce. Cheap and angry, but for some reason everyone is silent about one serious moral issue - it is absolutely impossible to launch a person into a “heptyl” rocket into space! And the point is not in ecology and oncology, but in the fact that they are extremely explosive!
As you know, heptyl and amyl when ignited in the combustion chamber ignite without any “intermediaries”. However, these two "temperamental guys", also without "witnesses", can "hammer the arrow" in any other place of the rocket (the main condition is the presence of depressurized areas in the tanks), and then a terrible force will explode. There are even easier options. For example, these two substances will “run” along the beaten track back into the combustion chamber, but of a different engine, another stage. It is not difficult to guess that an unauthorized start of the engine will occur, and I already explained how it “without fail” is turned on. Then there will be a monstrous penalty, which will impress even the medieval inquisitors. At first there will be a strong blow “from below”, then, for a few seconds, the astronauts will be strongly squeezed, as if in a “Spanish boot”, and after they will be overtaken by a “cleansing fire” in the form of an explosion, and as a result nothing will remain of the astronauts.
So gossip about Chinese corpses flying in orbit is complete nonsense. I immediately recall the arguments of "liberal experts" about the cost of launches of "Proton" and "Angara". One would like to plant this “market leader” in the “heptyl” “Proton”, so that he would conduct a comparative analysis of the cost of his life.
And a very interesting question arises, to which we will give an equally interesting answer below. And the question is very simple: why is everyone silent !? Why do we "in the mouth of water intake", no need to explain. The fact is that the information segment in our military-space industry is fully controlled by the “fifth column”. And that's why the “human-loving rescuers of Private Ryan” are silent, it's more complicated. Maybe the very "stigma of a gun"?
Let's figure it out. In 1961, in the United States, the Apollo manned space flight program was adopted, the eponymous ship and the launch vehicle Saturn were developed. There was one serious problem. Before the 1969 of the year, that is, before the start of the Apollo program, Americans had to somehow “run in” their “lunar” astronauts and solve many problems, ranging from man’s coming into space and ending with the docking of space modules. The former ship “Mercury” was clearly not suitable for these tasks. It was decided to create an "intermediate" ship "Gemini", but here's the bad luck: 1965 is already a year away with the Saturn carrier, everything was difficult, and the Mercury (Redstone and Atlas) launch vehicles didn’t pull its own "native" ship, not to mention the "Gemini". The "moon" program, pompously advertised by Kennedy (already in "this decade" the Americans will land on the moon), was on the verge of collapse. The whole “free world” looked at America hopefully, and while “progressive humanity”, together with Khrushchev, reveled in space euphoria, the Americans decided to play uncleanly - “land Gemini” on the Titan ballistic missile.
As you have already guessed, the “explosive” aerosin-amyl pair serves as the fuel and oxidizer for this rocket. Aerosin is nothing but a mixture of heptyl and hydrazine already known to us in the proportion of 1: 1. Thus, in just a year and a half, from March 1965 of the year to November of 1966, America sent an aerosynic kamikaze into 20 orbit. True, the winners are not judged, especially when such bets ... Well, and from all this stories need to make three conclusions.
The first. “Moon triumph” Americans are entirely obliged, I emphasize, entirely, to the “dirty” program of “Gemini”. After all, you must admit that it is difficult to pose for housewives from a TV screen in a spacesuit, if you have never been in spacesuit in this spacesuit. Moreover, it is impossible to disconnect and attach a module in lunar orbit, if you have never done this at least on earth.
The second conclusion is less original. The United States is very dirty working both in politics and in space, and we will see this not only in the article below, but also, I am sure, in subsequent events.
The third conclusion: "bloodthirsty Russians" who do not value human life, for some reason, are the only ones who conducted the space race honestly and did not even think about any foul "things".
And what about the Chinese, do they understand that they have taken a bad example from the "bad guys"? Of course, they understand, therefore they are actively developing “human” launch vehicles. The most interesting thing is that they are called the same way as the “heptyl” ones, the “Great Walk”. How can you call a deer and a camel in the same way? The point is not in the fuel, in these carriers everything is different, starting from the engines and ending with the arrangement of steps. Even the Americans didn’t "think" of such impudence. Here the answer is obvious: under the same “brand”, the Celestial Kingdom cynically wants to disguise the “gray spot” on the body of its astronautics.
China has well learned one rule of politics - no matter what you do or how you do it, the main thing is how you present it, rightly believing that “delicate” moments will erase from the memory of descendants. But the Russian language is a sacred language, for us “memory” and “understanding” are synonymous words. If we understand the essence of the problem, we will always remember this.
Completing the Chinese theme, let's say that you cannot fly to space on one carrier, therefore the Celestial Empire developed, in particular, a spacecraft and an orbital module. True, she “developed” them with the “specificity” peculiar to the Chinese. The similarity of the ship with our "Soyuz", and the module with the "Salute" was so striking that our President, who was not too humane, nevertheless decided to thin out the slender rows of the space "fifth column". Five employees of Central Research Institute Mascheksport CJSC went to Dali (not space, but taiga), four received 11 years each, and their director, academician Igor Reshetin, “grabbed” 11,5 years of a strict regime colony. By the way, the government of the People's Republic of China asked Russia to release the employees and hand them over to their care. How they will “take care of them” can be guessed, they will probably be made heroes of the nation. So, we look forward to what kind of rocket our carriers will “look like” by the Chinese. In the meantime, American astronauts will never trust the Chinese "Van" with a wrench. You already know why.
The invaluable legacy of the Soviet Union
Exposing the flaws of the military-space industries of other countries in previous chapters, I set myself only one goal: so that we would not look at the West, especially at China, admiringly and with a half-open mouth, but would closely look at that legacy ideas that the Soviet Union left us.
I will say right away that the hurt is gone, but there are ideas. Now it is very important for us to determine the vector of development of the Soviet space, and if we go in the right direction, then no Americans, Europeans, Chinese with their expensive programs will reach us. After all, it is always true, if the tortoise is going in the right direction, then it will be the first to reach the goal, and not a quick hare, dumbfounded rushing in the other direction. We have clearly seen, and will see further, that in the genesis of astronautics, as in evolution, there are dead-end paths, where entire classes of animals are dying out. It begs the analogy of dinosaurs and "Shuttles". And here it is half the trouble that you return as a knight to a road stone, having wasted a lot of material and technical resources and time, a tragedy, if you go wrong again, and then again you will not be able to go back again.
We just all know perfectly well that space is first and foremost the security of the state. Therefore, in order to go in the right direction, you need to be clear about what vector was up to this day and what “bumps filled” world cosmonautics. The history of cosmonautics clearly showed that nobody teaches this story. After all, any chess player will tell you that the analysis of mistakes in a lost game is much more valuable than the game won.
Now let's understand the directions of the world space program, the more so now it will be very easy for us to do this. The reason for this is that our main competitor, the United States, having buried its program of reusable ships, and with it the manned cosmonautics, has just returned to that road stone. We are interested to know in which direction the “American Mustang” jumped, evaluate whether it is correct and decide for ourselves whether to follow this “horse” or go our own way, knowing that he, like a biathlete, has a penalty circle.
Next, we will determine what we will consider the "space powers." With China, everything is clear. They need to create a “human” rocket, even if they copy it (guess who?), But this is not so fast, especially the engines, this is not some kind of orbital module for you. By the way, we have tried and will continue to try not to touch satellites, ships, orbital modules and so on, because without launch vehicles it is all nothing. In short, the Celestial Empire definitely in the next 20 years will not dominate in space.
We will also ignore the European Union, if only because they do not have manned cosmonautics at all. We will talk about Ukraine later, but on another occasion, it, of course, also sweeps aside. We will not even touch upon other “powers” for obvious reasons. Remain the United States.
Now we need to think about what this “breakthrough rocket” should be. Here we will begin to delve more into the legacy that the USSR left us. I must say at once that this is not some folio or “the testament of Peter the Great to descendants” - this is a triumphal project of the Energia family of super-heavy launch vehicles. This transforming rocket, assembled according to the modular principle, could put into orbit loads from 30 tons (Energy-M) to 175 tons (Vulcan-Hercules), and this was not the limit! It became clear to everyone that a single rocket, based on two modules (the supporting block of the 2-th stage and the lateral block of the 1-th stage), is capable of capturing a huge segment of cargo delivered to space. But there is one problem: this “giant segment” is in little demand. Therefore, when the 100-ton “Buran”, which was the main load for this carrier, “ordered to live long”, then it jumped into the “grave” and “Energy”. Everything is logical here: it is unprofitable for BelAZ to carry cargo that the Gazelle manages. True, the modular production principle turned out to be tenacious, the blocks of the 1-th stage (“Zenith”) still fly perfectly, therefore for five years, the “Energy” can be “reanimated”. Moreover, even at the “Energy” design stage, the idea of transferring the modular principle to a more demanded segment of cargo delivered into orbit, namely, from 2-x to 35 tons, was in the air. A whole galaxy of heavy, medium, light and even ultralight class missiles can go on retirement. Moreover, the weight segment and the nature of the goods allow you to create a launch vehicle based on a single module! Judge for yourself, the need to mount the “Buran” to the supporting block of the 2-th stage disappeared, now the side block of the 1-th stage will play the role of the supporting block. So our scientists came to the idea of creating a universal rocket module (URM). Now comes the most interesting. The Americans came to the universal module, but on this our roads diverge.
Thus, by the exception method, we came to the conclusion that the world space race is reduced to the confrontation of two global space projects based on the modular production of launch vehicles - this is the Russian project Angara and the American project Falken by SpaceX. Comparing these projects, we will be able to determine which of them went the wrong way. Moreover, knowing the postulates of design from the previous chapters, it will be easy for us to do this. First we need to decide which, from a design point of view, there should be an ideal module. We will not discover America here, if we say that the module should be easy to manufacture and operate, and this in turn means that the power part of the module should be simple.
Now you should be puzzled by the question: what gives the maximum simplicity of the power unit? The power part is simple if it is provided with one engine, and a simple engine is obtained if it is with one nozzle. Everything is as clear as day. The more extra elements we remove from the system, the system will become easier, therefore, more effective. I don't want to repeat anymore. For example, let's compare the Falken-Hevi rocket and our version of the Angara A7, which is similar in terms of carrying capacity.
Our rocket starts with 7 engines, American - with 27 engines! The question immediately arises, and how are the Americans going to make the engine four times cheaper than ours? Probably, their workers earn four times less, or they work four times more productively. We will talk about the vaunted American performance in the company SpaceX, but in fact the question is serious. After all, it is obvious that two engines, with other things being equal, are more expensive than one, similar in power, not to mention four. It is clear that the declared cheapness of the launches is a low-grade bluff, which our “fifth column” meekly “hawks”. The most amazing thing is that the commercial component is half the trouble. This nightmare is a constructive component of this problem. If history had taught their designers something, they would definitely think about why their “lunar” rocket was successful, and our analogous H-1 did not?
In the case of the Saturn-5, 5 engines will start simultaneously. But our designers had to “subtilize”, there was no time to create more powerful “engines”, so we had to install 5 engines instead of 30 in our “lunnik”! What do you think, on which rocket is it easier to synchronize their work, which rocket is more controlled - with 5 engines or when there are more of them in 6 times ?! The answer is obvious. No matter how “smart” heads “fought”, they didn’t manage to eliminate the unfolding moment, strong vibrations, hydrodynamic impacts and so on with the H-1. It is difficult to resist the fundamental principles of design! But ours, of course, had nowhere to go, the money was not really thought of then, but why do not overseas colleagues understand this? After all, the engine is the beginning of the beginning, the soul of a rocket, and no such things are joking. In order not to blame Americans for stupidity, let's say that they do not fully understand the severity of the problem, all the more so not everything is as simple as it seems at first glance.
In order to fully cover this key issue, let's take a closer look at what the RD-191 is - the engine for the "Angara". This engine is nothing more than a "quarter" of the legendary engine, the most powerful engine ever created - RD-170. As I wrote above, the RD-170 was used on the 1 module of the “Energy” and “Zenith” stages. As the president of RSC Energia, Vitaly Lopata, said, the “Seventy-Seven” beat American engines by at least 50 years!
The complexity of its creation emphasizes the fact that its development was carried out for as many 8 years. I will also say that the “transitional version” was created, which is the “half” of the RD-170 - RD-180. With this "engine" also turned out an interesting story. So that the "adapter" did not remain a laboratory exhibit, the USA began selling it to their "Atlas". Moreover, Yeltsin (with a hangover, probably) gave them all the rights to use the RD-180, including its production! The creator of these engines, academician Boris Katorgin, warned Americans that it would take them at least 10 years to reproduce them. As always, cowboy arrogance took its toll, and they declared 4's. Four years have passed, and they say: indeed, it takes six years. Then announced another eight years. As a result, 18 years passed, and "things are still there."
And now let's think. We produce three engines - RD-191, RD-180 and RD-170, respectively, with one, two and four nozzles. Most of the units for their production (including a unique combustion chamber), for obvious reasons, are the same. It is not difficult to guess how this will affect the cost of products. The conclusion is clear: "Angara" has an unsurpassed engine, both technically and economically.
Finishing, in my opinion, this very important topic, we cannot pass by the question, why did America manage to create a powerful “lunar” engine at one time, and now SpaceX is “shoving” what has fallen into its “Falken”? The fact is that when the “lunar” F-1 engine was created, the NASA budget was over 4% of the federal, now it is 0,5%, that is, in percentage terms it has decreased by 8 times! The same can be said about the number of working people in NASA: then it reached 400 thousands of employees, and already in 1988, this number was equal to 52 thousands, that is, again, less than 8 times. I will not fool you with dollar comparisons because of the impossibility of comparing the then and today's currency.
In any case, the difference between "space" budgets is the same space. I repeat, everything was at stake then, and now, in order for the RD-180 to at least “clone”, they need to spend more than a billion dollars on test benches only, according to the same Katorgin!
What were they hoping for? Maybe the fact that Boris Nikolayevich would also sell them stands on the cheap? However, in other aspects, Americans quickly "understand." Since May 2014, the conclusion of new contracts for the purchase of RD-180 was terminated by court order, due to a lawsuit of a competitor - the company SpaceX! It already looks like a national masochism in combination with corporate idiocy.
It must also be said that America’s chances of making the “moon” F-1 a “suitable” engine for the “Falken” were zero. It's not even the case that the F-1 has not been produced for a long time, it was just impossible to make a “half” or a “quarter” out of it — the Brown engine was single-chamber, with one nozzle. In this regard, you are amazed at the technical foresight of our designers. So what can Americans oppose the "Angara"? Only that they are always doing great is a powerful “fifth column”. About these "invisible fighters", which obscenely flooded the Russian military-space industry, will be discussed in the next chapter.