The light version of “Hangars” - А1 (1 module, 1,5 tonnage) successfully passed tests in June, now the 5 module rocket with 25,8 tons payload (200 km orbit) will be launched to the launch pad, and the next test flight the cycle is planned to launch A7 with a load of 35 tons and A7.2В with 50 tons. Experts say: if the project is implemented within the approved time frame, it will, firstly, significantly reduce the cost, simplify and speed up the entire space program of Roscosmos and the Ministry of Defense, and secondly, it will be able to redraw the entire world rocket and space market in the future, because will be equal to the cost of delivery of a unit of cargo to any of the sought-after orbits.
It was decided to replace the launch vehicles of the heavy class of the Proton family immediately after the collapse of the USSR. Initially, the goal was the same - to create a launch vehicle entirely from Russian components, without any cooperation, even with the closest allies in the CIS. At the same time, it also had to start only from the Russian territory - the Plesetsk cosmodrome. Nikolai Moiseyev, a member of the military-industrial commission under the government of the Russian Federation, said: “The goal that was set before the developers, the domestic rocket and space industry, was: to ensure Russia's independent access to space. That is, with the help of this new rocket, the Angara, it is necessary to ensure the output of spacecraft, which we could previously launch from Baikonur, from our domestic space center Plesetsk. Such a task was set by the leadership of the country. This does not mean that we refuse to continue using the Baikonur cosmodrome, it is still in demand, it is still used for civilian purposes. But I must say that by now there are no military personnel left at Baikonur, it has completely passed under civil jurisdiction. ”
Based on the decision of the Scientific and Technical Council of the Military Space Forces of 3 August 1992 on the issue “Launchers: Status and Prospects for their Modernization and Development” complex) heavy class. The contest was attended by RSC Energia. Academician S. P. Korolev, GKNPTs them. M. V. Khrunichev and GRTS "KB them. Academician V.P. Makeev, who submitted several types of launch vehicles to the specially formed Interdepartmental Expert Commission. In August, 15, the competition won the option proposed by the GKNPTs them. MV Khrunichev, who was appointed head developer of the complex.
Further development of the project actually froze due to chronic underfunding of the industry in the 90s. Active work was resumed only in 2001, when the first space program of Russia was born, provided with real financial resources. However, the new design team proposed to expand the task - to design not just a fully domestic rocket and a launch pad for it, as it sounded in the task, but also to significantly improve its tactical and technical characteristics, i.e. make a carrier who will win a tough competition in a booming global market. Although initially "Angara" was intended solely for military needs. To do this, it was necessary, first of all, to solve two fundamental tasks: to make the rocket design easier and to reduce the amount of investment, both initial and operational.
Designers went a simple way - by unifying technology. They offered to make a rocket universal in the class of payload in the form of a designer, which can be quickly assembled depending on the tasks at hand, transported without the use of expensive energy-intensive systems and mounted on the launch complex in a matter of minutes. At the same time, the launch complex, which normally consumes up to 40% of investments, should be only one for all categories of missiles of the family. Although for each class of rockets in the world a launch pad designed for it is used separately. And this is a savings of about 30% of the total budget for development and production, and about 24% - in operating costs. “In fact, in this project, by creating two basic modules, we get the whole range of light, medium and heavy class missiles - Angara-1, Angara-3 and Angara-5.” There is always one launcher for light, medium or heavy missiles — sometimes a light launcher and a middle launcher can be launched from one launcher — the whole spectrum of loads and the whole spectrum of light, medium and heavy class projects are not. This reduces the cost of the project in the sense that it is not necessary to build three separate launching tables, ”Moiseyev said.
In addition, the rapidly developing composite materials science came in handy - about 36% of the rocket parts were made of third-generation composite materials, which reduced the overall proportion of the entire system by 12,3%. This success, in turn, made it possible to think about environmental cleanliness — the rocket was made working on clean fuel — kerosene, whose oxidant is oxygen. Previously, all heavy-class missiles flew only on toxic heptyl. According to this indicator, Russia is only a catching party - today there are already “clean” space rockets in the world - the European Ariane-5 and the American Falcon-9, but they clearly lag behind the Angara in terms of launch costs and total investment capacity. In addition, none of them are able to lift into space such a mass of cargo. The latest version of the Falcon 9 v1.1 puts 13,1 tons into low reference orbit (LEO), and the geo-transfer (GPO) tonnes 4,8. European Ariane-5 last modification - maximum 6,3 per GPO. Already in December of this year, Angara-5 will lift 25,8 tons by 200 km (6,6 by GPO), after adding another 2-x universal rocket modules (URM) to 2015 tons (35 on GPO, rocket) already in the “designer” on the assembly) and set a world record, and in 12,5, the Ministry of Defense will launch it with 2016 tons (50 tons per GPO).
In terms of investment, Angara also furnished all its competitors. The American company has already spent more than 9 billion dollars on the Falcon-5,2 program, the total amount of the project reaches 7,5 billion, the European Space Agency's budget for Ariane exceeded 3,2 billion euros, the total investment is planned in 5,8 billion euros. “Angara” cost the Russian budget 96 billion rubles, i.e. even at the old rate this is 3,2 billion dollars. The minimum price per kilogram of payload for the Falcon is 4, thousands of dollars per kilogram for NOU and 9,5 thousand for GPO. Other space projects should not even be considered, because the European rocket is losing to the American by 12%, of which the head of SpaceX is publicly proud, and the Chinese “heavy” rocket PH CZ-11 still exists only in words. The cost of shipping 1 kg with "Angar" is only 2,4 thousands of dollars to NOU and 4,6 thousand to GPO. Experts believe that at least in a ten-year period - from 2018, when the new launch vehicle will be launched into the series, and up to 2027, it will be the absolute leader in the market of space trucks with low cost services to competitors.
What is even more valuable - the designer of the "Angara" on basic technologies provides for its use in the manned version, which can be called the breakthroughs in the global astronautics. Manned ships have always been designed as separate projects for completely different standards that are not compatible with trucks. Roscosmos plans to begin the practical implementation of rocket launches with a team of astronauts from 2018 compared to the Unions that have been performing this function for the last decades, delivery and return of people to the ISS will fall in price by 25-30%, which is about 10 million dollars for each go. " In 2019, Angara should fly to the moon, and in 2022 it should fly to Mars. True, these are not yet approved plans, but technical perspectives that are already incorporated in the project. “To date, he was preparing for Plesetsk as a truck, but now orders have been given and the question is being worked out that the task of a manned launch will be solved at Vostochny. Because there is everything for that. There are procedures associated with the fact that we need flight qualifications, the responsibility is much higher, so there are procedures by which a rocket receives flight qualifications for manned launches. And the first is that it should be run in a cargo version. ”