Undoubtedly, the most promising way to develop near space is aerospace systems, which have significant advantages over the traditional rocket method of delivering payloads to near-earth orbit.
The aerospace system differs from the rocket-space system in that it uses the reusable subsonic, supersonic, or hypersonic aircraft as the first stage, and sometimes the second. Probably, it is not necessary to be a rocket scientist in order to understand: using an airplane instead of the first stage allows you to make launches more economical (the rocket carries, in addition to fuel, also an oxidizer, which aircraft engines take from the atmosphere). But there are other benefits. I will name some of them. Let's start with reusability. The aerospace system allows you to repeatedly use all its components. As a result, the efficiency of start-ups significantly increases. Another important advantage is the ability to start from any point, since the first stage of the carrier can reach the equator to start there. The proximity to the zero parallel creates a sling effect when an object being launched into space receives additional energy from the rotation of the Earth.
Memory of the future
“Modern rocket and space vehicles are comparatively expensive, not heavy enough, they take a long time to prepare for the launch. All spacecraft (manned and unmanned) are now being launched into space using disposable launch vehicles. Complex spacecraft are also intended for only one flight.
Is it possible to reconcile, for example, so that a large ocean liner, under construction for several years, was intended for a single voyage? And in cosmonautics this is exactly the case.
Take, for example, the American launch vehicle "Saturn-5", which provided flights of the Apollo to the moon. This giant height of more than 100 meters and weighing almost three thousand tons actually ceased to exist a few minutes after the start. The cosmonautics victory road is littered with burnt debris of rockets, blocks of space ships and satellites thrown into orbits.
Such disposable technology turns into a serious obstacle to the further development of astronautics and space research. At first, when there were not so many launches, and the studies were not of such a large scale, this could be tolerated. In the future, such waste will become impossible, ”wrote the USSR pilot-cosmonaut V. A. Shatalov at the dawn of the development of near-Earth space.
So why not develop aerospace systems? No, they are actively developing, but not here.
For the purposes of space tourism, in recent years, the Space Ship One and Space Ship Two suborbital aerospace systems have been developed. Space Ship One made several suborbital flights. Space Ship Two is in flight testing.
And what are our achievements? The aerospace system "Spiral" began to develop more in 1964-m. It consisted of an orbital plane, which was to be launched into space by a hypersonic spreader, and then a rocket stage into orbit. It was developed in the Mikoyan Design Bureau. The chief designer of the system was G. E. Lozino-Lozinsky, later the chief designer of the NPO Molniya, which created the aerospace apparatus Buran. There is also a project of the MAKS multipurpose aerospace system, which in its present form was formed as a result of successive design studies carried out under the leadership of Lozino-Lozinsky at NPO Molniya together with allied companies, industry research institutes and institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences since the end of the 70s and to the present. But the path from design to application in current conditions seems overwhelming.
Who violates the convention
In the light of the intensive development of aerospace systems for the entire world community, there is one very serious legal problem that could well put humanity on the brink of a new world war, no worse than the Caribbean crisis. It is simply formulated: “At what height does it end aviation and cosmonautics begins? ”
The Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation recognizes that every state has complete and exclusive sovereignty over its airspace and no state aircraft flies over the territory of another state and does not land on it except with the permission of that state. The space right provides equal access for all for purposes of research or use and does not divide the space into any zones. It also excludes the launch into orbit around the earth of any objects with nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction, but does not impose a ban on suborbital flights with such weapons and on any flights with conventional means of destruction. That is, weapons can be brought into orbit that are not prohibited by international law, which will periodically be located over the territory of another state. The trouble is that the height relative to the Earth, at which the Chicago Convention ends and the space law begins, is not coordinated.
Russia, like the International Aeronautical Federation (FAI), believes that the boundary between aviation and space passes 100 kilometers from the surface of the planet. In the United States, the height of the kilometer 80,45 (50 miles) is considered such a boundary. In 2006, the Presidential National Space Policy Directive was issued, in which the United States rejects any international agreements restricting activities in outer space related to military programs, and contains the thesis on the right to deny America’s opponents the ability to use their space potential.
The development of civilian transport and passenger aerospace systems required the solution of the safety issues of their flights at the level of the UN and ICAO. In March 2015, the first joint aerospace symposium of the UN Committee on Space and ICAO was held at the headquarters of ICAO in Montreal. Russia did not report on it with its position. After this, is it necessary to be surprised if the interests of Russia are ignored by the world community, which, to please the United States, can make any unfavorable decision to us? What will we do if the suborbital apparatus of another state flies over our territory at an altitude of 90 kilometers towards Moscow: will we bring down or let it quietly fly over the capital? We should be the initiators of the correct solution of all these issues at the international level from the point of view of Russian interests, and not take an ostrich position and think that everything will resolve itself or that foreign countries will help us.
Let us return to the question: why do not the projects of aerospace systems go to Russia and what needs to be done to implement them? The main and main, in my opinion, the reason is the departmental disunity of aviation and space in the USSR and the Russian Federation. The beginning of this disunity was laid by N. S. Khrushchev when, in 1955, he ordered a number of design bureaus and factories to be removed from the USSR Minaviaprom’s subordination and to form a new Ministry of General Engineering based on them. So the ways of aviation and rocket production diverged from us. The real disunity of the two departments was manifested even during the joint work on the project “Energy” - “Buran”. I remember well how, after one of the meetings, the workers of the USSR Minoboshchemash Design Bureau, who was in charge of the Buran control system when the orbital plane descended from orbit to 20 kilometers altitude, joked that after the ship passed this height, they went to drink champagne, and then let the aviation industry tremble. For the creation of a control system from the height of 20 kilometers to the “Buran” stop on the ground was already met by the aviation instrument-making design bureau ... The only thing that to some extent saved it from the departmental disunity was the presence of the Military Industrial Commission at the Council of Ministers of the USSR ), which was directly subordinate to all defense industries, as well as the Ministry of Civil Aviation. It was precisely the coordinating and guiding (this word is the defining) role of the military industrial complex that became decisive for the successful implementation of the Energy program - Buran.
Speaking about the aviation and rocket and space industry, we can safely say that they should be managed by a single state body. Moreover, one that could not only control them as two parallel worlds, but also create a research and development and production fusion of the aviation and rocket and space industries. It can be said that there were already such attempts to cross already with a hedgehog (Department of Aviation and Space Industry at the Ministry of Economics of the Russian Federation, and then Rosaviakosmos) and nothing happened. But they existed too little time to have time to really change something, and they did not set themselves the task of creating a single one from the two sub-sectors. Now this should be the main task. After the liquidation of Roskosmos as a government body and the creation of a unified state corporation on the basis of it and the ORKK, the normal process of state government will disappear completely. The Civil Code will build its own space exploration policy, draw up plans, define government orders, carry out research and create scientific and technical reserves, engage in development and production, launch and investigate incidents of their failures. In common parlance, such an approach is called a “common grave”. After all, there is already more than the illustrative experience of the KLA, which functions from 2006, but has not yet manifested itself. I will cite only two fragments from the UAC annual report for 2007 year, in which it was planned to "reverse the current trend in the technical equipment of Russian airlines to modernize the fleet using foreign aircraft and ensure the domination of domestic aircraft manufacturing after 2015," and "to 2015 to complete the development work and the production for mass production of a promising aviation complex of front-line aviation (PAK FA) ”. Today, in 2015, everyone can easily assess how close the KLA is to the implementation of the tasks set in 2007. But at least there is the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which is still trying to implement government regulation. But over the new corporation "Roscosmos" in general there will be no control.
NASA does not sound our way
Or maybe it is still worth seeing how the management of the aerospace and space complexes in the USA is going on? The main government body of the country in the field of aviation and space industry is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It is a state federal agency that reports directly to the vice-president of the United States and is responsible for scientific, technical and technological research and achievements in the field of aviation and space, the country's civilian space program, as well as air and space research. From the point of view of state regulation, NASA simultaneously performs the functions of the Minaviaprom and the USSR Ministry of General Labor. In Russia, Rosaviakosmos, created in 1999 and liquidated in 2004, did not act as its analogue. That NASA is preparing and after approval by the leadership of the country implements the program and plans for aerospace activities. NASA's aeronautical direction has contributed to aviation for decades. Almost every aircraft today carries on board NASA-developed technologies that help aircraft fly more safely and efficiently. Aviation research continues to play a vital role in air travel and cargo transportation, stimulating technology and innovation. This gives the US aviation industry the opportunity to continue to grow and maintain global competitiveness. NASA includes 17 research and flight test complexes that allow space launches and aircraft for various purposes. NASA's Security Center (NSC), established in October 2006, is a special place in NASA. It was created to ensure the implementation of security requirements and guaranteed fulfillment of goals in NASA-implemented projects and programs.
Focusing on improving the development of personnel, processes and tools necessary for the safe and successful achievement of NASA's strategic goals, the NSC consists of four functional departments: improving technology, knowledge management system, auditing and expert assessments, as well as assistance in investigating accidents and disasters.
It is no accident that it was in 2006 that ICAO first switched from the concept of flight safety to the concept of managing it. In 2013, ICAO adopted the 19 Attachment to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, which is called Flight Safety Management. It is now the mandatory standard for world civil aviation. Unfortunately, this provision is poorly fulfilled in the Russian practice of air transportation and is not used at all in the rocket and space industry.
Numerous aerospace private corporations of the United States are the only executors of NASA programs and plans in the aerospace sphere, which are implemented through government order.
In Russia, there is no government agency for aerospace activities like NASA. Roscosmos GC, in its structure, is in principle incapable of playing the same role as NASA in the USA. But we have the opportunity to create a similar state government right now.
For this, it is necessary to make changes to the federal law “On the National Research Center“ Institute named after N. Ye. Zhukovsky ”(No. 326-ФЗ from 4 in November 2014) - to entrust SIC with the functions performed by NASA in the USA, and give it the status of a state body management in the field of aviation and rocket and space industry. It is also necessary to additionally include in it all the research institutes of a rocket-space orientation (TsNIImash, etc.), the Vostochny space center, and also the LII them. MM Gromova, removing the last of the KLA.
But back to the States. Another government agency in the US aerospace industry is the Federal Aviation Administration (Federal Aviation Administration - FAA). Its main functions are the regulation of civil aviation and commercial aerospace activities to ensure safety and environmental impact.
The FAA has a Commercial Space Transport Bureau (Office of Commercial Space Transportation - AST) whose mission is to protect the population, property, national security, and foreign interests of the United States during commercial activities to launch or return to the atmosphere of aerospace aircraft, as well as to facilitate and promotion of aerospace traffic. The FAA issues licenses for commercial aerospace transport operations or a permit for experimental flights only after it has determined that an application for launching or returning to the dense atmosphere, for operating a launch position, for testing equipment, a design or aerospace equipment will not endanger public health. , property, US national security, foreign policy interests or international obligations of the United States. AST licenses spaceports for commercial use. This is similar to the certification of civil aviation aerodromes or joint air forces for commercial use.
In Russia, there is no authority similar to the American FAA. But if the individual functions of the FAA related to the implementation of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation are scattered between the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, Rosaviation, Rostransnadzor and the Interstate Aviation Committee, then in the field of aerospace activities there are no such structures at all. Thus, there is no and never has any independent state control over the safety of aerospace, for example, in the United States.
Another US government agency that has a significant impact on the safety of aviation, rocket and space flight is the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The organizational structure of the board consists of subcommittees responsible for investigating accidents related to safety in aviation, road, sea, rail, pipelines and during the transport of hazardous materials, scientific, technical and design work, communications and legislative activities. In addition to emergency situations in civil aviation, the NTSB investigates aerospace incidents of major public importance. These include all accidents and disasters of US aerospace vehicles. For example, it was the NTSB that led the investigations into the death of the Space Shuttle in both cases, and now it is involved in the disaster of the Virgin Galactic suborbital spacecraft Two.
The main output of the NTSB is to identify the causes of the incident and issue safety recommendations to prevent them in the future. For your history The council issued more than 13 thousands of recommendations, most of which were accepted by the FAA in whole or in part. The council has no legal authority to implement or execute its recommendations. This is what the FAA is doing in the aeronautics field in the USA. Such an approach is necessary so that only one agency is responsible for flight safety. But the NTSB has unconditional priority in the investigation of all incidents. The FAA is always involved in investigations, but no more - the NTSB is responsible for them.
In Russia there is no government body similar to the NTSB. Investigation of accidents with civil aircraft is carried out by the IAC, and of incidents by the Rosaviatsia. At the same time, both bodies simultaneously carry out safety functions. Such a combination is contrary to 13 (“Accident Investigation”) and 19 (“Safety Management”) applications to the Chicago Convention, mandatory for all ICAO members. In the investigation of incidents, accidents and disasters with rocket and space technology, the situation is even worse. This is done by those who are responsible for the development, production, launch and operation. Naturally, the causes of accidents identified by such investigators in many cases raise great doubts, which does not contribute to the prevention of emergency situations. For example, in investigating the crash of the Falcon aircraft at Vnukovo, the IAC is unlikely to note errors in the certification of the Vnukovo airfield and its equipment conducted by him, and the state commission, chaired by the first deputy head of Roskosmos, responsible for developing the launch vehicle with the cargo ship, is unlikely Does objectively determine the causes of the accident. Most likely, as it happened more than once in Russian practice, they will find "scapegoats" who will be roughly punished and reported back to the measures taken. Although this will not make the flight of civil aviation or the launching of spacecraft safer.
In the column "total"
Now it is worthwhile to generalize the proposals, the implementation of which will allow raising the development and implementation of aerospace systems to a level worthy of Russia.
1. Immediately join the negotiation process at the UN and ICAO levels and achieve recognition by all countries of the world that 100 altitude kilometers and below from the surface of the Earth is the zone of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation.
2. Create on the basis of the Military Industrial College and the SIC them. N.Ye. Zhukovsky is the state regulatory body in the aviation and rocket and space industry, similar to NASA.
3. To create on the basis of the Federal Air Transport Agency a state safety regulatory authority. To entrust to it all the safety functions stipulated by the obligations of Russia in accordance with the Chicago Convention, as well as the responsibility for ensuring the safety of flights of suborbital, orbital and other commercial aviation, aerospace and rocket-spacecraft (by analogy with the FAA).
4. To form an independent state body to investigate incidents, accidents and disasters in aerospace transport in accordance with the requirements of the Chicago Convention, aimed not at punishing the perpetrators, but at preventing incidents. Ideally, this could be a state agency for investigating incidents, accidents and disasters not only in aerospace transport, but also in railway, sea and river and pipeline commercial transport, for example, with the RF Security Council (by analogy with the NTSB).
5. Assign created on the basis of the Military-Industrial Commission and SIC them. N. Ye. Zhukovsky to the state regulatory authority in the aviation and aerospace industry to develop a unified program of activities in the industry for the near future and for a long period with annual adjustments and mandatory inclusion in it of the subprogramme for the development of aerospace launch systems.