Rus-M technical project

Update: October 25, 2010 – Moscow

Soyuz replacement vehicle program RUS-M, by Energia

Technical project

A new phase in the development of the Rus-M launch vehicle started on Oct. 22, 2010, with the Russian government’s announcement of a federal tender for the work on the so-called “Technical Project.” The Technical Project is a Russian equivalent of what is known in the West as Phase B or a detailed design — which is essentially a second phase in the research and development of the vehicle or a system, following the preliminary design.

The Russian space agency, Roskosmos, earmarked 1.63 billion rubles ($53.5 million) for a year-long work within the Technical Project. The formal review of bids by the industry and the awarding of the contract for the Technical Project was scheduled for Nov. 22-23, 2010.

The work on the Technical Project would include the development of technical assignments, TZ, for all elements of the Rus-M complex, consisting of the rocket itself; its optional upper stages; launch and processing facilities; automated control system for preparation and launch, ASU PP; measurement and data processing system, KSISO; training facilities and means oftransportation for the rocket and its components. Also, the Technical Project would include calculations and experimental work aimed to validate chosen version of the rocket.

In its requirements for the development of the Technical Project, Roskosmos, specified a number of additional features of the future rocket. For example, beginning with the loading of propellant into the rocket, all manual operations on the pad would have to be excluded from the pre-launch processing. The only exception would be the boarding of the spacecraft crew and its evacuation in case of emergency, or the launch scrub. The Rus-M complex would have to be capable of 20 missions per year with the preparation cycle (launch campaign) not exceeding 30 days. To support this launch rate, the ground processing building would have two assembly facilities for a parallel preparation of two rockets. A special transporter powered by a pneumatic system would be used to carry the rocket from the processing area to the launch pad.

Given the use of liquid hydrogen onboard Rus-M, Roskosmos asked developers to evaluate whether the construction of the hydrogen production plant in Vostochny would be more economical then the delivery of this cryogenic propellant from another site.

Upper stages

Roskosmos’ requirements for the Technical Project specified a number of details on two variations of the upper (third) stage, (sometimes referred to as space tug) for the Rus-M rocket. The primary job of these vehicles would be boosting unmanned satellites from initial parking orbits into higher orbits around the Earth or into deep space. The development project code-named Dvina, after a Russian river, envisioned a rocket stage designated 11S861-03 (a version of Block D upper stage) and a KVRB stage employing liquid hydrogen propellant. Separate projects, designated TK-Vostok and and Dvina KVSK funded the development of support facilities for 11S861 and KVRB stages respectively.

With the use of these upper stages, Rus-M was expected to deliver no less than 4.5 tons of payload to a sought-after geostationary orbit, in addition to its primary task as a carrier of a new-generation manned spacecraft and other 20-ton payloads to low Earth orbits with an inclination 51.7 degrees and 63 degrees toward the Equator.

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