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ISS Moon Space Technology

Russia Says Next-Gen Spacecraft Design Ready 59

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-can-make-it-better dept.
The next generation of Russian spacecraft will be ready for test flights by 2017, according to Energia President Vitaly Lopota. 'We have completed the technical design project taking into account the fact that the new spaceship is to fly to the Moon, among other places,' he said. Federal Space Agency Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin says the new ship would be built by 2018 and would be able to conduct missions to the International Space Station and the Moon.
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Russia Says Next-Gen Spacecraft Design Ready

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  • 'We have completed the technical design project taking into account the fact that the new spaceship is to fly to the Moon, among other places,'

    ISS and where? The Bahamas? Restaurant at the end of the universe? Not a lotta stops within breathing time.

    • by moderators_are_w*nke (571920) on Friday December 28, 2012 @09:15AM (#42410383) Journal

      At least they're trying - NASA can't even make it to the ISS since the shuttle got decommisioned.

      • by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Friday December 28, 2012 @10:36AM (#42410739) Homepage Journal

        Not really.
        You have to understand the Russian process. They announce things like this at least twice a year.

        This is not a program, it's a proposal. Every year they trot out a couple of proposals (remember klipr?) and see if they can get interest and funding.

        If not (and so far "not" has always been the case) then they go back to the drawing board and make another proposal in 8 or 12 months.

        Over and over.

        And each time Slashdot and others announce what the Russians "are building," never stopping to notice that all of the previous plans that were "nearing completion" never even resulted in a single piece of flight hardware.

        Just watch. This will go nowhere, and next year there will be a different plan for a different vehicle.

        • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Friday December 28, 2012 @10:54AM (#42410841)

          This is not a program, it's a proposal. Every year they trot out a couple of proposals (remember klipr?) and see if they can get interest and funding.

          If not (and so far "not" has always been the case) then they go back to the drawing board and make another proposal in 8 or 12 months.

          Over and over

          Pretty much everything you just said could be said about NASA too. How many times have they promised return trips to the moon and men on Mars over the decades?

          Just watch. This will go nowhere, and next year there will be a different plan for a different vehicle.

          Again, ditto for NASA's moon and Mars programs.

          • Well, this has a lot to do with our politics. It's a lot like the budget... the president introduces his proposal for the next 10 years. "Ok, I have 2 years left in office so NASA's 10 year plan is to go to the moon, then mars, meet some aliens and invent warp drive. The first 2 years will be the planning stages, funding will begin at 4 years..."

            Next president gets into office "Ok, my 20 year plan for NASA is..."

            and on and on. What we need are presidents that propose plans and budgets for their CURRENT term

            • by Teancum (67324)

              This is also the reason why the last manned spaceflight vehicle to actually fly in space was the Space Shuttle.... in spite of literally dozens of programs that were started after the Nixon administration including several with actual flight hardware (the DC-X comes to mind in particular not to mention the Ares I-X). SLS is just the latest of major NASA programs that are eventually going to be flushed down the toilet of failed programs.

              Technically the Space Shuttle was even started under the Johnson admini

              • by Hadlock (143607)

                The DC-X program never made it above 10,000 ft and didn't have a follow-on project*, while the Ares I-X was an avionics package with a dummy load quite literally strapped to the top of a spare Space Shuttle SRB. The only reason the Shuttle survived as long as it did was inertia and the fact that nobody wanted to stand up and throw money at a new manned spaceflight program after the embarrassment that was the Shuttle. Thank god the Shuttle (while awesome) is dead and we can use much safer (and cheaper) techn

                • by Teancum (67324)

                  My point of mentioning the DC-X and Ares I-X is that those were the highlights of projects that actually got something done and had real flight hardware... post Shuttle development. The rest of the projects never even got that far, other than perhaps the "Big G" Gemini II spacecraft (proposed and developed about the same time as the Space Shuttle). All that was built for that project was a capsule prototype that was supposed to sit on top of an Atlas rocket (I think Atlas IV, but I might be mistaken). So

            • by Hadlock (143607)

              Rockets take forever to plan and build, especially at the government level. SpaceX (a lean "startup" company) was founded 10 years ago and just this year started regular commercial service. Boeing, Lockheed/ULA are going to drag their feet for 15-20 years to develop a new launch system.

              A 10 year plan is actually ambitious. Space Travel is Hard. The Orion capsule has been a complete disaster, they've been working on it since 2005, and the parachute tests have been such abject failures that they've a

          • That's true, but the process is different in that now Russians have two competing design companies rather than one bureau as we have. plus the Russians are poor enough to need international partners to pick up most of the tab. So this is a sales pitch by one of two competing Russian companies looking for both primacy within Russia, but also for foreign investment.

            Whereas NASA is just trying to sell itself to Congress.

        • What's odd is they seem to have an endless supply of money to generate paper spacecraft. Considering they never ever get funding to actually build any of these things, I really wonder how they get funding to continue fiddling around with CAD software.

      • That's got nothing to do with NASA's technical or engineering capabilities. It's solely the result of political decisions, as are all major decisions about NASA's human missions and objectives. They've all existed at the behest of the White House, and they all ended when the White House pulled the plug. Those are major decisions and NASA doesn't get to make them on its own.

        It's about money. There's all kind of pushback when even marginal boosts to NASA's budget are mooted. A lot of that is cynical polit

        • To paraphrase you,

          "We would have the capabilities to do anything we decided to do, if only we had decided to do it."

          Is that what you're saying? If so, allow me to point out that a capability that we decided not to develop is a capability that we DO NOT HAVE. Right now, today, we can't put people into space. We can't put people on the moon. And, we damn sure can't put people on Mars. The capabilities that we once had have atrophied. Ever heard, "Use it or lose it"? It applies to technology as well as

          • You fail to understand what I said.

            We had the capability to go to the Moon more than 40 years ago. That capability did not atrophy through lack of use. The Saturn and Apollo programs were cancelled and defunded by Congress with the approval of President Nixon. That was a conscious political decision to eliminate that capability.

            Ditto the Shuttle program: The program was cancelled and defunded.

            We never, obviously, developed a Mars capability. NASA, however, had post-Apollo plans for Mars that were not f

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      'We have completed the technical design project taking into account the fact that the new spaceship is to fly to the Moon, among other places,'

      ISS and where? The Bahamas? Restaurant at the end of the universe? Not a lotta stops within breathing time.

      . Maybe near-earth asteroids?

      • by Zocalo (252965)
        Near-Earth asteroids would be interesting place for a manned ship to go, but if you RTFA they also talk about de-orbiting malfunctioning satellites and large pieces of debris. Potentially that opens up orbital destinations anywhere from LEO to geostationary and maybe beyond, particularly in the case of larger and more expensive research satellites that might need maintaining.
      • by flyneye (84093)

        Well, there is a Howard Johnsons on one of them.

    • "ISS and where? The Bahamas? Restaurant at the end of the universe? Not a lotta stops within breathing time."

      There are plenty of other places in space, its just that there is nothing there.

      Setting up a sation at L5 might be a good idea...

    • by Zimluura (2543412)

      in the article they talk about de-orbiting satelites. so, those were likely the other places.

    • by dbIII (701233)

      Not a lotta stops within breathing time.

      No shit Sherlock! Maybe they'll inspect a Legrange.

      • by Megane (129182)
        Ah, yes, the Legrange, the 2WD version of the Canyonero. [google.com]
        • by dbIII (701233)
          I could have thrown in Baker Street, Watson, and maybe a Hound wrapped in Scarlet, but I thought the bad pun about L5 (or others) and Sherlock Holmes was obvious enough as it was.
    • by gmuslera (3436)
      Mars? Asteroids? ISS 2.0? a future space factory/hotel/other kind of building? and of course the ubiquitous "where no man has gone before" (that it be labeled The Next Generation somehow hints that destination)
    • I read the press release. Then I noticed it was Energia doing the announcement. You can dismiss this as a marketing exercise. When it is Roskosmos doing the announcement then I'll get interested. Is this using the triple RD-180 launcher they showed a couples of years back or what?
  • I've lost count (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DerekLyons (302214) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .retawriaf.> on Friday December 28, 2012 @09:22AM (#42410399) Homepage

    I've lost count of how many "next generation" the Russians have announced as being "practically ready" or terms amounting to the same thing.

    Not to mention the article is silent on whether this is actually a new design or a new iteration of the Soyuz. If it's the former, then we're likely looking at yet more Russian vaporware. The latter actually might come to pass.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by _merlin (160982)

      Nah, now that DPRK has shown that they can put a satellite in a near-perfect sun-synchronous polar orbit on the second try, there's dick-waving to be done. Just wait, they'll deliver something. Expect to see the Chinese space program accelerate, too.

      • ...there's dick-waving to be done.

        That's my daily affirmation before I wade into the rat race.

    • Re:I've lost count (Score:4, Interesting)

      by tp1024 (2409684) on Friday December 28, 2012 @09:38AM (#42410477)

      There is one difference ever since the price of oil approached and then surpassed (for some time) $100 per barrel after 2005 or so: those claims are backed up with money for the first time since the end of the the Soviet Union.

      • by Jeng (926980)

        $100 per barrel after 2005 or so: those claims are backed up with money for the first time since the end of the the Soviet Union.

        Claims backed by money that will be embezzled quicker than it can be put to use.

    • by crazyjj (2598719) *

      I've lost count of how many "next generation" the Russians have announced as being "practically ready" or terms amounting to the same thing.

      And that's different from NASA how, exactly? It would seem that both countries, for the last 3 decades, have been very big on promises, not so hot on delivery.

  • Paper spacecraft (Score:4, Interesting)

    by benjfowler (239527) on Friday December 28, 2012 @09:32AM (#42410445)

    Paper (or Powerpoint) spacecraft and launch systems are a dime a dozen.

    Even when they DO tool up their factories and begin production, they need to get on top of their industries' QA issues as well. I would think that the somewhat less-than-stellar track record of their newer systems (e.g. Briz-M), suggests that they have a lot of work to do.

  • by mumblestheclown (569987) on Friday December 28, 2012 @09:35AM (#42410455)

    I'm guessing it's a Giant Putin Head with frickin lasers. Amirite?

  • In my company when we did a major upgrade of our coding environment we needed a good name for the whole project. We were following a scheme where the code tree was named by a number. Like "/vobs/$company/three/source" or /vobs/$company/six/source. But this one was supposed to be such a huge big deal we needed to depart from the old scheme. What did they come up with? Nextgen. That was way back in 2000. Now for more than a decade we are stuck with that name. What do we do next? /vobs/$company/next2nextgen/?
    • I can't find anywhere that says the new rockets are named Next Gen anything. The title's usage was as an adjective.
    • by todrules (882424)
      In Soviet Russia, project names YOU.
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Hope the Russians name their technology something other than Next Gen Spacecraft.

      Actually, that's both a mistranslation and a typo. It's Next GIN Spacecraft (the typo) that uses Vodka as a propellant (the mistranslation).

  • les miserables (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drankr (2796221) on Friday December 28, 2012 @09:39AM (#42410481)
    Some poor folk would rather see no progress in space exploration than have Russians get us there. I pity those folks from the bottom of my heart - and fingers crossed for Russians, and anyone else willing to invest money, knowledge, experience and time into these projects. Good luck!
  • I clicked an there was no picture. Lame!
  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Friday December 28, 2012 @01:43PM (#42412061) Homepage Journal

    After all, their current-gen Soyuz capsule and R-7 rocket were designed in the 1950's (by their legendary Chief Designer Korolev)

    If the Russians built game consoles, they'd still be running Super NES.

    • It's an R-7 family of rockets. Meaning that it's not the same design, but an incremental development of the original design to adapt to new requirements over time. Which is exactly how you do things in real world if you want reliability and no cost overruns.

      • Most of the big increments were complete by 1970s. Then it was just tweaking - and most of that tweaking was done under the USSR. Bear in mind that we are still less than 1 working lifetime from the USSR collapsed. The Russian space program is still very much running on communist momentum.
    • After all, their current-gen Soyuz capsule and R-7 rocket were designed in the 1950's (by their legendary Chief Designer Korolev)

      The current generation Soyuz (capsule) only dates from 2010 - and bears very little relationship (beyond a a general moldline) with the first Soyuz design... from 1963. The current version Soyuz (booster) only dates from 2001 - and like the capsule, has evolved considerably across the decades.

      If the Russians built game consoles, they'd still be running Super NES.

      It might

  • by ZankerH (1401751)
    Just another powerpoint rocket from Putinist Russia. Like Kliper, Parom, MAKS, Rus', etc, it'll never make it into production and service as long as the official policy towards Russian rocket scientists is "the beatings will continue until morale improves".

If Machiavelli were a hacker, he'd have worked for the CSSG. -- Phil Lapsley

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