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Moon Science

RKK Energia Confirms Private Trip To the Moon 92

Teancum writes "RKK Energia, the prime contractor for the Russian space program and the company who builds the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, recently confirmed negotiations are underway with space tourism company Space Adventures for a privately financed crewed flight around the Moon. While the offer and purchase of at least one seat has been discussed earlier, this is the first time Energia has confirmed the negotiations and has gone into at least some details in terms of what they are expecting to have happen with this flight and the approximate timeframe for when this flight would take place: sometime in 2016 or 2017."
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RKK Energia Confirms Private Trip To the Moon

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19, 2011 @08:42AM (#37140808)

    This won't be easy. The big russian rocket, the Proton has way too toxic fluoric propellant to be allowed for man-rated flight. The smaller Soyuz (the R7 family) is too weak to do the lifting as a single launch. There will be two or three near-simultaneous launches, maybe 1 unmanned Proton and 1 manned Soyuz, or 2 unmanned Soyuz (Zond) and 1 manned Soyuz to bring all the hardware to LEO, where there will be a need for spacewalks to assemble the big round-the-Moon rocket.

    That project will be about as complicated and reliable as the 1979 US mission to save hostages from Iran. Over-complicated plans have a high chance of failure. Maybe it would be simpler to adopt the large, but less toxic Ariane-5 missile for manned launch and that could possible do the whole Moon round-trip in one launch.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"