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Yenisei super-heavy launch vehicle

The concept of the new superheavy rocket proposed by Roscosmos was not supported by the Russian government. The project will be serious processing. About it reported RIA Novosti 05 March 2019 with reference to a source in the rocket and space industry. The details did not clarify what exactly was not approved, the interlocutor did not specify, but stressed that the concept was rejected. Another source added that the concept was sent back for revision, because it was not linked to the long-term program of the Moon exploration, but assumed only a program of flights to the Moon for the next 5-7 years, without a “prospect”.

Earlier it was reported that Roskosmos finally determined the preferred appearance of the Yenisei super heavy-class launch vehicle for flights to the Moon. President Vladimir Putin’s decree on the creation of the Yenisei was signed in early 2018. The first launch is planned for 2028.

The appearance of a super-heavy rocket for a flight to the moon is "practically selected." This was stated by the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin on 04 February 2019 at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the press service of the Kremlin. According to Rogozin, the general schedule for the creation of ground infrastructure for the "lunar" rocket has also been laid down and signed. Recall that in early January, Rogozin reported that they plan to create a "lunar" rocket by 2028. RSC Energia, the Progress RCC, the Khrunichev Center participate in the project.

The chairman of the Scientific and Technical Council of Roscosmos Yuri Koptev said 21 November 2018 that "It was originally planned that it will be on a super-heavy rocket. But everyone understands that confining one missile is wrong. It should be a separate space state program”.

The start of flight tests of the Russian super-heavy rocket was scheduled for 2035. This is stated in the materials of the Roscosmos State Corporation on the space industry development strategy 31 March 2018. In the section of the document "System of launch vehicles" flight tests of "super-heavy" are planned for 2035. It is noted that the rocket will consist of steps of Angara-A5B and Phoenix rockets. And in the framework of "Angara-A5B" a hydrogen stage will be made, which will be used as a third stage in a super-heavy rocket.

Since the cessation of the program of the Soviet “shuttles” in 1992, in the Russian and foreign press quite often slipped information about the revival of the project of a heavy launch vehicle “Energia” and the reusable spacecraft “Buran”. But all such messages were nothing more than an attempt to present what was desired. And so, in 2012, the Russian space agency ROSKOSMOS confirmed its certain long-term plans, within the framework of which the creation of a new super-heavy class launch system appears. And it is not surprising that by the time when the huge launch vehicle "loomed on the horizon", Russian engineers already had ready draft designs for such a rocket.

Along with proposals from other manufacturers of space technology, the Khrunichev State Space Research and Production Center (Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center), which is a manufacturer of Proton-class heavy launch vehicles, presented projects of giant launch systems called Amur-5 and "Yenisei-5". While the Amur-5 project is a redesign of the Angara-100 project proposed in 2005, the Yenisei-5 project demonstrates a radically different approach. It is worth noting that the first draft designs for the Yenisei-5 launch system were developed in 2008.

The booster rocket Yenisei-5, 75 meters high, has a main stage, equipped with three RD-0120 jet engines operating on hydrogen, the production of which, according to the plans of GKNPTs Khrunichev, can be successfully restored after the closure of the Energy project. It should be noted that the main stage of "Energy" was equipped with four engines RD-0120. During the start, the main stage will “ignite” all its engines simultaneously with four additional accelerators equipped with RD-170 jet engines operating on kerosene.

Using the main stage of hydrogen fuel instead of kerosene will significantly increase the capabilities of the launch vehicle, allowing it to put a payload weighing 125 tons into low-Earth orbit. Cargoes put into low orbit can be sent further with the help of a space tug KVTK, which also works on hydrogen fuel. The tugboat KVTK with cargo is the third stage of the Yenisei-5 launch vehicle.

The launch of the Yenisei-5 launch vehicle will have to be carried out from a new launch site at the Vostochny space center located in the Far East. And the Yenisei-5 launch vehicle itself will have to become the basis upon which Russia's far-reaching space plans will be based, which include the creation of a habitable base on the lunar surface and an expedition to Mars.

The main problem of the Enisei-5 carrier rocket will be the problem of its delivery to the launch site. In a statement, representatives of the GKNPT Khrunichev argue that elements of the main stage of the launch vehicle can be transported by rail. This statement conflicts with the diameter of the main stage, which is 4.1 meters. Despite the fact that the Khrunichev State Space Research and Production Center successfully transports Proton launch vehicles to the launch site at the Baikonur cosmodrome, transporting modules of such dimensions to the Far East will not be possible without repairing some sections of the railway, expanding tunnels, rebuilding bridges other elements of the railway infrastructure. And such a global restructuring and reconstruction of the railway can hardly be called a realistic plan.

Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center is not the first organization that proposes to revive the technologies and structural elements of the Energia launch vehicle, which could put a cargo weighing 100 tons into orbit. Back in 2007–2008, RKK Energia specialists also engaged in the development of the design of a new rocket, resembling that of the legendary “Energy”. The stage containing the payload in the new rocket was located at the top of the entire system, and was not located in the side container, as was done by Energia, and the weight of the payload was limited to 60 tons for many reasons.

And yet, in 2012, the Russian space agency ROSKOSMOS accepted the proposals of the Khrunichev State Space Research and Production Center on projects for launch systems of the super heavy class, at least on paper. In December 2012, Gennady Raikunov, General Director of the Scientific Research Institute TsNIIMash, an organization that develops the general space strategy of Russia, told the Interfax news agency that the first launch from the Eastern space center of a super heavy rocket based on the Amur or Yenisei project, will be held in 2028. Of course, the implementation of such an ambitious program will require huge investments. According to the opinion of some recognized experts, the production of RD-0120 engines will have to be established practically from scratch, because the entire production infrastructure has already sunk into oblivion. In addition, the launch of a super-heavy launch vehicle will require the construction of a new colossal launching pad with all associated launching mechanisms and infrastructure. Also, the traditional method of transporting rockets by rail cannot be used to transport super-heavy rockets, so it may be necessary to develop a specialized large transport aircraft and build airfields capable of receiving such aircraft.



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