Russia miscalculated with its space strategy

It all starts with the infernal roar, the flames from the rocket engines covers the launch pad. Within seconds, the colossus weighing hundreds of tons starts moving up, a sheaf of fire lights up the night steppe.

Manned spacecraft “Soyuz” from Baikonur start since 1967. Located there is the launch pad has good infrastructure, but it has a small drawback — it is not on the territory of Russia and on the territory of Kazakhstan. This Central Asian country receives for launches money from the Russian space Agency Roskosmos in the amount of $ 115 million per year.

In fact, Russia, taking the decision on the construction of the cosmodrome “East” wanted to become independent from Baikonur. “East” is located in the Eastern part of Russia near the Chinese border. However, Russia suddenly changed its plans regarding the use of your Siberian spaceport. Space ships the Federation that would replace the “Unions” will start only from the Baikonur cosmodrome. While the dream of relatively independent access to space failed to be carried out.

Missing the launch platform

This decision represents a radical turn in the Russian space program. Originally it was planned that in the future all Russian missile launches will be carried out only from the Russian territory. This is 8 thousand kilometres East of Moscow continues to build new cosmodrome “East”, and this work is still far from complete.

The cosmodrome “East” was the largest construction project Rossi, however, the contractors were charged with massive corruption. Yet, as they say, for the construction of the spaceport has been spent to 5.3 billion euros. However, it is clear that Russia with this spaceport overestimated their strength. The launch complex for the new rocket “Soyuz-5” which should put into orbit a spacecraft “Federation”, not to start with “East”. But the new spaceport will be used for at some point and it can’t launch manned spacecraft. While in the Siberian spaceport is only launch complex to launch satellites with conventional rockets “Soyuz”.

“More rational approach”

The construction of the launch complex is worth millions — and the Russian space Agency has now decided to use a half-finished pad at Baikonur to launch rockets “Soyuz-5”. The Russian space Agency so it will save a large amount of money, though, and will continue to pay Kazakhstan rent.

In collaboration with the Kazakhs existing launch pad, Zenit will be completed so that you can use it to launch rockets “Soyuz-5”. If all goes according to plan, the new rocket and spacecraft will be able to start from here for the first time in 2022.

About financial issues none of the Russian side does not speak. Responsible for space Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin was named as the main argument in favor of a return to Baikonur “more rational approach”. The infrastructure at Baikonur can be used, he said.

Orientation of super-heavy rockets

Russian expert in the field of space Alexander Zheleznyakov in two ways evaluates care with “Eastern”. This decision is justified from an economic point of view, stressed the member of the Russian Academy of cosmonautics named after Tsiolkovsky. The result will be savings that can be spent on the development of more relevant things. On the other hand, such fluctuations are detrimental to the image of the Russian cosmonautics.

Policy of the Russian space Agency have recently become characterized by “inconsistency and vacillation,” said Zheleznyakov. According to him, the new launch pad at Baikonur, in any case, is an interim solution. Russia anyway will be forced to revert to the original draft of the cosmodrome “East” if she wants to implement their ideas relatively independent of the launch pad on its own territory — and it will have to pay the price, said the expert.

Officially, Russia continues to consider the “Eastern” spaceport to launch manned spacecraft. However, changed was the timing of the implementation of this program. In accordance with the decision of Putin, will be speeded up creating super-heavy rockets, recently said Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin at the Economic forum in St. Petersburg. “We will refocus the program of manned flights using a super-heavy rocket at the Vostochny cosmodrome, he said. The start date of Rogozin did not name, but this is unlikely to happen before 2030. And something else changed at the spaceport in Siberia. There are military. The new spaceport will be used in conjunction with the Ministry of defence, as reported by the head of Roscosmos Igor Komarov. The original “Oriental” was considered as the first Russian civil cosmodrome.

The first launch pad in Siberia in 2016, has built a civil enterprise “Spetsstroy”. And launch heavy rocket “Angara” from the autumn, in all probability, will be erected one of the organizations of the Ministry of defense, said Komarov. Its construction will spend around one billion euros. If all goes according to plan, it will be ready in 2021. While the cosmodrome “East” was launched just one rocket. In April 2016 it put into orbit three small satellites. At the end of 2017 planned another launch of the spacecraft without a crew, and in 2018 they will have five.