Author Topic: How would Russia go to the moon?  (Read 161753 times)

Offline Hyperion5

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1616
  • Liked: 1148
  • Likes Given: 233
How would Russia go to the moon?
« on: 11/26/2012 04:39 AM »
I was surprised to find not a single topic addressed leaks last year on Russia planning missions, unmanned and then manned, to the moon. 

http://www.space.com/14915-russia-moon-landing-2030.html

There are a couple of interesting differences between Russian manned moon plans and Apollo:

"Russia's new space vision focuses heavily on the moon. In addition to the manned lunar landing, Roscosmos is considering building a space station in orbit around Earth's nearest neighbor by 2030."

http://en.rian.ru/science/20120427/173094312.html

"In late January, Roscosmos’s head, Vladimir Popovkin voiced plans to set up manned moon research bases with European and U.S. partners, saying that there were plans to either set up a moon base or to launch an orbital station. To that end, Russia is currently developing a “prospective manned transportation system” to be sent to the moon, he added."


-------------

This sounds like a realistic timeline if a fairly ambitious set of goals for Roscosmos.  It sounds to me like the plan is that one of the heavier Angara rockets, an Angara 5 or Angara 7, will be used to put the Soyuz' successor into lunar orbit not long after NASA/ESA send astronauts around the moon on Orion. 

But beyond that, things get fuzzy.  How does Russia plan on building a moon base or lunar space station if even the heaviest Angara (the unfunded Angara 7 concept) will require multiple launches for a moon mission?  It does appear that the Russians are considering a heavy-lift rocket, which would solve a lot of issues (http://moonandback.com/2012/08/23/energia-seeks-to-resurrect-heavy-lift-rocket-with-ukraine-and-kazakhstan/). 

I personally think the Angara rocket family will prove inadequate to the task Russia has set as a goal.  Which brings up one of my favorite questions, will the Russians have to bring back the Energia or something derived from it to accomplish these goals?

As there aren't yet a lot of details on Russia's moon plans, figure on this thread being wide-ranging and speculative.  So shoot away and post what you think of Russia's plans and just how you see them being accomplished or stymied. 
« Last Edit: 11/26/2012 04:40 AM by Hyperion5 »

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8018
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 4051
  • Likes Given: 1234
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #1 on: 11/26/2012 07:45 AM »
Why no discussion you ask?

Well, let me put this way. The Russians have a habbit of announcing some grandiose plan for their future explorations in space once every few years. They often include a new spaceship to replacy Soyuz, and a new superbooster, or resurrection of Energia and ideas for either lunar outposts or lunar space stations. However, so far, none of those plans have come to anything. As a result, enthusiasm for newly announced (or even leaked) Russian space plans has become lackluster at best over the years.

Mind you: this idea to resurrect Energia is certainly not the first, and it probably will not be the last either. And just as all other attempts it will probably fail. Most probable reason: no payloads for such a monster rocket.
« Last Edit: 11/26/2012 07:52 AM by woods170 »

Offline Ben the Space Brit

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7110
  • A spaceflight fan
  • London, UK
  • Liked: 634
  • Likes Given: 744
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #2 on: 11/26/2012 01:41 PM »
Pretty much how the way has always been seen since the time of Korolev (with a brief side-excursion down a dead-end alley called 'N1' due to the need to race NASA to the Moon and, possibly, Korolev's ego not being able to tolerate von Braun having a bigger rocket than him).

You use multiple launches of MHLVs like a Proton to launch the lander and propulsion module to LEO and then launch a BEO-ready Soyuz (Zond-2?) to bring up the crew.  You then fly a fairly typical EOR, LOR, LOR, direct descent mission.  It might be necessary to include an expendable stores module too, depending on how much life-support endurance can be wrung out of the Soyuz.

The big unexplored area is the endurance of the propulsion module.  It may be necessary to pre-place the ROI propulsion module in LEO due to the fact that Russia lacks any high-Isp engines that can provide propulsion for the TLI, LOR and ROI burns on one fuel load.


[edit]
Added point about Soyuz life support
« Last Edit: 11/26/2012 01:47 PM by Ben the Space Brit »
"Oops! I left the silly thing in reverse!" - Duck Dodgers

~*~*~*~

The Space Shuttle Program - 1981-2011

The time for words has passed; The time has come to put up or shut up!
DON'T PROPAGANDISE, FLY!!!

Offline Hyperion5

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1616
  • Liked: 1148
  • Likes Given: 233
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #3 on: 11/26/2012 01:42 PM »
Why no discussion you ask?

Well, let me put this way. The Russians have a habbit of announcing some grandiose plan for their future explorations in space once every few years. They often include a new spaceship to replacy Soyuz, and a new superbooster, or resurrection of Energia and ideas for either lunar outposts or lunar space stations. However, so far, none of those plans have come to anything. As a result, enthusiasm for newly announced (or even leaked) Russian space plans has become lackluster at best over the years.

Well there are at least a few differences going forward for Roscosmos.  They've awarded a contract for the new manned successor to Soyuz, so it appears that at least is happening.  The nickname for the new capsule is hilarious.  Apparently some in the Russian press dubbed it "Orionski", because it so strongly resembled the Orion.

We also have images of Angara cores being posted, which is the rocket that will carry that new manned vehicle, so another plus there.  I am fairly certain that if Russia were to build the 7-core Angara 7, they could fling their new capsule around the moon (they might be able to do it with the Angara 5).  However, as you've noted, the Angara 7 is not yet funded.  At least with universal rocket modules it wouldn't be an expensive task to go from the Angara 5 to the Angara 7. 

Mind you: this idea to resurrect Energia is certainly not the first, and it probably will not be the last either. And just as all other attempts it will probably fail. Most probable reason: no payloads for such a monster rocket.

Well we'll see just how serious the Russians are this decade.  I suspect that if the Chinese were to approve the Long March 9 heavy-lift rocket and a definitive timeline for a manned moon mission, the Russians' national pride might be stung enough to provoke more of a response.  It would be hard for them to sit back, with Roscosmos getting an ever-bigger budget each year, and explain how it was that both America and China were flinging people to and past the moon while Russia was stuck in low earth orbit.  At the very least the Russian economy will enable more ambitious plans today than it has in the past. 

Offline Quindar Beep

  • Member
  • Posts: 46
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #4 on: 11/26/2012 04:04 PM »
Pretty much how the way has always been seen since the time of Korolev (with a brief side-excursion down a dead-end alley called 'N1' due to the need to race NASA to the Moon and, possibly, Korolev's ego not being able to tolerate von Braun having a bigger rocket than him).

Let's not forget Glushko. He designed Energia to be an all-purpose rocket, not just a Shuttle launcher, by moving the engines off the orbiter and onto the bottom of what a lot of people think is Buran's "external fuel tank" -- it's not.

Glushko was very interested in going to the Moon after he took over TsKBEM from Korolev's successor Mishin in 1974; he was only shifted off the topic because he was specifically ordered to drop it and work on Buran and space stations instead.

There's evidence, and I personally believe, that he was just waiting for another gyration in the USSR's political leadership so that he could shift back to a Moon mission and base. Even if he himself died, he positioned his bureau so that his hypothetical successor could use Energia as a foundation.

Unfortunately for him the Soviet Union fell apart immediately after his death. His rocket is gone and not coming back, and the Russians aren't developing another one (or any of the other necessary hardware) as long as their economy is smaller than Brazil's -- i.e., for the foreseeable future.

Offline Hyperion5

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1616
  • Liked: 1148
  • Likes Given: 233
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #5 on: 11/27/2012 06:34 PM »
Pretty much how the way has always been seen since the time of Korolev (with a brief side-excursion down a dead-end alley called 'N1' due to the need to race NASA to the Moon and, possibly, Korolev's ego not being able to tolerate von Braun having a bigger rocket than him).

Let's not forget Glushko. He designed Energia to be an all-purpose rocket, not just a Shuttle launcher, by moving the engines off the orbiter and onto the bottom of what a lot of people think is Buran's "external fuel tank" -- it's not.

That was the great thing about Energia.  It was multipurpose and thanks to no foam on the central core, also probably safer than the Shuttle going up.  I say probably because RD-170 engines have been known to blow up.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Energia was a better setup than the STS.  If the USSR hadn't collapsed, it is altogether possible we'd be still seeing the Buran and the Energia today.  Of course, once the USSR had learned of NASA's plans to go back to the moon, it would have been very easy to simply re-purpose the launcher for moon missions.  The Energia dying out really makes it much harder for Russia to send men beyond geosynchronous orbit, even with the Angara 5.  They'd probably need the Angara 7 to send cosmonauts (with fuel to spare) to lunar space stations. 

Glushko was very interested in going to the Moon after he took over TsKBEM from Korolev's successor Mishin in 1974; he was only shifted off the topic because he was specifically ordered to drop it and work on Buran and space stations instead.

There's evidence, and I personally believe, that he was just waiting for another gyration in the USSR's political leadership so that he could shift back to a Moon mission and base. Even if he himself died, he positioned his bureau so that his hypothetical successor could use Energia as a foundation.

Unfortunately for him the Soviet Union fell apart immediately after his death. His rocket is gone and not coming back, and the Russians aren't developing another one (or any of the other necessary hardware) as long as their economy is smaller than Brazil's -- i.e., for the foreseeable future.

Funny you should mention Brazil. :)  Russia launches more rockets than any country on earth thanks to its Soviet heritage while Brazil hasn't even shown the ambition to send a man into space, nor does it have the rocket to do so.  Yet while I understand that Russia's economy is now seriously out-classed by many countries, it still has revived quite a bit since 2000.  If one checks the betting odds on which country's likely to be first back to the moon, the Russians are currently in about 3rd position after China.  I don't think there's enough bets on Brazil for them to even show up.

Offline the_roche_lobe

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 100
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #6 on: 11/27/2012 09:47 PM »
Brazil's absence from the table should be a warning about the future of spaceflight overall. National prestige and spaceflight are slowly becoming unhinged from each other. Brazil might decide (and I'm talking about as a nation, not what Brazilian private enterprise may or may not do in the future) it doesnt care?

P

Offline Hyperion5

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1616
  • Liked: 1148
  • Likes Given: 233
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #7 on: 11/27/2012 11:01 PM »
Brazil's absence from the table should be a warning about the future of spaceflight overall. National prestige and spaceflight are slowly becoming unhinged from each other. Brazil might decide (and I'm talking about as a nation, not what Brazilian private enterprise may or may not do in the future) it doesnt care?

P
 

Actually Brazil may be an exception to the global norm.  Think about why the Soviets and the US had the original moon race during the Cold War.  You had two big nuclear powers struggling for global ideological supremacy and suddenly in the late 1950s a brand new area of technology with immense geopolitical significance opens up.  The Russians, who were till this point badly trailing, suddenly under Korolev and Krushchev's leadership beat the US to space.  You hear allegories about this today--about how we need another "Sputnik moment".  It was geopolitics that subsequently drove Kennedy to launch the race for the moon. 

Recently geopolitical competition has been heating up for the major northern powers of Russia, China, the US, EU and India.  Brazil, being an isolated southern newcomer into world power politics, doesn't feel the geopolitical urge.  In the space of this decade, we've seen all of the northern powers but India put up the beginnings of their own satellite navigation systems.  China has become the world's 3rd country to have an independent manned spaceflight ability, and India looks set to follow them by possibly 2020.  The Chinese plan on eventually going to the moon.  The Americans plan on going around the moon and beyond.  Even the Indians are planning manned flights.  Russia now has a decision to make about where they're taking their manned space program. 

Roscosmos could sit back and simply fling up space stations and put cosmonauts in them, but they've done that plenty of times around earth and their competitors will eventually up their game.  So why might a Russian moon mission, either to orbit or for a landing, be more plausible now, even given that? 

What's changed this time around is Roscosmos is actually getting some significant budget increases and it having access to a new launcher and capsule.  The old Soyuz launcher, although updated, can only send up 8.5 mt into LEO.  The incoming Angara 5, fully upgraded, will top 28 mt to LEO.  An Angara 7 version would top 40 mt and would probably be capable of sending a Soyuz around the moon.  Now I'll admit if they stopped at the Angara 5 or 7, Russia would not have enough capability to launch the new capsule.  But given enough competition, I think there's a fair chance, given the modest resources space eats up, that Russia could finally push for a bigger launcher on the order of 70 mt to LEO. 


Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9161
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 613
  • Likes Given: 320
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #8 on: 11/29/2012 01:56 PM »
To the OP.  On a rocket.  Couldn't resist.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline asmi

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 664
  • Ontario, Canada
  • Liked: 98
  • Likes Given: 97
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #9 on: 11/29/2012 03:47 PM »
I guess the biggest problem is that Roscosmos has apparently learnt PowerPoint from NASA, and now they are producing paper rockets and spacecrafts at alarming rate. Will see how it goes, but as I see now general public in Russia has started asking questions about where ever-growing RSA's budget money are going, so there might be some improvement.
My guess is Angara will fly in a next couple years or so (especially keeping in mind that the parts of it already flew and will soon (hopefully) fly again as part of South Korea's rocket, so giving them flight experience for free.
As for the Soyuz spacecraft successor - it's a difficult question because currently it has no destination. Missions to ISS are being perfectly handled by existing S/C, and Russian philosophy has always been not to fix something that isn't broken. The task here is much harder for Russians that for every other nation - while other nations need any human-rated S/C to gain independent access to space, Russia need the one that is significantly better than Soyuz which is excellent at what it does, and it's proven reliability would be hard to go around.
There is a recent announcement that ISS partners are going to start technological preparations for manned flight to Moon, so someone will have to come up with hardware for that. I suspect that upgrading Soyuz for HEO would be an easiest (and surely the cheapest) option out there...

Offline Hyperion5

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1616
  • Liked: 1148
  • Likes Given: 233
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #10 on: 11/29/2012 04:59 PM »
I guess the biggest problem is that Roscosmos has apparently learnt PowerPoint from NASA, and now they are producing paper rockets and spacecrafts at alarming rate. Will see how it goes, but as I see now general public in Russia has started asking questions about where ever-growing RSA's budget money are going, so there might be some improvement.
My guess is Angara will fly in a next couple years or so (especially keeping in mind that the parts of it already flew and will soon (hopefully) fly again as part of South Korea's rocket, so giving them flight experience for free.
As for the Soyuz spacecraft successor - it's a difficult question because currently it has no destination. Missions to ISS are being perfectly handled by existing S/C, and Russian philosophy has always been not to fix something that isn't broken. The task here is much harder for Russians that for every other nation - while other nations need any human-rated S/C to gain independent access to space, Russia need the one that is significantly better than Soyuz which is excellent at what it does, and it's proven reliability would be hard to go around.
There is a recent announcement that ISS partners are going to start technological preparations for manned flight to Moon, so someone will have to come up with hardware for that. I suspect that upgrading Soyuz for HEO would be an easiest (and surely the cheapest) option out there...

Probably, though we also have the Russians signing a contract for a new manned vehicle weighing 12 mt.  I'm willing to bet an Angara A7, which can send 9 mt to GTO, could probably fling a Soyuz around the moon with minimal upgrades.  The question now is, how much weight does the Soyuz need to gain for this lunar mission capability? 

Offline Khadgars

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 968
  • Long Beach, California
  • Liked: 178
  • Likes Given: 549
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #11 on: 11/29/2012 05:20 PM »
IMO I think you're much more likely to see the Russians get invited to join BEO mission from NASA sometime in the future rather than Russian doing it on its own.

Offline asmi

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 664
  • Ontario, Canada
  • Liked: 98
  • Likes Given: 97
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #12 on: 11/29/2012 05:33 PM »
IMO I think you're much more likely to see the Russians get invited to join BEO mission from NASA sometime in the future rather than Russian doing it on its own.
There is a possibility of that too, especially keeping in mind recent announcements from RSA, but NASA's plans are even more paper than RSA's are. At least Angara's parts are flying or, I should probably say, trying to fly :), while SLS is in deep bureacratic paper stage, and there are no signs that it would ever leave that stage. And Russians has got a vehicle that can be adapted for BEO at a reasonable expence, while NASA's got nothing here as well...
Allthough personally I'd prefer to see ISS 2.0 on LLO than any flag-and-bootstep-like mission from any agency. The main reason I prefer that is internation aspect makes such an endeavor much more stable and less susceptible to political wind shifts. And extra redundancy (two-fault tolerant US + two-fault tolerant Russian) is always a good thing, especially in a place where you can't have a vessel arrive in a matter of hours from launch...
« Last Edit: 11/29/2012 05:34 PM by asmi »

Offline Khadgars

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 968
  • Long Beach, California
  • Liked: 178
  • Likes Given: 549
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #13 on: 11/29/2012 05:52 PM »
IMO I think you're much more likely to see the Russians get invited to join BEO mission from NASA sometime in the future rather than Russian doing it on its own.
There is a possibility of that too, especially keeping in mind recent announcements from RSA, but NASA's plans are even more paper than RSA's are. At least Angara's parts are flying or, I should probably say, trying to fly :), while SLS is in deep bureacratic paper stage, and there are no signs that it would ever leave that stage. And Russians has got a vehicle that can be adapted for BEO at a reasonable expence, while NASA's got nothing here as well...

I believe SLS is due to complete its PDR by this time next year and Orion is well underway as well.

Offline Hyperion5

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1616
  • Liked: 1148
  • Likes Given: 233
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #14 on: 11/29/2012 06:43 PM »
I believe SLS is due to complete its PDR by this time next year and Orion is well underway as well.
Did you mean that it's due to complete one paper stage and advance into another paper stage? That's exactly what I've said above...

I'll address this quickly and get back on topic. 

A PDR is only two steps away from a Production Readiness Review, meaning you have to start fabricating machining and other things to be used to actually build the SLS right around that time.  So in fact the SLS will stop being a paper rocket in terms of the ability to build it shortly thereafter.  Actually building it is a little further along.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_review_%28US_Government%29

Here are all the various stages to design that NASA goes through:

Here are the steps SLS, to the best of my knowledge, has gone through. 

Mission Concept Review (MCR)
System Requirements Review (SRR)
Mission Definition Review (MDR)
System Definition Review (SDR)


Here is what they're working towards in the next year:

Preliminary Design Review (PDR)


Here are the steps after that:

Critical Design Review (CDR)
Production Readiness Review (PRR)
Test Readiness Review (TRR)
System Acceptance Review (SAR)
Operational Readiness Review (ORR)
Flight Readiness Review (FRR)

---------------------

It occurred to me that if Russia does have several options if it were to cooperate with other space agencies or countries. 

ESA route

The Ariane 5 ME's predecessors were human-rated from the beginning and the ME will put up around 11.2 mt to GTO and be available within the decade.  I'm not sure what it's GEO numbers look like, but I suspect they'd be close to the Angara 7's 9 mt to GEO (the Angara 7 is more capable than I thought).  Since both rockets are human-rated and have plenty of capability, you might be able to launch a Soyuz lunar mission on either.  While I have my doubts about this approach after the ESA went with NASA, the Ariane 5 should have no problems flinging a Soyuz much farther than it goes today. 

Ukraine route

Russia's Angara 7 may not have enough launch capacity for robust lunar missions.  If Russia really wants a more capable rocket for lunar missions, it needs a Zenit Heavy.  Admittedly the RD-171 engine isn't the most reliable or highest build quality, but if you were to substitute in four higher-quality RD-191 engines per core, you could get engine-out reliability.  It'd also let NPO Energomash max out RD-191 production numbers.  A Zenit Heavy ought to lift more to TLI than an Angara 7 even before adding in a LH2 upper stage.  This would be a much easier option than building an all-new mega rocket.

China route

The biggest Long March 5 will be capable of flinging a Shenzhou or Soyuz capsule around the moon (it does 14 mt to GTO as well).  Chinese-Russian cooperation isn't exactly unprecedented, and using both the largest Angara and Long March 5, you could do some serious missions around the moon.  Russia might strike a bargain if China went ahead with the conceptual Long March 9, which would supposedly lift 50 mt to TLI.  The Russians could offer their new, larger capsule while the Chinese would supply the rocket.  Given the deal struck between the ESA and NASA, this is not unprecedented. 

India subsidy route

Offer the Indians a chance to put up cosmonauts first to LEO (which I've heard they may do) and then beyond.  India lacks launchers that can even send up men, so they might be quite willing to pay some good money to get in on Angara flights.  I suspect they wouldn't mind the chance at having an Indian astronaut on a lunar mission of any kind and would pay handsomely for the opportunity.  Russia could let India help defray its costs while it provides much of the hardware. 

Offline asmi

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 664
  • Ontario, Canada
  • Liked: 98
  • Likes Given: 97
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #15 on: 11/29/2012 07:15 PM »
You don't need GTO to get to the Moon - all you need is ability to lift modified Soyuz (or whatever else S/C they are going to use) + TLI stage to LEO. I remember that such op (lunar flyaround) has been estimated to cost around $400M. I don't remember what kind of hardware was used though, but my coarse calculations are:
S/C - 9 mt (currently it's 8 mt, I've added 1 mt for modifications)
TLI stage - Briz-M (dry mass 2.5 mt, fueled mass 22.5 mt, ISP 326)
such a combination would have Dv budget of 3221 m/s, enough to execute a mission. TLI stage can be lofted by Proton-M, Soyuz - by Soyuz-2.b launcher.
Sounds like we have a mission :)

Offline asmi

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 664
  • Ontario, Canada
  • Liked: 98
  • Likes Given: 97
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #16 on: 11/29/2012 07:40 PM »
People keep saying that, which is true, but STS was also a jobs program that flew every year.

This all sounds too familiar during the same time period between Apollo and STS.  It will never be what we dream about, but doesn't mean its not going to fly and do amazing things.
We will see, but this is off-topic here anyways, so let's get back on topic :)

As far as russian flight is concerned, the main problem seems to be TLI stage, or a lack of it. The mission plan I've proposed is good enough for lunar flyby, but for LLO they will need something else, more powerful and what will be able to last long enough to execute TLI, LOI and TEI at the end of the mission. Current Soyuz main engine has Dv budget of around 500 m/s which is more than enough for LEO ops, but is a joke for lunar ops unless there is some sort of booster that can propel S/C back to Earth.

Offline The Off Topic Sheriff

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #17 on: 11/29/2012 08:22 PM »
Nooooo. This is not about SLS. Off topicness removed.
If there's one thing I really don't like, it's off topic posts.

Read about me here:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30467.0

Offline Patchouli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4351
  • Liked: 164
  • Likes Given: 286
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #18 on: 11/30/2012 01:13 AM »
People keep saying that, which is true, but STS was also a jobs program that flew every year.

This all sounds too familiar during the same time period between Apollo and STS.  It will never be what we dream about, but doesn't mean its not going to fly and do amazing things.
We will see, but this is off-topic here anyways, so let's get back on topic :)

As far as russian flight is concerned, the main problem seems to be TLI stage, or a lack of it. The mission plan I've proposed is good enough for lunar flyby, but for LLO they will need something else, more powerful and what will be able to last long enough to execute TLI, LOI and TEI at the end of the mission. Current Soyuz main engine has Dv budget of around 500 m/s which is more than enough for LEO ops, but is a joke for lunar ops unless there is some sort of booster that can propel S/C back to Earth.

Some concepts have a Block DM or Fregat stage providing the extra delta V.
« Last Edit: 11/30/2012 01:13 AM by Patchouli »

Offline Hyperion5

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1616
  • Liked: 1148
  • Likes Given: 233
Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #19 on: 11/30/2012 06:04 PM »
You don't need GTO to get to the Moon - all you need is ability to lift modified Soyuz (or whatever else S/C they are going to use) + TLI stage to LEO. I remember that such op (lunar flyaround) has been estimated to cost around $400M. I don't remember what kind of hardware was used though, but my coarse calculations are:
S/C - 9 mt (currently it's 8 mt, I've added 1 mt for modifications)
TLI stage - Briz-M (dry mass 2.5 mt, fueled mass 22.5 mt, ISP 326)
such a combination would have Dv budget of 3221 m/s, enough to execute a mission. TLI stage can be lofted by Proton-M, Soyuz - by Soyuz-2.b launcher.
Sounds like we have a mission :)

You could alternatively do it with an Angara A5 and a Soyuz 2.1b launcher.  My personal preference is to do it in one launch.  For that, you'd have to fund and build the Angara A7V, which has 40.5 mt of LEO payload lift.  I think given they'll already be using the Angara A5/KVRB, this would not be particularly difficult to do.  You would need a new pad or to retrofit an existing one.  That means you might either try retrofitting the Energia's old pad down in Baikonur or more likely just build an all-new one at the new Vostochny Cosmodrome in eastern Russia. 

An Angara A7V is a launcher that could easily lift the 22.5 Briz-M TLI stage and a 9 mt Luna Soyuz with margin to spare. 
40.5 mt-31.5 mt=9 mt spare capacity

Interestingly, this extra capacity bring up the possibility you might be able to launch Russia's future 12 mt, 6-man capsule with a TLI stage to LEO on one Angara A7V.  If the mass of an enlarged Briz-M stage proved too much to launch with your capsule on the Angara A7V, you either do two launches or upgrade your TLI stage.  If I were going for an TLI stage upgrade, I'd build an LH2 stage with four RD-0146 engines.  Each produces 22,000 lbf of thrust, is relatively low pressure, and they have 362 seconds of Isp in a vacuum.  It's not the least expensive way of doing things, but the engines already exist and are seeking a use.  They'd be perfect for sending cosmonauts around the moon. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RD-0146

Tags: