Author Topic: Excerpts from Dmitry Rogozin (Roscosmos Head) interview in Kommersant  (Read 775 times)

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Article is much more extensive, but here are a few excerpts.

Excerpts from Kommersant Newspaper's interview with Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Rogozin, who is the top official in charge of Russia's Defense and Space Industries
Rogozin noted that one of the most memorable events of his time in the post was the first launch of a Soyuz-2 booster from the new Vostochny Launch Complex in 2014.
Rogozin spoke about a number of other topics - here I am summarizing only his remarks on Russia's Space Program

Q:  Current status at Vostochny

A:  Construction is in the final phases. Five of 19 buildings are complete, another six are nearly complete.  Six apartment buildings for staff and family residence are completed, and a seventh will be ready to open for lease in June of this year.  The overall structure of the first parts of the launch complex is laid, and being completed.

Q:  How do you assess the current status of Roscosmos?

A:  Situation in the (space) industry up to 2012 was dire, even moreso than that in the defense industry. Aging staff, equipment wear and tear was adding up in our technological equipment.  Worst of all was the inertia of mentality we had, the long-standing habit to continue to advance the great heritage of the Soviet Space Program. Impossible to rebuild an entire staff from zero in 5-6 years, so we are focusing most of our time on reforms at Roscosmos...
The Americans are transitioning to multi-satellite information and communications systems using small satellites, and taking the technological opportunity to control swarms of satellites and their orbital services.  In their manned programs they are using additive production techniques including 3D printing of all kinds of spacecraft parts and using them for the goals of their space resources.  Onboard systems are being created with self-learning artificial intelligence, and the development of new materials with unique qualities is proceeding rapidly.

Pull quote:  "We stand on the threshold of a technological revolution in space, and if we don't leap ahead, we will fall dramatically behind"

Q:  So do we have an answer to these challenges?

A:  ...The entire launch vehicle segment needs a sense of urgency and "technological fitness", to trim the fat, to get out from under stifling bureaucracy, and become more compact and efficient.  The main criterion in the launch services market now is the cost per kilogram of payload to orbit... We need to make inexpensive modular launchers and functional spacecraft that are as competitive as possible, which can be launched in series in an inexpensive manner. Now, Roscosmos reminds one of a Soviet Colossus.  But now our space companies are chronically underutilized because they are so oversized.  We must become once more not just a competitor, but a world leader.  We need to rapidly form profile holdings, escape parallelism and duplication of effort, and promote younger specialists and technologists.  They need to become the Elite of the industry, not simply middle managers...
We must also open the industry up to private capital, of course, cultivating participants who can share in the expenditures and risks of creating new techniques and markets with state corporations.  The government has given Roscosmos detailed purview over all these areas.

Q:  At Vostochny is a launch pad being built for the Angara booster?

A:  As before, a launch is planned for 2021. But leaders at the Vostochny Launch Complex insist that the new launch pad must be universal not only for the entire Angara family of boosters, including a hydrogen unit able to loft 37 (metric) tons of payload into a reference orbit.  Accordingly work is underway to create the "Amur" space launch complex for the Angara-A5 with the task of modernizing the pad to accommodate launches of the heavier class Angura-A5V with increased payload.

Q: What about Soyuz-5?

A: From my perspective, that is a matter for a private investor.  The good thing is we have one already - the "S7" company.  They have already closed a deal for Sea Launch and are the main party interested in receiving this new booster.
Q:  How do you see the future of the ISS?

A:  First, we need to automate wherever possible to avoid risking the valuable lives of our brave cosmonauts.  In the second place, we need to move out of Low Earth Orbit and leave it for private companies, and move into cislunar space.  Nothing less will do.  If Roscosmos's task is replacing the three-person Soyuz with Federation and a crew of four in LEO, then the deal is not worthwhile.  Our future program must be oriented toward the Moon.  A second question - who will we work with on the program? With the Americans, who are doing their own thing, or with the Chinese, who are very actively developing? We need to get all we can out of the ISS, and move on.  This issue will be looked at by the government and the President in the near future.

Q: What will be the fate of the Russian segment of the ISS?

A:  We need to attract private space companies, and we are already in talks.  The Russian segment should be used as a scientific experimental center, a "space testing range" for new spacecraft. 

In general future space projects that affect national prestige should be worked on by people who are more interested in results than process.  We have such people, and I have no doubt that in coming years our country will reaffirm its status as a great Space Power.

Interviewer:  Ivan Safronov

Translator:  R. Mitchell
Link to original (Russian)


Tags: Russia Space Rogozin