The subjects of cooperation between Russia and the United States in space looks sharp contrast against the background of geopolitical squabbles between the two powers, stuck in the “swamp” of mutual accusations and aggressive demarches in relation to the events in Ukraine.
Perhaps a new impetus to the reconciliation and rhetorical complacency in the field of space cooperation attaches to the successful completion of the mission of the Russian “shuttle” “Soyuz TMA-16M”, which is delivered to the ISS changers Terry Vёrtsa (NASA), Anton Shkaplerova ( Roscosmos) and Samantha Cristoforetti (ESA). Now, a year in zero gravity will hold Gennady Padalka, Mikhail Kornienko and Scott Kelly . It is expected that the new ISS crew will conduct 49 experiments in orbit. Almost half of which is associated with medicine.
However, the main sensational news at this time came from the Earth. Roskosmos head Igor Komarov at a press conference at Baikonur said that Russia is not only prolongs the life of cooperation on the ISS until 2024, and is ready to work with NASA to focus on creating a new space station. To begin with, in order not to be unfounded, the parties signed an agreement to extend the work of the ISS until 2024. The main intrigue of this development lies in the fact that until recently the Russian authorities have denied such a possibility, discussing the prospects of establishing a national orbital station of the Russian Federation after the release of the ISS program.
According to Komarova, the establishment and operation of the new station will be involved not only the current ISS, but also other countries. “It will have an open character for all who want to join it,” said the head of the Russian Space Agency. Another surprising revelation was the statement by the head of Space Agency that the Russian side is now discussing the possibility of extending the program with Ukraine. Although, in this matter, admitted Igor Komarov, there are some difficulties.
Recall that now in addition to Russia and the United States, the project also involved Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, France, Switzerland, Sweden and Japan.
His overseas counterparts head of the US space agency Charles Bolden verbally raised the Russian-American cooperation in space hitherto unattainable height. At the same press conference, the head of NASA said that at present, the possibility of joint missions to Mars. “We are discussing how best to use resources, finance, define the time frame and how to distribute efforts to avoid duplication of effort,” outlined the prospects of joint cooperation in the development of this planet, Mr. Bolden.
Academician of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics named after KE Tsiolkovsky Alexander Zheleznyakov believes pure politics has been no formal severance of relations in space, unheard of previously by representatives of the two countries.
– The authorship of such mutual escapades belongs to people who have a very indirect relationship to the space program. Therefore, the proposed project and the construction of a national station, exit the ISS project. But common sense prevailed.
That was announced Komarov and Bolden – a logical continuation of cooperation that goes on for decades between the two countries. The extension of the ISS until 2024, study on the establishment of a new perspective station “road map” to the Moon and Mars – it fits into the logic of cooperation that exists between our two countries.
The sanctions and other political demarches, fortunately, put on the backburner.
«SP”: – Is there a danger that Roscosmos in these projects in the role of “waiting in the wings?” Like our traditional subsistence Space “cab”? In orbit astronauts and cargo is not an achievement that can surprise the world. Given that the European Space Agency has sent probes to asteroids …
– I believe that our role in ambitious projects like the Mars mission will depend on how we put ourselves . If you accept the role of “cab”, which we do, then so be it. We must show ourselves as equal partners who can create not only the near-Earth “space horse”, but also a complex space technology.
«SP”: – And we can do it?
– I believe yes. Despite the fact that the Americans put us in difficult conditions. Because of them, we were forced to break off cooperation with Ukraine in the space sphere, against Russia have been introduced sectoral sanctions that block the transfer of dual-use technologies. On the other hand, the sanctions are pushing us to to develop its own industry, which does not depend on imported components. They can be an incentive to intensify work in this direction.
It is necessary to develop its own element base and use it to create art. Yes, a complex question, but ambiguous. But, nevertheless, be solved. It is possible to make a breakthrough to immediately overtake competitors.
«SP”: – The fact that the United States rely on the commercialization of the aerospace industry, gives them an advantage over us?
– Note that some segments of space programs commercialize Americans. This is an Earth manned space program. The development of deep space rests with the government. Commercial Corporation also produce remote sensing systems, the same telecommunications satellites. But their navigation rests with the government. That is, NASA gives those segments that have become secondary to the state. Or can be actively used by private business more effectively.
«SP”: – In this way, the United States as a state save money on more ambitious targets in space. Why did Russia do not use this experience?
– Repeat it until you get it. We have powerful corporations in the financial plan, but there is no developed private aerospace business. We have a state-owned giants like Roscosmos, KLA, or small organizations that can not raise the necessary funds to compete with first.
«SP”: – We could do without the cooperation with the United States in resolving this problem, as a trip to Mars?
– Alone is Unattainable to any country in the world. Just because it is necessary to invest huge amounts of money. In order to organize a full-fledged mission to Mars, requires a minimum of $ 150 billion. And we are talking only about the flight. But it requires more preparation period. So that the total increase even twice. What state can just throw $ 300 billion. For a flight to Mars ?!
«SP”: – What is the state of our aerospace industry? Some experts have expressed concern that we begin to lag behind in the race comic. For example, the recent launch of a heavy vehicle “Angara-A5″ can be considered an achievement?
– «Angara-A5″ – this is not a breakthrough. At best, it can be put into orbit to 35 tonnes of payload. This is slightly more than the current “Proton”. And we ought to learn how to “push” from 70 to 90 tons. It’s just a good missile, but there is nothing revolutionary. Than we could surprise the world, so it is the creation of a nuclear interorbital tug. Must loads into space we will be on “chemistry”, and on-orbit to collect design using nuclear tug. This can be a particular stimulus because it would cut the flight to other planets. No less important appearance of super-heavy carrier. What is now on the program refuse, I think, not quite right.
«SP”: – It turns out the American carrier rocket “Saturn 5″, which participated in the lunar program the US has yet to be surpassed?
– Why, there’s our “N-1″ (an element of the failed Soviet lunar manned program – approx. Ed.), “Energy».
«SP”: – And why not revive latest project developments some remain from the start “Buran»?
– It is easier and cheaper to start a new project. Because all the technical documentation and backlogs almost did not survive. Missiles no documentation partially lost. And it is not negligence and deliberate policy of the post-perestroika leadership. In the early 1990s, when the Russian authorities to abandon the project, many developments have remained in Kazakhstan, and we can not agree with the Kazakhs. Something is made in Ukraine. Now it’s “cut a slice.” Some fragments of the rocket technologies are stored in Samara in RSC “Energia”.
«SP”: – Save the scientific and technological and human potential of the Russian aerospace industry allows to realize a similar project?
– The potential is there due to the backlog, which was created in Soviet times. If we now take up the heavy missile may be able to recover something, and even move forward.
«SP”: – it is an optimistic scenario – in fact 10% of the budget sequestration, for sure, will affect the space industry?
– Financing space is reduced along with funding the entire economy. In such conditions it is difficult to count on success without the revival of international cooperation.
«SP”: – Do you think space can be above politics?
– I would like to believe it. Although doubt in this. Cooperation in space depends entirely on events in the world. If the Russian-American confrontation will continue, there would no longer be up to cooperation.
in the space industry expert Yuri Karash is skeptical about the possibility of friendship and cooperation between the two nations in space during their feud in the world.
– No breakthrough in relations I watch. The above quote is very common words that periodically pronounced representatives of the Russian and American space industry.
From these people did not depend in the sense that they are now able to announce a joint mission to Mars, and tomorrow Putin and Obama say that it is impossible.
«SP”: – Wait, Roscosmos it’s a government agency, a federal agency, and its leader Igor Komarov. It is hard to deny that he has the right to voice the views of the authorities on the prospects of Russian-American cooperation in space.
– Roscosmos delivered to the ISS representatives of NASA and ESA. The mood is positive. Americans on the sidelines was told that it would be nice to continue to cooperate and even go further. But while it does not mean anything. How much has already been talk that France sends Russia built and contracted us helicopter “Mistral”. Moreover, citing sources at the Elysee Palace. But, as it turned out, these conversations have remained on the declarative level.
«SP”: – Well, how can develop cooperation between Russia and the United States in space?
– Before 2024, we will use the station together. Moscow is profitable. Because Russia is nothing else. If Americans can not afford to develop deep space, fly to Mars, we have no such possibility.
Not long ago, our government announced that will build the space station. This is certainly great – get a “stub” ISS or “Peace”. Charles Bolden as NASA head can say anything you want, and the US Congress will adopt a resolution tomorrow. Say, Mr. Bolden, you have something to say too much not the case.
Even commercial space programs in the United States are classified as dual-use technologies. Because they can be applied to national security. That is, even a private commercial company can not take on his own initiative to cooperate with Russia. Because now there are so-called sectoral sanctions and the US is not going to cancel. That’s when the weighty word to say, the US Congress (in 1993, when he approved the cooperation between the US and Russia in the ISS program), it will be another matter.
«SP”: – One way or another, in the legislature sit US policy, and Komarov and Bolden professionals. Surely, they are increasingly aware that the gap of cooperative ties between Russia and the United States is detrimental to both countries?
– There is no gap in the ISS project no. It is not profitable either Russia or America. But after the completion of this project, which benefits America to cooperate with Russia? If we do not have anything but technologies for flight into orbit. US authorities have gathered to fly to Mars, we will be able to help them? We have no technology or technologies for operations in deep space.
«SP”: – How have things to the operation of heavy missiles?
– Yeah, no way. Here, Fly “Angara-A5″. Explain how it differs from the American Delta IV? Compare their specifications and realize that nothing. Is that our little cheaper. We have the opportunity to fly to Mars one, but there is no desire. And so also the “brains” were Soviet-era industrial complex. But we do not want. Because our government is the development of production and sales in foreign markets of oil and gas. And everything else, it calls for a cover.
In a conversation with “SP» valid academic adviser to the Russian Academy of Engineering Sciences Yuri Zaitsev said that he, in general, opposed to the development of manned space flight.
– April 8-10, will host an international conference in which will be summed up intermediate results of the ISS and the prospects of this project. In fact, the efficiency of the space station is 3-3.5%. If you increase the automation of the work of astronauts, you can hold out until 9-11%. The main effort goes into maintaining the viability of the astronauts and the implementation of the regulations of the instrument station.
And for scientific research, in fact, no time left. Not to mention the fact that many problems in such conditions it is impossible to solve. Because even the pulse of cosmonauts affect the settings of astrophysical instruments.
As for a manned flight to Mars, I do not believe that it will take place before the end of this century. From a purely biological standpoint.
«SP”: – Despite the above circumstances, space cooperation is beneficial to all parties?
– Russia has always been interested in collaboration. Prior to the events of Ukrainian Americans were not against it, then went demarches. The fact that the Russian side did to the ISS, she coached the Americans, repeating what we have already performed at the “world.” And earlier in the “Salute”. For Europeans and Americans, who did not have their own space station, it was a step forward. In fact, we shared experiences. Not for free, of course. For Russia, it is “the last day.” So I do not see much need for a national space station.
Another thing, there will be space station, in the Queen will start to reduce people. There are in fact RSC “Energia” leading enterprise of the Russian space industry, TsNIIMASH (including the Mission Control Center), (a branch of Khrunichev. Khrunichev). Therefore, from an economic point of view, an agreement on the extension of our participation in the ISS until 2024, is likely to be achieved.
To the conference our staff prepared about eight reports of successful projects on the ISS. But after so many years of the station is not so much.
Photo: EPA / TASS