“We are to submit the preliminary design to Roscosmos by December 15. This launch vehicle with the lift capacity of 85 - 90 tons should in the future ensure flights to the Moon and Mars,” Director General of RKTs Progress Alexander Kirillin said at a meeting with Samara region’s governor Nikolay Merkushkin.
A preliminary design as a rule comprises an explanatory note, relevant drawings, charts, calculations, as well as a draft technical design specification. The approval of the preliminary design by the customer is the requirement for the beginning of the project.According to previous reports, Roscosmos has been looking into the possibility for launching super heavy lift carrier rockets from the Vostochny (Eastern) cosmodrome that is currently under construction in the Russian Far East. In November 2013, Federal Space Agency director Oleg Ostapenko was appointed head of the group that should restore the competence for the creation of rockets of this class in Russia.
According to former USSR Minister of General Machine Building Oleg Baklanov, the restoration of competence in this sphere will enable Russia to create an orbital space station that would surpass the International Space Station (ISS) in capabilities for more comfortable flight of cosmonauts. Moreover, he said, this would make “shift work possible on other planets, for example, on the Moon, Mars, etc.”