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Russia decreases number of satellites in its 2025 plan due to budget cuts

January 14, 14:10 UTC+3
The number of launches of spacecraft under the new federal space program for 2016-2025, in view of the budget cuts, will decrease from 185 to 150
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© Evgeniy Kurskov/TASS

MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. The number of satellites in the Russian orbital constellation in 2025 will reach 70 instead of previously planned 95 spacecraft, according to the draft federal space program for 2016-2025 prepared by the Russian state space corporation, Roscosmos.

According to the document that is being prepared for the government’s approval, in 2025 the number of satellite in the Russian orbital constellation will reach not 95, as it had been planned with the budget of 2 trillion rubles, but 70 spacecraft given the new financing.

The number of launches of spacecraft under the new federal space program for 2016-2025, in view of the budget cuts, will decrease from 185 to 150.

According to previous reports, the financing of the federal space program until 2025 would amount to some 1.4 trillion rubles ($18.27 billion), and the draft program presented last spring provided for budget financing worth 2 trillion roubles ($26.11 billion).

On Monday, the Izvestia daily reported that Roscosmos intended to cut spending on servicing the ISS in 2016-2015 by almost 30 billion rubles.

Citing the final federal space program draft submitted to ministries the daily said that over the next decade Russia would allocate 252.1 billion rubles ($3.43 billion) for flight control, servicing the Russian segment of ISS and implementing a program of scientific experiments. Earlier FSP draft submitted in April last year envisaged spending 281.4 billion rubles ($3.82 billion) on the space program. The final draft was cut by almost a quarter to 1.521 trillion rubles ($21 billion) for the next 10 years.

Russia cancels plans for building two modules for new orbital station

The corporation has also lost some of the original ambitious projects, including creation of two autonomous modules (transformable and power generating ones, ordered by the Russian Academy of Sciences), meant for the creation of a Russian orbital station. The project is absent from the latest version of the program.

A transformable module was to be created in 2020-2025 and its launch was scheduled for 2025. Its service life was estimated at five years and design and manufacturing costs, 12.3 billion rubles.

The six-tonne power generating module, having a life cycle of ten years, was to be built in 2021-2025. Its design capacity was set at 18 kilowatts. The launch was scheduled for 2025. Project’s costs were expected at 13.7 billion rubles.

Earlier, the head of the Russian segment of the International Space Station, Vladimir Solovyov, said Russia had no plans for creating a national orbital station in high latitudes due to the radiation situation. Unmanned space vehicles can be used there instead.

Media say if Russia curtails its participation in the ISS project, it might create a national orbital station with an inclination of 62 degrees North (the ISS is in orbit with an inclination of 51.6 degrees). The ISS will stay operational till 2024.

Seven Russian spacecraft to be launched to ISS in 2016

According to Roscosmos, Russia in 2016 will carry out seven launches to the International Space Station (ISS).

"Four manned and three cargo launched to the International Space Station are planned from the Baikonur cosmodrome in 2016. The first launch of a manned spacecraft is scheduled for March 19, the second - for June 21, third - for September 23 and fourth - for November 16. The cargo spacecraft will be launched on March 31, July 4 and October 20," Roscosmos said in a statement in Facebook.

On June 21, the first manned spacecraft of a new modification - Soyuz-MS will be launched to the ISS. The new series Soyuz has an upgraded flight control and navigation system. The state corporation sources said that communication with the cosmonauts in the new spacecraft will be ensures during the whole flight to the station, and it will take less time to find the descent module when it returns from orbit.

In addition, the new spaceship has an upgraded docking and internal transfer system, as well as an improved power supply system: the size and power of solar cells are increased - the solar panels will produce more energy.

Russia drops plans for launching manned Soyuz spacecraft from new spaceport

Russia’s space corporation has also dropped plans for launching the new series manned Soyuz-MS spacecraft from the Vostochny spaceport in the Amur Region. The project has been deleted from the draft of the federal space program for 2016-2025.

The launch of Soyuz-MS from Vostochny has been removed from the latest version of the document about to be submitted to the government for approval. Originally Roscosmos hoped to carry out the launch at the end of 2019.

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