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Russia’s Energiya space corporation picked as chief developer of Soyuz-5 carrier rocket

August 11, 2017, 18:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The first launch of the new Russian Soyuz-5 carrier rocket is scheduled for 2022

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© Alexei Savelyev/TASS

MOSCOW, August 11. /TASS/. Russia’s Energiya Rocket and Space Corporation has been chosen as the chief developer of the new Russian Soyuz-5 medium-class carrier rocket, according to a statement posted on the corporation’s website on Friday.

"The work is being carried out in compliance with a Russian government resolution where Energiya Rocket and Space Corporation has been defined as the chief developer of the space rocket complex," the statement says.

The other contractors include Progress Rocket and Space Center and the Center for Operation of Ground-based Space Infrastructure Facilities.

In addition to the rocket proper, the space rocket complex that will be developed by Energiya Corporation includes a medium-class carrier rocket, a DM acceleration unit and also ground-based infrastructure that should be upgraded.

The first launch of the new Russian Soyuz-5 carrier rocket is scheduled for 2022 from the Baikonur space center. The rocket is expected to be subsequently maximally adapted for launches from the Sea Launch floating platform and then from the Vostochny spaceport in the Russian Far East. In 2024, the carrier rocket is planned to orbit a manned Federatsiya spacecraft with a crew on its board.

The basic elements and technologies of the Soyuz-5 carrier rocket can be eventually used for developing a super-heavy launcher.

Soyuz-5 carrier rocket

Russia’s federal space program for 2016-2025 stipulates developing a new-generation medium-class space rocket complex (the Phoenix R&D work) from 2018 to 2025. The Russian government is expected to allocate almost 30 billion rubles ($498 million) for the launcher’s development. The project’s budget financing will begin in 2018.

RD-171MV engines are expected to be mounted on the rocket’s first stage. The second stage will use the RD-0124M engine (developed by the Chemical Automatics Design Bureau and is currently part of the third stage of the Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket) instead of the RD-120 (produced in Ukraine).

In order to expedite flight tests, there are plans to use the launch pad of the Zenit carrier rocket at the Baikonur cosmodrome, which Kazakhstan will modernize under the Baiterek program for the new Russian rocket. During space launches under the Baiterek project, the rocket will be called Sunkar (Falcon), although in Russia the rocket was named Soyuz-5.

The first launch of the Soyuz-5 carrier rocket with an unmanned Federatsiya spacecraft from the Baikonur spaceport is scheduled for 2022 and with a manned Federatsiya space vehicle for 2024.

The Soyuz-5 is set to eventually become the first stage of a new Russian super-heavy carrier rocket, which is planned to blast off from the Vostochny cosmodrome in 2028.

In the wake of the Soyuz-5 carrier rocket’s development, Russia has revised the manned flight concept envisaging the development of the piloted version of the Angara rocket, the Angara-A5P. It was also decided to postpone the construction of piloted infrastructure at the Vostochny cosmodrome.

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