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Russia to launch production of hydrogen-powered stage for Angara heavy rocket

August 25, 13:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The current state program does not envisage this task, so the prodiction will go beyond 2025

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© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

MOSCOW, August 25. /TASS/. The work to develop the hydrogen-powered stage for the Angara-A5V carrier rocket with the increased lift capacity will begin after 2025, acting CEO of the Khrunichev Space Center Alexei Varochko told TASS on Friday.

"The current state program does not envisage this task. It goes beyond the year 2025. But if we start dealing with this issue only after 2025, then we will again lose time. On paper, these technologies should be ready by 2025. The design idea should work ahead of current plans for years to come," he said.

Only experimental design work is currently under way in this field.

"Much in this matter will be linked with the place of the construction of factories for the production of hydrogen and the methods its delivery to cosmodromes. We need to solve the issue in a way to ensure that we don’t have to build two similar factories in the Far East and in Plesetsk. We need to proceed from the fact that the state cannot work for the production of only technological compounds. We need to work on the issue of minimizing the technological chain," the Center’s head said.

It was reported earlier that the Russian space industry planned to switch to the development of the Angara-A5V heavy-class carrier rocket with the increased lifting capacity after completing work on the Angara-A5M rocket whose first launch was scheduled for 2021.

The rocket’s hydrogen-powered version will be created by way of replacing the URM-2 oxygen-kerosene module of the Angara-A5M rocket with the oxygen-hydrogen stage. The Angara-A5V should be able to deliver up to 37 tonnes to the low near-Earth orbit. Hydrogen technologies are eventually planned to be used in the third stage of the super-heavy carrier rocket.

Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos published its strategy through 2030 in late March 2017, noting that the flight tests of the Angara-A5V heavy rocket were scheduled for 2027-2028. It was also reported that the rocket’s development would cost 37 billion rubles ($625 million) while the entire program of creating the Angara-A5V launcher would require 150 billion rubles ($2.5 billion), considering construction and the work to build the relevant ground-based infrastructure.

The plans to develop the Angara-A5V rocket were unveiled in March 2015, when the scientific and technical council of the Federal Space Agency gave instructions to work out a preliminary design of a new carrier rocket based on the Angara launcher for organizing piloted flights to the Moon. The first launches of Angara-1.2PP and Angara-A5 rockets took place in 2014. The next launch of the heavy rocket is planned for 2018.

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