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Roscosmos chief discloses details of Russia’s new super-heavy carrier rocket

The rocket’s conceptual design will be approved this year, according to Dmitry Rogozin

MOSCOW, March 25. /TASS/. Russia’s Yenisei new super-heavy carrier rocket will be assembled using the principle of a building kit where each part of the launcher is an independent flight element, Head of Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said on Monday.

"It is necessary to act using the principle of the technological Lego: the rocket’s first, second and third stages should have their double or even triple application. That is, the super-heavy rocket will consist of components, each of which will have its flight practice," the Roscosmos chief said.

As Rogozin said, "the rocket’s conceptual design will be approved this year, after which we will already switch to designing but de facto the super heavy rocket’s flight tests will begin from 2022 because Soyuz-5 rocket will start its flights at that time."

The super-heavy carrier rocket’s first stage will consist of five-six blocks that make up a part of the first stage of the medium-class Soyuz-5 rocket (also known as the Irtysh). The engine of the Soyuz-5 rocket’s first stage, the RD-171MV, is already being prepared for its first ground start at the Energomash Research and Production Association, the Roscosmos chief said.

"We proposed making the second stage of the super-heavy rocket on the basis of the engine that has unique flight statistics: this is the RD-180 engine, which we have been supplying to the United States since 1994. This engine is mounted on the Atlas rocket and we have had 85 successful launches," Rogozin said.

The engine has undergone "the tightest qualification by US specialists while it has never been used aboard Russian rockets," Rogozin said.

"We are planning to borrow the third stage from the Angara-5V rocket. It will be equipped with a hydrogen engine, which will boost the rocket’s lifting capacity by 10 tonnes, from 27 to 37 tonnes," the Roscosmos chief said.