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Russia to create prototype instruments for new spacecraft’s descent capsule by 2020

The spacecraft is designed to deliver humans and cargoes both into near-Earth orbit and into deep space

MOSCOW, June 24. /TASS/. The St. Petersburg-based Central Research and Development Institute for Robotics and Technical Cybernetics will carry out work in 2019-2020 to create prototypes of photonic measuring equipment required for the descents of the new-generation Federatsiya spacecraft, Institute Director and Chief Designer Alexander Lopota told TASS on Monday.

"There are plans for 2019-2020 to manufacture and hold trials of the prototypes and assign the status ‘O’ to the design documentation [ it is assigned at the stage of adjusting design documentation after manufacturing and holding preliminary trials of a prototype or a batch]," the institute’s head said.

The plans for 2020 envisage "delivering the prototypes for equipping the reusable Federatsiya spacecraft and holding inter-agency trials," Lopota said.

As compared to Russia’s current Kaktus-2V system, which transmits a command for firing soft landing engines, the new equipment will only make relevant measurements and send data to an onboard computer that will make a decision, the institute’s chief said.

Also, "the increase in the descent capsule’s overall weight by 100% during the spacecraft’s launch into orbit and by 180% upon its flight to the Moon as compared to Soyuz spaceships was taken into account to develop the system," Lopota said.

Executive Director of Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos for Manned Space Programs Sergei Krikalyov earlier said that work was underway to develop working design documentation of the next-generation Federatsiya spacecraft and manufacture some of its assemblies. The first crewless flight aboard the Federatsiya spacecraft is planned for 2022 and its manned flight is scheduled for 2024, the Roscosmos official said.

Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin said in March this year the Federatsiya spacecraft would get a new name but declined to specify it.

Federatsiya spacecraft

The Federatsiya spacecraft is being developed by the Energia Space Rocket Corporation. The spacecraft is designed to deliver humans and cargoes both into near-Earth orbit and into deep space. The spacecraft will have a crew of up to 4 cosmonauts. It will be capable of operating in the mode of an autonomous flight for up to 30 days and for a term of a year as part of an orbital station.