MOSCOW, September 21. /TASS/. The trials of the descent capsule of Russia’s next-generation partially reusable Orel spacecraft (formerly known as Federatsiya) will be held in the second half of 2020, a source in Russia’s rocket and space industry told TASS.
"Tests related to the Orel spacecraft descent module’s landing are planned to take place in the second half of 2020," the source said, without specifying how long those trials may take.
A spokesperson for Russia’s state-run space corporation Roscosmos said it was too early to set timeframes for the landing capsule’s trials.
"Tests of components and systems of the prospective new-generation spacecraft proceed in line with the previously agreed schedule. The schedule may vary depending on their results, that’s why it is a bit early to speak right now about implementing the state testing program in the second half of 2020," the corporation said.
The Federatsiya (Orel) spacecraft is being developed by the Energia Space Rocket Corporation. The spacecraft is designed to deliver humans and cargoes both into a near-Earth orbit and into deep space. The spacecraft will have a crew of up to 4 persons. 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.
The first uncrewed launch of Orel is scheduled for 2023, from the Vostochny space center in Russia’s Far East. No docking with the ISS is planned. During the second launch, due in 2024, the spacecraft will dock with the orbital outpost. Manned Orel missions are to begin in 2025.