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Cockpit of Russia’s new spacecraft to have three touch screens

The technology will enable the crew to operate while wearing spacesuits and gloves

MOSCOW, March 29. /TASS/. The crew of Russia’s next-generation spacecraft, Federation, will control it via three touch screens and one side handle, a senior official at the Federation’s designer told TASS in an interview.

"Initially, we planned to install five monitors - one main screen, two for the commander and two for the second crew member. Later we decided that there should be one screen for each of the crew members and one main screen to be used by them jointly. All of them will be based on the touch screen technology," said Mark Serov, the head of the flight test department at the Energiya Space Rocket Corporation.

He added that RSC Energia’s technology will enable the crew to operate while wearing spacesuits and gloves.

"Any kind of gloves are suitable for our screens, there’s even no need to sew in special elements on digits. These screens were designed to operate in the conditions of vacuum and differential pressure, including in a spacewalk," Serov said.

In addition, a control handle will be placed between the seats of the commander and the second crew member for manual control.

According to Serov, the cockpit of Federation’s rival Orion currently under development by Lockheed Martin for NASA, will also be equipped with three monitors. Another rival project, Boeing’s Starliner space capsule, is expected to have two monitors and a system of manual switches and controls resembling those that can be found in a cockpit of a plane.

The spacecraft is intended for delivering humans and cargoes to the near-Earth and lunar missions. The space capsule has a life span of up to 30 days and can operate up to twelve months as part of an orbital station. It will be launched atop the heavy Angara-A5V and Angara-A5P carrier rockets. The first unmanned launch of the Federation space vehicle is scheduled for 2021 and the first manned flight for late 2023.