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Russian space agency to receive new engine’s final design in November

The Russian government intends to spend about $118 million on the work to upgrade the RD-171M engine

MOSCOW, November 13. /TASS/. Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos will receive the final design of a new RD-171MV engine intended for the first stage of a Soyuz-5 carrier rocket until the end of the year, Head of Energomash Scientific and Production Association Igor Arbuzov told TASS on Monday.

Energomash is the developer of engines for space rockets.

"We are proceeding according to schedule: now work is under way to develop the engine’s structural parts and the designing process will be completed in November and we will submit the final project to our customer and will switch over to its creation," the Energomash head said.

The first trials of the engine’s assemblies should begin in 2019, which will be followed by the tests of the engine itself, Arbuzov said.

"The flight tests of the Soyuz-5 carrier rocket are expected to take place in 2022 and by 2021 we should be fully ready for the rocket’s flight tests and deliver the ready-made item in advance to our customers: Progress Rocket and Space Center and Energiya Rocket and Space Corporation," the Energomash chief said.

The Russian government intends to spend about 7 billion rubles ($118 million) on the work to upgrade the RD-171M engine to the level of the RD-171MV, which envisages developing an engine prototype, carrying out its tests and finalizing it. The engine will be developed using digital designing, he said.

The idea of creating a new mono-block two-stage rocket to take up the niche between the Soyuz and Zenit carrier rockets belongs to Russia’s Progress Rocket and Space Center. The cluster configuration integration scheme envisaged creating a family of rockets ranging from a light carrier (capable of delivering three tonnes of payload into a low orbit from the Vostochny cosmodrome) to a heavy launcher (26 tonnes of payload). Liquefied natural gas was initially intended to be used as the rocket’s propellant.