More Space News From Russia

When it rains space news from Russia, it pours. Not only did the news break today about the Russian Space Agency’s plans to send monkeys to Mars, but also, Russia wants to build an Earth-orbiting factory to build large, interplanetary ships that might be too large to launch from Earth. Additionally, Roscosmos, the Russian space agency said that beginning in 2010, they will likely terminate ferrying space tourists to the International Space Station.

According to the head of Roscosmos Anatoly Perminov, the space agency proposed building a manned assembly complex in Earth orbit and the Russian Security Council supported the idea in an April 11, 2008 meeting. No word on exactly when an orbiting spaceship assembly line would be constructed, but Perminov said it likely wouldn’t be built until after the ISS is completed, which they said would be about 2020. Also, no word if the interplanetary ships will be built for humans or monkeys.

As far as curtailing the program that brings space tourists to the ISS, the Perminov said the increase in crew size on the ISS from the current three members to six in 2009, and then the proposed retirement of the space shuttle in 2010, will put “growing pressure” on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft that carries crews and supplies to the space station. Perminov said they will no longer accept proposals from space tourists, adding that space tourism shouldn’t interfere with scientific research. Roscosmos teamed up with the company Space Adventures beginning in 2001 to bring tourists to the ISS, which seemed to be a fairly lucrative program for the cash-strapped Russian space agency. Existing contracts to bring tourists to the station will be fulfilled, Perminov said.

Dennis Tito became the first space tourist in 2001 when he paid $20 million to ride the Soyuz for a week-long stay on the ISS. The next (and sixth) tourist will be game developer Richard Garriott, scheduled for a Soyuz flight in October 2008.

Original News Source: Lenta Ru (translated)

10 Replies to “More Space News From Russia”

  1. These are good news!
    Russian government are taking the initiative and are seeing the future the way it should be.

    Not like our western governments which are too tied up in politics and economics.

    I applaud the russians since this kind of initiative may jump start the kind of good competition (like the coldwar) needed to advance technology-wise in space.

  2. If sending monkeys and other animals to certain death is seeing the future the way it should be, then I completely agree.

    I think its more just bullocks than anything. Russia is becoming a world power again and is stamping their foot on anything they can, so it sounds more just like a bunch of crazy promises

  3. Steve Says:
    April 14th, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    “Russia is becoming a world power again and is stamping their foot on anything they can, so it sounds more just like a bunch of crazy promises”

    Indeed they are becoming a world superpower again, but I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss their plans as absurd.

    Russia have a lot to prove to the world at the moment, and as I’ve always maintained, the most prestigious arena in which to do that is in space. They really are experts at making huge progress on a shoestring budget, and while the west farts around with an almost useless space station, vague plans for the moon and what now appears to be a flawed plan for a shuttle replacement, I wouldn’t be surprised if Russia just went out there and got the job done.

    These sort of audacious plans are what the first years of the space race were all about, and it would be worthwhile remembering that the USSR beat America to the post at almost every turn during the space race except the final moonshot, which is not to put the USA down, but to remind that they certainly have the technical prowess, the vision and the drive to move forward in leaps and bounds.

    It’s been a wasted 30 or 40 years now in terms of human space exploration. While probes and robots have been singularly impressive in their feats of scientific exploration, human-related space activity lost its drive as soon as the USSR began to go down the gurgler, when it appeared that the USA wouldn’t have to try so hard anymore to out-technology the Soviets. It appears that we may now be headed for space race v.2, which can only be a good thing for us space fanatics.

  4. I think this is exciting news. An orbital construction yard is exactly what we will need to reach the stars. Why must we wait until the ISS is completed? I think it should in itself be the start. All the space junk and debris floating in orbit may provide some of the materials needed. And why must we race to see who does it first? Teamwork and cooperation will bring results much quicker than competition. Humanity’s first steps into deeper space should be made in unity.

  5. Certainly some exciting concepts, and at some point in our history it will be done. But let’s leave the animals on the ground…no test animals in space, although having a kitty around might be cool.

  6. Good for the Russians. They have a long proud history in science and space exploration. Good to see them with vision for the future.

  7. Sounds a little far-fetched. They are going from cash strapped to building an interplanetary space ship contruction yard? I do sincerely wish them good luck with this project since if successful it may force the U.S. out of its religiously introspecive and technologically destructive bad habits it has developed since the end of the cold war. It is kind of sad to think that the U.S. devotion to science and technological progress was not for the obvious benefits it brings mankind, but rather just to beat the Japanese, Germans and then the Soviets in the mid to late 20th century..

  8. If Russia is serious on these bold plans, they will have to be willing to accept international support to accomplish more than an accomplishment. We either join effort or stay on this planet – for a time.

  9. Hi.. People, I don’t want to destry your excitement, I would love it if they succeeded, but Russians do this all the time… They keep promising whilst they have problems with financing current research. They will be happy if they succeed in sending two moduls to ISS as promised and finding a replacement for Souyz…

  10. Clearly something has been decided in Russia’s staid space circles, if nothing other than announcements in accord with consensus that somethings needed to made public if they were to happen at all, such as a need for $5 Billion and longer commitments from international partners to complete all phases of the Russian segment of ISS.

    They seem committed also to a what may be a genuine long-term vision, but clearly within the same short-term budget constraints characteristic of the U.S. system and Congressional terms.

    It’s as though rumors and then bureaucrats emerged from the meeting with orders for a new direction. It wouldn’t be boldness that characterised the Russians since long before MIR, it was clinging to a tried and proven launch capability propped up by the U.S., and now a need to compete on the future playing field already under construction in China, Europe and the U.S., and elsewhere.

    A renewed era of Russian activity serves the interests of peace, just as a more active future peaceful use of LEO and beyond is stabilizing throughout Earth’s nations.

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