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Russia and China Prepare For Joint Space Missions

‘Russia will begin pursuing even more ambitious rocket designs...in Samara in August.’

Published: July 2, 2014 (Issue # 1818)



  • A meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President China Xi Jinping laid the groundwork for the joint space missions.
    Photo: Kremlin.ru

Russia and China are ready to undertake joint-missions to the Moon and Mars, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Monday at the first-ever Russian-Chinese Expo.

“If we talk about manned space flight and about the exploration of outer space, the joint-development of the Solar system … is primarily [focused] on the Moon and Mars, we are ready to move forward with our Chinese friends hand-in-hand,” Rogozin said during a roundtable discussion at the expo in the Chinese city of Harbin, RIA Novosti reported.

Rogozin conceded that the Russian space industry is in a precarious position — a string of spectacular and embarrassing launch failures by generally-reliable vehicles in recent years have highlighted the need for reform.

However, he assured the panel that Russia attempts to consolidate the industry under the recently-created United Rocket and Space Corporation would fix the malaise “very soon.”

As Russian engineers work to identify why Russia’s first rocket of post-Soviet design, the Angara, failed to launch on June 27, Oleg Ostapenko, head of the Federal Space Agency, or Roscosmos, said Monday that Russia will begin pursuing even more ambitious rocket designs at a meeting with space industry officials in Samara in August, Interfax reported.

According to Ostapenko, Russia is looking to create a super-heavy rocket for missions to the Moon and Mars. This rocket will not be the heavy version of Angara but an entirely different rocket.

“To fly to Mars, the Moon…the [Angara] rocket is not enough,” Ostapenko said. The Angara heavy booster, built on the foundation of the light booster that failed to launch this weekend for a yet unknown reason, will be able to lift just 25 tons into Earth orbit, while the Saturn V rocket that took American astronauts to the Moon in 1969 could lift 130.

“This raises the question of creating a new class of super-heavy vehicle,” he said, adding that “any nation capable of doing anything serious in space — primarily the U.S. and China — are on that path.”

In the meantime, Russia and China are looking to join forces on near-term projects, such as the creation of spacecraft using only components from those two countries, as well as building satellites for earth observation and communication.

Following Putin’s visit to Beijing in May, Roscosmos and its Chinese counterpart have signed a series of spaces agreements, the most concrete being one that concerns satellite navigation programs. Rogozin said that Russia’s Glonass navigation system and the Chinese Beidou will be “very good” if combined with each other.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Jan. 28



Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café — 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.



Learn everything you always wanted to know about wine, and perhaps a bit more, at the Le Nez du Vin seminar for wine lovers. Held at the WineJet Sommelier School, 100 Bolshoy Prospekt Petrograd Side, at 7:30 p.m., the event will cover wine production, the basics of wine tasting, the concept of terroir and the various countries where wine is produced. Tickets are 750 rubles and include a wine tasting. Register by calling +7 921 744 6264.



Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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