centrair
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Senate Clears Nasa To Buy Russian Spaceships

Mon Sep 26, 2005 5:47 pm

Essentially Senate will let NASA purchase russian technology for spacecrafts.

Quote:
The U.S. Senate approved Sept. 21 a bill that would clear the way for NASA to buy the Russian Soyuz vehicles it needs to continue to occupy the International Space Station beyond this year.

However NASA cannot buy Soyuz crafts yet.

Quote:
The U.S. House of Representatives also is considering amending the Iran Nonproliferation Act to permit NASA to buy Soyuz vehicles, but it has yet to take any legislative action.

Senate Clears NASA to Buy Russian Spaceships

This is an interesting development. Never thought I would see it. Can you imagine a Soyuz taking off from Kennedy?
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
SATL382G
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RE: Senate Clears Nasa To Buy Russian Spaceships

Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:49 pm

Quoting Centrair (Thread starter):
This is an interesting development. Never thought I would see it. Can you imagine a Soyuz taking off from Kennedy?

This is surely just a continuation of the present crew taxi plan. The only difference is that NASA will now pick up the tab (or a portion thereof), in lieu of delivering crews via shuttle.

So sorry, no Soyuz launches from the Cape... 

If the Columbia accident had not occured, would NASA still have had to bail out the taxi program at this point? The need for emergency crew escape would still exist as would the 6 month Soyuz lifetime....

[Edited 2005-09-26 15:50:22]
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Senate Clears Nasa To Buy Russian Spaceships

Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:07 am

I think this is a good sign, because this shows that the US are willing to continue the international partnership on the ISS instead of going unilateral ways only... The russians always said that they were in fact willing to support the station, but they only had limited financial ressources. With more money they can build more Soyus class ships.

Yet, one thing is without doubt... The ISS needs the shuttles for completion, especially the Europeans rely on it.

Michael
 
Alessandro
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RE: Senate Clears Nasa To Buy Russian Spaceships

Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:42 am

Well, the ISS need the shuttle to push the station futher into orbit.
As for Sojuz, I think the base in French Guiana could be used, since the Russians already are building a base there.
See http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Launchers_Home/SEMCDI1PGQD_0.html

[Edited 2005-09-26 23:46:36]
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DfwRevolution
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RE: Senate Clears Nasa To Buy Russian Spaceships

Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:00 am

>> Well, the ISS need the shuttle to push the station futher into orbit.

That, and H2O and component delivery...
 
Thorny
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RE: Senate Clears Nasa To Buy Russian Spaceships

Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:31 am

Quoting Centrair (Thread starter):
This is an interesting development. Never thought I would see it. Can you imagine a Soyuz taking off from Kennedy?

You won't. The Senate has agreed to modify the Iran Non-Proliferation Act to allow NASA to purchase SEATS on Soyuz flights, and other services necessary in support of the International Space Station. This means that NASA will be able to send funding to Russia for more Progress resupply missions, too. This is a huge victory for NASA, both because the INPA was a major impediment to the Space Station, and because the US Congress rarely --- VERY rarely -- permits sending hard currency overseas (Russian citizens don't vote in US elections, afterall.) That they have agreed to do so now is extremely interesting.

Quoting SATL382G (Reply 1):
If the Columbia accident had not occured, would NASA still have had to bail out the taxi program at this point? The need for emergency crew escape would still exist as would the 6 month Soyuz lifetime....

Yes, but NASA was planning to get around the INPA by swapping Shuttle flights for lifeboat seats. The Shuttle was to launch the Russian Space Power Platform for ISS.

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 2):
I think this is a good sign, because this shows that the US are willing to continue the international partnership on the ISS instead of going unilateral ways only... The russians always said that they were in fact willing to support the station, but they only had limited financial ressources. With more money they can build more Soyus class ships.

Keep in mind that even with Russia doing the lion's share of the work since the Columbia accident, they are STILL behind the curve compared to what they promised when they joined the program in 1994. They were committed to six Progress resupply flights per year, but they've only managed four per year since First Element Launch in 1998. With the Shuttle flying, NASA was able to make up the Russian shortfall, with Shuttle water and reboost having been critical (Shuttle actually performed more reboost miles 1998-2002 than Progress did.) Now, without Shuttle flying relief, the lack of those extra two Progress flights each year has been hurting badly. Hopefully, the lifting of NASA's restrictions due to the INPA will let them send money to Russia to get the Progress flights up to the desired level, as well as buying a US seat on each Soyuz flight from now until CEV debuts.

Quoting Alessandro (Reply 3):
As for Sojuz, I think the base in French Guiana could be used, since the Russians already are building a base there.

No, you'll never see Soyuz manned launches from Kourou for two reasons:
1. The pad (the old Ariane 4 pad) is only being modified for the unmanned Soyuz rocket, not the manned spacecraft
2. Soyuz is to be retired (if you believe the Russians) early in the next decade anyway, and replaced by Kliper. That's maybe ten more manned Soyuz launches. Its not worth the cost of upgrading Kourou and moving operations there for only ten more flights.
 
centrair
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RE: Senate Clears Nasa To Buy Russian Spaceships

Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:09 am

We might not see Soyuz launched from Kourou. But we might see Kliper!

"On June 10, 2005, the head of manned space program of the European Space Agency, ESA, who conducted talks with Russian space officials in Moscow, said that his agency would support the Kliper project, according to the Russian press. Nikolai Moiseev, Deputy Chief of Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, was quoted as saying that the Kliper system would be adapted for launches from Russian facilities, as well as from the European space port in Kourou, French Guiana. According to Russian space officials, with the European support, the Kliper could fly "no later than" 2011 rather than "after 2012" launch date quoted previously."

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/kliper.html
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
Alessandro
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RE: Senate Clears Nasa To Buy Russian Spaceships

Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:56 pm

Centrair, interesting news, I wonder how much ESA can upgrade the old Ariane 4 platform?
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
SATL382G
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RE: Senate Clears Nasa To Buy Russian Spaceships

Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:04 pm

Quoting Centrair (Reply 6):
We might not see Soyuz launched from Kourou. But we might see Kliper!

Would have been nice if the Russians had launched from Kourou from the start. ISS would have been in a 28.5 deg orbit instead of 51.6 and the shuttle would have had far more payload capacity into that orbit... oh well

edit:
According to Russian space officials, with the European support, the Kliper could fly "no later than" 2011 rather than "after 2012" launch date quoted previously."

Another space "race" shaping up with CEV flying in 2012?

[Edited 2005-09-27 16:08:49]
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Senate Clears Nasa To Buy Russian Spaceships

Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:25 am

>> "On June 10, 2005, the head of manned space program of the European Space Agency, ESA, who conducted talks with Russian space officials in Moscow, said that his agency would support the Kliper project, according to the Russian press.

Is "Kliper" for sure a go then?
 
Thorny
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RE: Senate Clears Nasa To Buy Russian Spaceships

Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:47 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 9):

Is "Kliper" for sure a go then?

No, although it's looking better than previous new wonder-spacecraft or wonder-rockets that Russia has said they were introducing. Russia can't even keep its promises for ISS, so its questionable how far they'll get with Kliper. European participation in Kliper raises it above, say, the never-to-appear ISS Research Modules or the stillborn Angara booster which they trumpeted at every opportunity as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Kliper is a radical departure for Russia, a country that has hitherto been loathe to make radical changes in anything. Consider me highly dubious of Kliper.
 
Alessandro
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RE: Senate Clears Nasa To Buy Russian Spaceships

Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:07 pm

Thorny I think you forgot the Buran?
Anyway the Russians are definitly cashing in on their "know-how" and I wouldn´t be surprised if we see manned space missions from French Guiana
with Sojuz even if ISS would be scrapped pre-maturely?
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L-188
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RE: Senate Clears Nasa To Buy Russian Spaceships

Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:26 pm

Correct me if I am wrong but haven't US companies been buying rockets and engines from them for years?
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Thorny
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RE: Senate Clears Nasa To Buy Russian Spaceships

Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:57 am

Quoting Alessandro (Reply 11):
Thorny I think you forgot the Buran?

Which the Russians flew only once --unmanned--, overheating its structure due to a poor thermal protection system design, which resulted in its never flying again. Hardly encouraging for the Russians to try something radically new again.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 12):
Correct me if I am wrong but haven't US companies been buying rockets and engines from them for years?

US companies, yes. US government, no. There is a big difference. Until this week, NASA has been allowed to actually purchase Russian hardware exactly once: the FGB (Zarya) module for ISS. And that was an extremely special case that had more to do with international diplomacy (bringing the Russians into the ISS in the hope they wouldn't sell ICBM/Nuke know-how to Iran... a complete policy failure, by the way.)

US companies buy foreign hardware quite frequently. Numerous American satellites have been launched on Ariane or Proton. But governments rarely do. Even in Europe, the whole point of developing the Ariane was to get European space access independent of the United States. Ditto Japan and the H-2 rocket. Europe continues to support the money-losing Ariane 5, and Japan the EXTREMELY money-losing H-2 for the same reason the US supports the money-losing Delta IV and Atlas 5... they'd rather waste money in their own taxpayer districts than save money but send it all beyond their borders. Those cases where one nation or the other uses the other's launch services have generally been in barter agreements... no money changing hands. (i.e. US builds the satellite, Europe launches it, or vice-versa, and everyone shares the data.)
 
Alessandro
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RE: Senate Clears Nasa To Buy Russian Spaceships

Thu Sep 29, 2005 3:58 pm

Thorny, that wasn´t the issue, the issue was that they didn´t want to test new designs...
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Thorny
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RE: Senate Clears Nasa To Buy Russian Spaceships

Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:41 am

Quoting Alessandro (Reply 14):
Thorny, that wasn´t the issue, the issue was that they didn´t want to test new designs...

Well, they don't like to introduce radical new designs, that much is clear, and when they do their experience has not been all that good (N-1, Energiya/Buran). Kliper will be a radical departure: a winged spacecraft from a country with very little winged hypersonic experience, assisted by Europe, which also has very little winged hypersonic experience. The Onega booster is a major improvement to Soyuz. Together Onega/Kliper is going to be a big project, certainly in excess of the US CLV/CEV project in complexity. But Russia's most recent success fielding a new manned spacecraft (Soyuz in 1967) was even longer ago than America's (Shuttle in 1981.) Buran was not a success, so it is debatable how much its experience will help the extremely different Kliper.

I'm dubious of Kliper because Russia still doesn't have enough money to develop it on its own and it is unlikely Europe will contribute in a big way. (Europe is hedging its bets, with EADS and Alenia also working on the US CEV proposals.) A far more sensible use of Russia's money would be to double the production rate of the proven Soyuz/Progress family and boosters. Maybe they could also actually build the Universal Docking Module they promised for ISS, and the Research Modules that were supposed to dock there. Why go down the Kliper path when they can't meet their existing funding requirements?

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