It is now solved a question of principle: who will be the host space for the next two decades. Half a century, when humanity is poked in the Earth’s vicinity, still not fully understanding why (except that to get ahead of a competitor), has ended. And money in space dumped a lot. The project “Apollo” with six successful expeditions to the moon cost the us Treasury $ 25 billion (in prices of the 70-ies of XX century). And each launch of the Shuttle – under $ 500 million.
The Soviet Union was worth 2.5 billion rubles was never carried out lunar program (and it is in those years when a good wage was considered to be 90 rubles per month). More than 16 billion rubles were thrown into the system “Energy – Buran” Soviet Shuttle flew only once.
Yeah, from the projects was giving. All of these filters, Velcro and scanners, developed for the space and will be useful on Earth… But now we are talking about strategy.
ISS – the day before yesterday
The same strategy that the space powers (Russia and the USA joined China. India. Japan and the EU ) now consider the money very well and meticulously thought through perspectives. Telecommunication, navigational and other satellites themselves perfectly pay for. But the most interesting protonamesnik. Where to go? And afford us this?
1. What to fly? After a ruinous “Shuttle” programs became clear: the Soviet scheme – when a small ship with astronauts in orbit makes the rocket, and then the crew lands in the capsule is much more profitable (7 to 8 times compared to a space Shuttle launch). And more reliable: “Unions” in the death of four cosmonauts. Shuttles also took the lives of 14 astronauts.
Conclusion: the next generation of vehicles will be fully reusable. Rocket – ship – lander. You descent vehicle what is used capsule to send into orbit several times.
2. Why fly? Here and romance – mankind has always wanted to look over the edge of the Universe, and calculation of space projects to develop technology in the country.
Today the bulk of the International space station – 420 tons (the weight of the composition of the eight passenger cars) – in fact, the day before yesterday. The experiments, which are conducted by the astronauts, carried out on Mir. The main thing that gives the ISS. – experience in the Assembly and long-term operation in orbit design similar to the Mars ship. Experience, which is useful in the US.
Savvy Americans have set a top priority: Mars! And ambitious goal, and the impetus for the development of any technology. They shut down project Constellation – established colony on the moon. They closed expensive the Shuttle program. And by optimizing costs, began to prepare for a Martian expedition.
They understand that the $ 60 million that NASA pays for every American that our “Union” throw on the ISS, is more profitable than chasing obsolete shuttles. And the vacant, money is invested in new developments. At the same time, four private companies are creating new manned systems (for the new ship needs a new booster).
Why private? Because they are more flexible, not so blinkered when making technical decisions. And – again – better find the money.
The result: the ship Dragon private company SpaceX with a rocket of the same company Falcon 30 April should start and dock with the ISS. It will be the world’s first private spaceship. SpaceX founder Elon Musk believes that in the next couple of years, his ship will carry to the ISS replacement crews two times cheaper than the Russian Federal space Agency .
Parallel grants for the development of manned spacecraft from NASA received:
– Boeing, which is developing the spacecraft CST-100;
company Sierra Nevada Corporation – on the completion of the Dream Chaser Shuttle. First test flight should take place this summer! By the way, its contours are very similar to manned spacecraft clipper, which was developed in RSC “Energia”;
the company Blue Origin on completion of the spacecraft New Shepard (named after Alan Shepard, the first American astronaut). Model tests of the ship were held back in 2006.
Four of the project from 2020 to 2014 NASA intends to spend $ 1.6 billion (the cost of three Shuttle launches).
Why are Americans as much as four ships? Yes, because they never “put your eggs in one basket”.
And where is Russia?
For three years in the RSC Energia design a new ship. All this is a promising manned transport system. To tell details about the project to the staff of “Energy” is strictly prohibited – they say that the competitors do not steal our know-how.
Only the coming of the new domestic Korab-La occurred at the exhibition MAKS-2011 – the audience was shown the layout scenery. The technical project must be submitted in the summer of this year. The first flight with astronauts is not possible before 2018!
Not clear and with the carrier rocket “Angara”, which should bring a new ship into orbit. The project is still 1995 is still in the testing stage.
However, it is clear why the Russian space Agency are not in a hurry with a new manned system. Why? On the age of the ISS (to 2020) “Unions”, developed in 60-ies of the last century, that’s enough. And then? According to the newly introduced development strategy of Russian cosmonautics, we are going to repeat “feat” of Americans 50 years ago – to walk on the moon. Martian ambitions we issued only in the form of joint with the European space Agency unmanned probes.
P. S. this year the Chinese are going to settle in first private space station. And by the middle of the next decade I want to build a base on the moon. The current head of NASA Charles Bolden believes that with the Beijing fifteen years later the U.S. will compete in the space. Not with Russia.
THE KEY TO START
Word not a Sparrow – fly I.
The most famous phrase of astronauts
Kosmonavtiki first word was “Go!”. 12 April 1961 Yuri Gagarin said it quite softly, but he heard the whole planet. And only after many years it turned out, where did it “Go!”. It turns out that this is the standard response of cosmonauts to the engineer-methodologist of the cosmonaut to Mark Gallai. When he ran the simulator, we would ask, “Well, here we go. ”
Just three weeks sounded and the second word. May 5, 1961 launched from Cape Canaveral, Alan Shepard said, “but would not screw this up!”
June 16, 1963 Valentina Tereshkova was given during takeoff: “Hey, sky, take off your hat!” And on July 20, 1969 astronaut Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon’s surface, historical said: “one Small step for man, large leap for mankind”. The same Armstrong is the author and the famous Hollywood phrase: “Houston. we have a problem”. But it was pure improvisation.