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Saturday, February 17, 2018

“Russian tourists will fly into space on alcohol”

Our answer Ilona Mask! In Russia is finally beginning to arise its own crop of private space companies that are willing to work in the field of manned spaceflight. Recently, the first such firm got the go-ahead to create a reusable system for flying tourists to near space. This is a company headed by Pavel Pushkin, who came from Center. Khrunichev, who worked in his time on the creation of the carrier rocket “Angara”. In fairness, we note: we are not talking about a full flight in “far” space, and on a short ride. Tourists will take on the 200-km altitude for 10-15 minutes. Today Pavel Pushkin told about the details of your project.

photo: Gennady Cherkasov

Of Western companies today compete with Pushkin, “MK” already wrote.

What is our offer? Here he developed a project of a suborbital reusable booster that will work for cheaper alcohol engine, and reusable suborbital spacecraft for trips to a height of 200 km In the ship accommodates up to 6 passengers, whose flight will be accompanied by an experienced pilot-Stuart. If all goes according to plan, the first flight of tourists Pushkin will do as early as 2020, paying for it by 200-250 thousand dollars. And rocket, and the ship can be used up to 10 times.

– Paul, at what stage is your complex?

– Our Reusable sub-orbital space complex (MOAC) is now at the stage of preliminary design. This means that we have thought through, developed size, method of launch and landing launch vehicle and unmanned passenger capsules and ready to create them.

– As I understand it, Your project is more like a project Bezos with vertical takeoff. What you took as the basis for the launch vehicle and the ship itself?

– Indeed, our project is more like a project Blue Origin. This similarity is due to the choice of the scheme of flight with vertical takeoff and landing. Safety requirements stipulate separate the descent of the capsule and rocket. When this capsule lands by parachute-jet scheme. If we talk about design features, we apply a fairly tried and tested solution that has been successfully applied including suborbital launches under the program “Vertical” (in use in 1974-1983, high-rise to launch space probes from the launch site “Kapustin Yar” in Astrakhan region— Auth.). This rocket ship and capsule type. And run it we are going with the Astrakhan land. Another issue is that these solutions are applied for reusable systems. In this case, we say the new word.

– Not you afraid that Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos already at that time were flying samples of missiles and ships? Certainly, your system has some technological advantage?

– We are not afraid that competitors already have flight samples. I believe that the greatest success is waiting for Blue Origin, since they have the most safe and convenient for tourists scheme of the flight. But compared to them we are at an advantage in higher altitude (200 km vs. 100) and more time of stay of tourists in zero gravity (5-6 minutes versus 3-4). So I think that in the case of a successful flight of Blue Origin, some tourists will want to fly then to sing higher and longer.

– In the presentation You said that the load for your passengers will be up to 4-5g. It turns out that your customers may be very limited category of tourists? Supposed to cook them?

In normal flight when entering the tourist will operate the overload of 4g and 5g during the descent. It is quite a soft overload, given their short duration. Overdrive 4g in almost all of the subjects on the centrifuge quietly talking, laughing and actively gesticulating. According to statistics, almost everyone without serious health problems can easily withstand such an overload. For comparison, the rides, the overload can reach 6g and that’s even without doing surveys. We contract every potential traveler will have to undergo a medical examination, including a repeat of an overload in the centrifuge. And only in case of positive results he will fly.

photo: Ivan Skryplev


Director of Research and analytical center of the United rocket and space Corporation (URSC) Dmitry PAYSON:

Company Pushkin – our very real competitor to the American company Blue Origin Jeff Bezos. Pavel Pushkin in the early stages of trying to do everything so that then not to alter. The story of how it coordinated the technical specification in the Russian Federal space Agency — example for all our startups. But you have to understand that now, the project is on paper, but then there will be a sharp massalbaye, and the level of requirements, and the level of funding. Even on defense preliminary design issues will be given much more challenging than those asked during the negotiation phase TK. Then, when it comes to hardware, everything will be harder and more costly. But because the performance obligations under the terms of the first missile launch is very dependent on the readiness of the project and on the willingness of the investor to raise funding to the extent that need for testing, refinement and validation of the missile.

– Jeff Bezos also certifies their missiles and ships at NASA?

-They have a different system. There all that relates to commercial services, certifies not NASA, and FAI (Federal aviation administration). There their requirements. And recently, against space tourism they are tougher. At the same Bezos appeared, if not problems, but additional tasks. And now he will surely be no easier than our Pavel Pushkin. The only advantage of private Western companies-developers of space technology that they have been cooperating with the government, devised schemes, all adapted for normal operation. But we just get used to such interaction. When Pushkin agreed TOR with Roscosmos, the Internet exploded, people more or less connected with the space industry, asked to believe in this news, look at document with your own eyes.

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