“Sterkh” takes the place of “Nadezhda”
On 2nd June, Omsk company “Polet”, a branch of the M.V.Khrunicheva state cosmic scientific-production centre, will present the small “Sterkh” space vehicle at the VTTV exhibition. The spacecraft is due to be launched into space in June 2009, as part of the international search and rescue system “KOSPAS-SARSAT”.
As head of the KB “Polet” marketing department Oleg Vasil’ev told us, “Sterkh” will be the successor of “Nadezhda”, which weighed about a tonne, and served for less than three years. A similar spacecraft “Orbkomm”, which was developed by “Polet” for the American coast guard was launched in 2008 from the Kapustin Iar, launch site. “Sterkh” weighs 170 kg, and will orbit the Earth for a minimum of five years. Therefore, it is possible to launch five such spacecraft simultaneously into orbit instead of just one. “KOSPAS-SARSAT” works by receiving the distress signals from sinking yachts and downed aircraft etc, thanks to this system search times can be reduced to 15 or 20 minutes. In addition to “Sterkh”, the company will also display a mock-up of the “Angara” rocket for the first time. This rocket is a project of the M.V.Khrunicheva centre, and there are three different classes: light, medium and heavy. The launch site is under construction at the Plesetske cosmodrome. The “Angara” is capable of entering a near-Earth orbit at a height of 200 km with a cargo of up to 27 tonnes. The workshops of “Polet” are currently being equipped and machinery is being acquired to manufacture this rocket in Omsk. Testing is currently underway. Today there are six main types of rocket operating at the Russian cosmodromes: The “Kosmos”, “Rokot”, “Molniia”, “Soiuz”, “Soiuz-2” and “Tsiklon”. In practice however, only six rocket complexes will be used – the “Rokot”, “Soiuz-2” and “Angara”.
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