Why Roscosmos will never launch its analog Falcon Heavy

Dmitry Panov, director general of NPO Technomash, who is a part of Roskosmos, explained this by the difference in goals between Russia and billionaire Ilon Mask.
Origin source
The long-awaited launch of Falcon Heavy caused an unprecedented stir and very expressive discussions. Some are completely ecstatic about this event, others, on the contrary, in every way belittle it. At the same time, both of them project the results of this launch, and sometimes they also invented, on the development of the space industries of the states participating in space research. Most of all goes to Roskosmos. Almost like a prophet in his own country. Is it fair?

The first aspect of this event is humanitarian, universal and civilizational. Ilon Mask took another step on the way of man to the stars, brought everyone closer to the dream, showed that our opportunities in space exploration are still not exhausted. I did it really, clearly and very effectively. Therefore, the Mask and SpaceX can and should be congratulated for the fact that the experimental demonstration launch of the FH rocket took place, although Mask himself did not believe in it until the last minute.

This launch is one of the most important events in the history of space exploration. Behind each of them is the state that was the first, but they, these events, while continuing to be the achievement of all mankind. So with the launch of Falcon Heavy. This is undoubtedly a very significant event for private, commercial space exploration. And none of the sensible people is going to argue with this.

Cold calculation

But there is also a second aspect of the launch - application. So, from the point of view of people for whom the rocket and space industry is the place of work, the Mask did not make a revolution. Even the new one was nothing. I will not now tell in detail what and when the FH flight program was used and implemented earlier, it is not difficult to find. I will only remind you that, for example, our "Energy" 30 years ago was already putting into space a load weighing 100 tons.

I hope everyone understands that the main goal of businessman Ilona Mask is to demonstrate to the world the possibilities of his company, attract investors and orders for launching both commercial and state launches. Therefore, a dwarf missile that was lost "to nowhere", a step lost in return, a deviation from the trajectory, a virtually complete lack of information about the flight of the load - all this in no way affects the goal and the launch task, which, of course, are achieved. Media vzasleb quoted tweets Mask and releases SpaceX, not caring analysis and factchecking. And this is also understandable, it's not their business.

Roskosmos and SpaceX

Roskosmos in principle can not afford such a launch. And such goals and tasks can not be allowed.

Imagine what journalists and "experts" from social networks would do to us if Roskosmos launched a missile with a pig on board, one stage of which did not work out exactly, and the load went unclearly without any feedback. That is ejected giant money and zero (almost) scientific and practical information.

The launch of any rocket, not necessarily heavy (Falcon Heavy, by the way, is more correct to consider heavy, but not superheavy), should have a practical goal. "Roskosmos" works within the framework of the Federal Space Program, as part of presidential decrees and other normative documents. By the way, if you notice, the president already in early 2018, through his decree, launched the Russian program on the superheavy carrier.

So, within the framework of these documents, we are facing the tasks of both the lunar and Martian programs, too. We must implement a set of measures, the result of which would not be the launch as such, but the launch of a carrier that will deliver the payload to the specified point of space. Load that will allow you to work there. Techniques, people.

The epoch of flights in order to stick a flag, has passed. Now we fly to learn. So, we must fly, build, provide conditions and return.

Now our main and paramount task is the Soyuz-5 project. Others are also at work, but this is the first one. "Soyuz-5" is a medium-class carrier rocket, which will become the nucleus for the superheavy. Like Falcon Heavy, "Soyuz-5" is made according to the package scheme, used even in "Energy" - another scheme has not yet been invented. Several missiles are bundled and so increase traction and power.

When working on Soyuz-5, all the existing opportunities of the industry are traditionally used. And now our company within the framework of this work has now prepared an expert opinion on the technological readiness of the industry. Our specialists have monitored and audited all enterprises of the industry in order to get a clear idea of ​​whether they are able to translate engineering developments into reality. Are there any necessary equipment? Are all the technologies used to solve new tasks for working in the new environment? What technological problems are now and what will arise according to experts' forecasts? Of course, we at "Technomash" also look at our readiness. After all, our task as the main technological enterprise is full technological support of the project. Designers can say, for example, that the enclosure should be built of a certain composite material. We issue technology for processing it or even creating it. We are building special equipment for this. So, now we are in compliance, by the way, with all the charts this expert conclusion was issued. I must say at once that the industry is quite ready to build Soyuz-5.

In parallel with the construction of the carrier, work is also under way with so-called loads. We are working on the creation of near-moon stations, where with the help of modern technologies it is possible to create structures for the construction of any objects, both orbital and ground ones. The energy for this in space is enough - this is the Sun, so we must make equipment and deliver it, into orbit, only raw materials. It is desirable to be as light and compact as possible. The same with manned space exploration. Here, in addition to technological problems, there are serious problems. It's about the medical and biological program, about the possibility of the human body to carry long-range interplanetary flights. If you notice, most of the experiments conducted by the crew on the ISS are aimed specifically at studying the effects of cosmic factors on the body. Such work has been going on for a long time and has become everyday for us.

Russian superheavy

Now for the super-heavy. There are also no stops in the workflow. Our organization is developing a directive technology for manufacturing the central unit for a superheavy carrier rocket. In addition, we are entrusted with the project of a plant for the manufacture of a central carrier unit, as well as the design of cooperation of the enterprises of the industry in the manufacture of carriers and other units and parts.

These are all our specific tasks within the framework of the work of Roskosmos. At each stage, a deadline is set, which is tightly controlled, despite the fact that many works, as often happens in space, are generally held for the first time in the world and it is impossible to determine in advance exactly how long they will take.

At each stage budgets are allocated, for which they ask even harder! And you're talking about launching a doll on a car to nowhere without any information about the flight!

Now, by the way, I'm reading the controversy about the most beautiful spacesuit SpaceX, which flaunts a mannequin in photographs. It is stated that it can be used in outer space. And where is the result even of this test? Can it be used or not? Work on spacesuits is a difficult problem. A few years ago, the European astronaut nearly died because of the sudden appearance of water in the spacesuit. Now our new "Eagles" are equipped with additional and improved security systems, redundancy, thermoregulation.

And there are a lot of such questions about the details of the launch of Falcon Heavy, which, I repeat, does not detract from its importance in the history of space exploration by man, in achieving the goals set by private space companies.

But before you fly off to applause, you need to prepare well. You do not need to hurry, then you'll have time everywhere. Astronautics is not a cockroach race.