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The author would like to thank Nick Sheppard for corrections.
Russian space program in 2017
According to the Russian government, 173.2 billion rubles would be allocated for the Russian space activities in 2017. It included 92.46 billion for the Federal Space Program and 38.27 billion for the GLONASS constellation. The launch infrastructure was expected to receive 21 billion. Roskosmos earmarked 2.2 billion for the TEM nuclear-electric module under the Prioritized Innovation Projects line item, which is a considerable increase from 1.6 billion initially projected by the Ministry of Finance.
The world's orbital launch attempts in 2017 (as of July 26, 2017 ):
The 2017 space launch score card (as of July 26, 2017 ):
Planned Russian space missions in 2017:
In preparation for launch, primary and backup crews flew to Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 16, 2017. The next day, crew began familiarization training inside the Soyuz-MS-05 spacecraft, then still installed in vertical position inside its test rig of the processing building at Site 254. The crews also checked their spacesuits and seat liners, conducted ballistic exercises and reviewed onboard documentation, practiced manual control of the spacecraft and studied the design of the Russian segment of the ISS.
On July 21, engineers from RKK Energia had conducted the final inspection of the spacecraft before it was encapsulated inside its payload fairing.
On July 24, primary and backup crews conducted their final familiarization with the Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft in its launch configuration. The cosmonauts and astronauts boarded the vehicle installed in vertical position inside the processing building at Site 254 in Baikonur. Next time, the crew will board Soyuz MS-05 on the launch pad several hours before blastoff scheduled for July 28, 2017.
Few hours after the exercise, the payload section, including the Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft inside its protective fairing and its launch vehicle adapter, was lowered into horizontal position, loaded onto a railway trailer and transported from the processing complex at Site 254 to the vehicle assembly building at Site 112 for integration with its Soyuz-FG rocket.
The final assembly of the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle, including the integration of the payload section with the third stage, installation of the Emergency Escape System, SAS, and the integration of the upper composite with the first and second stages of the rocket was completed on July 25. On the same day, space officials cleared the launch vehicle for the rollout to Pad 5 at Site 1, which took place next morning.
After the vehicle arrived at the launch facility and was installed in vertical position, the launch personnel began operations of the first day on the pad. They included testing of communications systems, the simulation of readiness of the Emergency Escape System, SAS, and the trial uplink of digital data onboard the vehicle, Roskosmos said.
The State Commission overseeing the launch was scheduled to reconvene on July 27 and formally confirm the primary and backup crews for the Soyuz MS-05 mission. After the meeting, the members of both crews were to conduct a traditional pre-launch press conference.
The upper composite, including the Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft, is being integrated with booster stages of the Soyuz-FG rocket on July 25, 2017.
August 17: A Proton rocket to launch Blagovest No. 11L military communications satellite from Baikonur. The launch was previously planned for September and October 2016 and the end of June 2017. On July 3, 2017, ISS Reshetnev, the spacecraft manufacturer, announced that the satellite had been delivered to the launch site.
End of August: A Proton rocket to launch a satellite from Baikonur for Hispasat organization of Madrid, Spain. The satellite will be one of the two satellites that Space Systems Loral LLC (SSL) of Palo Alto, California is building for Hispasat: Hispasat-1F or Amazonas-5. Both weigh approximately five metric tons. According to the International Launch Service, ILS, which markets Protons to commercial customers, it will dual integrate both missions and Hispasat will have the flexibility to determine the satellite-to-launcher assignments very late, based on business and schedule considerations. With those two new satellites, Hispasat will be able to meet growing satellite capacity demand, mainly for satellite television platforms in regional locations and Ka-band capacity providing new Internet connectivity services, the ILS said. The satellites will have an expected useful life of 15 years and will be built on SSL's flight-proven 1300 platform. An agreement for the launch was announced on Sept. 14, 2015. The mission was previously planned at the end of July 2017.
Last week of September: A Proton-M/Briz-M rocket to launch the AsiaSat-9 satellite from Baikonur. On June 22, 2012, the International Launch Services, ILS, which markets Proton to commercial customers, announced a contract with Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co. Ltd. to launch one of the company's future satellites, AsiaSat-6, AsiaSat-8 or AsiaSat-9, a replacement satellite to be procured for AsiaSat 4. The launch contract had included an option for AsiaSat to order one additional launch service from ILS for any of its upcoming three satellites, ILS said. At the time, the first launch was expected as early as 2014. By the end of May 2016, delays with the manufacturing of the satellite pushed the mission from November 2016 to 2017. The mission was postponed from November 2016.
October: A Zenit rocket to launch the Angosat communications satellite for the government of Angola. (As of middle of 2016. Postponed from November-December 2016 and moved from the second mission of the Angara-5 rocket.)
Dec. 27: A Soyuz rocket to launch a Soyuz MS-7 manned transport spacecraft with a crew of three from Baikonur toward the International Space Station, ISS. (As of 2014, the launch was planned for Nov. 30.)
When first announced in 2006, the Lybid spacecraft was expected to fly in 2010, but it was later postponed until September 2011. In April 2010, the launch was promised in April 2012. The mission was then delayed until the fourth quarter of 2013. In August 2014, Ukrainian space agency said that the spacecraft would be ready for launch in the fourth quarter of that year, however political problems between Russia and Ukraine kept the spacecraft on the ground.
Only in March 2017, there were first signs that the Lybid program might have a chance to get off the ground. In an interview with the Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Acting Head of Ukrainian Space Agency, GKAU, Yuri Radchenko said that before the end of that month, the Yuzhmash factory in Dnepr, Ukraine, was expected to pay Moscow-based NPO Energomash for the RD-171 engine to be installed on the fully assembled first stage of the Zenit rocket slated to launch Lybid. At the same time, industry sources said that personnel at Yuzhmash had began testing a fully assembled second stage of the Zenit for the Lybid mission.
Uncertain dates in 2017:
2017: Russia to launch Geo-IK-2 No. 3 geodesic satellite for the Russian Ministry of Defense. (As of 2016.)
2017: A Soyuz-2.1b rocket to launch the 2,100-kilogram Arktika-M No. 1 remote-sensing satellite into a highly elliptical 12-hour orbit (perigee: 800-2,500 kilometers, inclination: 62.8-63.5 degrees) from Baikonur. The constellation is designed to monitor high-altitude areas of the Earth. The spacecraft is to be based on the Elektro weather-forecasting satellite. In 2008, the first pair of Arktika-M satellites was expected to fly in 2013. (299), but by December 2010, the mission slipped to 2014. (442) By 2012, the first launch was promised in 2015 and the second in 2016. In the middle of 2015, the launch was postponed from 2016 to 2017.
2017: A Soyuz-2-1b rocket with a Fregat upper stage to launch the Meteor-M No. 3 remote-sensing satellite. (As of the end of 2009, the launch was promised in 2012, however by that year, the launch slipped to 2016. It was later postponed to 2017.)
2017: Russia to launch the Kartograf-OE No. 1 remote-sensing satellite. (Before 2012, the launch was expected as early as 2014).
2017: Russia to launch Smotr-R No. 1 remote-sensing satellite.
Postponed from 2015:
End of 2015 - end of 2016: A Soyuz or Vega rocket to launch the 200-kilogram Taranis satellite into a quasi-sun-synchronous orbit with an altitude of 700 kilometers. Developed by the French space agency, CNES, the Taranis satellite (Tool for the Analysis of RAdiation from lightNIng and Sprites) will be a secondary payload during a mission to deliver multiple spacecraft. The satellite will study magnetosphere-ionosphere-atmosphere coupling via transient processes, focusing in particular on two aspects: determining the characteristics and frequency of transient luminous events (TLE) involved in the coupling between the ionosphere and atmosphere, and characterizing the electron beams accelerated from the atmosphere to the magnetosphere. The contract for the mission between Toulouse Space Center and Arianespace was announced on July 9, 2012. The agreement also included options for the launch of two other CNES satellites, Microscope and Merlin.
Postponed from December 2015: A Soyuz-2-1b/Fregat rocket to launch the Meteor-M No. 2-1 remote-sensing satellite, along with a cluster of secondary payloads, including Ionosfera-1, Ionosfera-2, Flying Laptop, Flock 2, Scout, AISSat-3, Perseus-O1, Perseus-O2.
Postponed from 2015: Soyuz rocket to launch the Foton-M No. 5 spacecraft. The spacecraft is expected to be equipped with solar panels, modified service module, and the new liquid-propellant orbit correction engine. The orbital life span of the satellite to be launched into the 400-450-kilometer orbit was expected to increase to 60 days. (As of April 2009)
Postponed from around 2015: Russia to launch Kosmos-SKh satellite to monitor agricultural development from space.
Postponed from 2015: Russia to launch the Kartograf-OE No. 2 remote-sensing satellite.
Postponed from 2016:
Oct. 31: A Rockot booster to launch the 900-kilogram Sentinel-5P remote-sensing satellite from Plesetsk. (As of January 2014, the launch was expected at the beginning of 2016 and was also expected in mid-April and mid July 2016. As of June 2017, the launch was expected in September 2017.)
A Soyuz-2.1b rocket to launch the Arktika-R No. 1 satellite into the polar orbit for radar observations of the polar areas. Originally a pair of Arktika-R satellites was planned for launch in 2014, by the end of 2010, the introduction of the system slipped to 2015. (442) By 2012, the second Arktika-R satellite was postponed to 2016.
2016: Soyuz-2-1b/Fregat-SB rocket to launch the Arkon-2M No. 2 remote-sensing satellites for all-weather radar observations of the Earth surface from a 550-600-kilometer Sun-synchronous orbit. In 2010, a pair of spacecraft was scheduled for launch in 2013, however by 2012, the first Arkon-2M was expected to fly in 2015 and the second in 2016. The Arkon-2M program was canceled by November 2012.
Canceled Russian missions
Aug. 5: A Dnepr rocket to launch a pair of GRACE-FO scientific satellites for the European Space Agency, ESA, from a silo facility 370/13 in Dombarovsky. The mission was switched to a Falcon-9 rocket.
2017: Russia to launch Arkon-2 No. 1 radar remote-sensing satellite. As of 2008, the first launch of Arkon-2 was promised in 2011 (299), however during 2010-2012 period, the mission was expected in 2017.
2017: The Baiterek launch complex in Baikonur to host its first mission of the Angara rocket. (As of end of 2010. As of 2008, the first Angara mission from Baikonur was promised in 2012; by 2009, it slipped to 2014 and by 2011 to 2017. The program was canceled in 2012).
2017-2018: A Soyuz rocket with a Fregat upper stage to launch the first pair of a quartet of satellites from Plesetsk to study plasma within the Roy ("Swarm") project. Each 200-kilogram spacecraft would be based on the Karat platform with plasma-electric engines and carry around 60 kilograms of payload. Each spacecraft would carry a single magnetometer boom and four booms for measurement of Earth's electric field.
2017: A Dnepr rocket with a Krechet upper stage to launch Ukrainian Selena mini-orbiter toward the Moon. Developed by KB Yuzhnoe, Selena would be the first spacecraft in post-Soviet Ukraine designed to go beyond the Earth orbit. (Plans as of November 2011.) Ukrainian plans for developing a lunar station had been publicized during the crisis with the Russian Phobos-Grunt spacecraft and, possibly, were timed to facilitate contacts with Russia on a potential cooperative project in deep space. Ukraine's previous plans to launch a 300-kilogram lunar orbiter on the Zenit rocket stalled due to lack of funds. However, by scaling down the project to fit into a converted ballistic missile and, possibly, joining forces with Russia, could make the proposal affordable. It could be speculated, that after the Phobos-Grunt fiasco, Russian space strategists could be under pressure to fly an inexpensive test mission into deep-space before returning to ambitious and expensive planetary missions.
This page is compiled by Anatoly Zak; Last update: July 26, 2017
Page editor: Alain Chabot, Nick Sheppard; Last edit: April 30, 2011
All rights reserved
Soyuz-2-1a lifts off on July 14, 2017. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos
Blagovest military communications satellite. Credit: ISS Reshetnev