Yuri Borisov reported to Putin about the work on the creation of the Russian orbital station. Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev / Press Service of the President of the Russian Federation / TASS
On Thursday, Vladimir Putin met with the head of Roskosmos, Yuri Borisov. The open part turned out to be the shortest and, so to speak, devoid of sensations, compared to similar encounters in recent years.
The head of the state corporation spoke sparingly and in general. But it is understandable – the West is just looking where else to hit with sanctions. Therefore, on the one hand, it is important to show citizens that the space program is developing, and on the other hand, it is important not to make it clear to the enemies which direction is the most promising for us.
– A lot of questions have accumulated: the timing of contracts, the economy of the industry as a whole, the financial situation, development plans, – the president at first listed the topics of interest to him.
WE NEED OUR OWN “SPHERE”
“Now the demand for space services is actively developing, so I will describe the current state of the Russian space constellation and the nearest plans for its qualitative and quantitative growth,” replied the head of Roscosmos.
Since the corporation has practically no foreign contracts left, it can be assumed that the state remains the main customer. Or rather, the army. Satellites, in many ways, are still the best explorers.
In addition, Russia wants to create its own analogue of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite Internet. Our project is called “Sphere”. However, only one experimental satellite, Skif-D, has been put into orbit so far. It is still planned to develop the technology on it.
But the prospects for the “Sphere” are not bad. The practice of the special operation has shown that the capabilities of the army are growing remarkably with satellite Internet. Here you have both fast orientation and communication without interference… We still do not have cheap and massive satellite Internet. The state will invest resources in it, if only to technologically keep up with the West.
ABOUT LEAVING THE ISS NOT A WORD
– Of course, I will touch on the topic of the manned program. Now we are actively working on the creation of a Russian orbital station,” Borisov said.
Last summer, the head of the corporation mentioned that Russia was ready to leave the ISS after 2024. Many then realized that this year our participation in the project would end. Then Roscosmos corrected that we would leave the ISS closer to the end of the decade, after the launch of the home analogue.
By the way, China already has its own Tiangong orbital station. Last year, Beijing increased it by two additional modules.
THE TABLE FOR “ANGARA” WILL BE DELIVERED ON TIME
– Let’s start from the East (cosmodrome – Ed.), – Putin suggested.
– Plans for the second stage to create a launch complex for Angara-5 will be completed on time. We expect to complete all construction work by the middle of the year, and all installation and launch preparation work by the end of the year, Borisov replied.
Angara-5 is our heavy rocket. No major space project is possible without it, as we simply won’t be able to put large enough payloads into orbit.
In the end, the head of the state corporation spoke about the completion of the runway near the Vostochny cosmodrome. Previously, you had to get there by helicopter or by car.
A year ago, Putin even said that due to bad weather, he had to drive all night on land from Vostochny.
“It’s hard enough to get there, flying from the airport on “turntables” or by car for a long time. The last time I was there, I could not fly far from there on a “turntable”: the weather deteriorated, I drove all night by car. All night really. I arrived at the airfield alone in the morning, at six in the morning,” said the President at a meeting with young scientists in December 2021.