American Dragon replacing “Progress” with MKS

The demand for transport spacecraft “Progress” has decreased after a successful start operation American commercial ships

The Prime Russian company for manned space exploration — RSC “Energia” reported on the reduction of demand for transport spacecraft “Progress” due to the successful start of operation of a commercial Dragon cargo ships to resupply the International space station.

“Since October 2012 NASA can perform freight and return cargo from the ISS with cargo spaceship Dragon company SpaceX. In this regard, the demand for cargo ships “Progress” in the international market has decreased significantly”, — stated in the report “Energy” in the first quarter of this year.

According to President of RSC “Energia” Vitaly Lopota, it is about the reduction of order Progress by one third.

— After the completion of the Space Shuttle program in agreement with the ISS partners the spacecraft expanded to four manned “Unions” per year and six cargo “Progress”. Now the order was reduced to five Progress in a year then it is planned to reduce to four, he said.

The head of RSC “Energia” was not able to specify the value of “Progress” — according to him, the complexity of manufacturing of one such ship lies in the range of up to 400 thousand standard hours.According to a friend with a situation a source in the Russian Federal space Agency, now “export” price of “Progress” around $60 million This amount is recorded as a contribution of the Russian Federation in the supply of MKS, however, RSC Energia receives a smaller amount.

In addition to the Dragon capsule built by a private company SpaceX, competition to the Russian trucks in the near future should be Cygnus from Orbital Sciences Corporation company. His demonstration flight planned for the coming weeks. Cygnus was created under a contract with NASA as part of the same programs “Commercial orbital transportation” (COTS), and Dragon.

In terms of manned spacecraft Russia in the face of RSC “Energia” still retains the monopoly — 2017 to the ISS, people will only be reached by Soyuz spacecraft. What’s next — now to tell difficult. NASA predicts the emergence of American alternatives “to the Unions” in 2017, with the following reservation: if they are satisfied with the budget requests of the Agency. These requests are not always met, which has served as the postponement of the commissioning of the ship Orion. But in RSC “Energia” assume that Russia’s monopoly in manned ships will be destroyed, as in the case of trucks.

“Very successful flying Dragon has opened a new Chapter in manned space exploration, and NASA has invested a large ship of hope. Under the contract between NASA and SpaceX for $1.6 billion it is planned that these spacecraft will carry cargo, and after 2017 and to deliver astronauts to the ISS. In this case, Russia and RKK “Energy” will lose monopoly on manned space flights”, — is spoken in the report of “Energy”.

August 3 last year, NASA has signed agreements with three companies to continue development on the program Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCAP), which funded the work on the creation of new manned spacecraft. Boeing received $460 million, SpaceX — $440 million and Sierra Nevada Corporation — $212,5 million

SpaceX promises to create and certify a modification of the manned Dragon capsule is already in 2017. If the company has something does not work out and time to move, already in 2018 is scheduled to begin missions to the ISS vehicle CST-100, Boeing created. Commencement of operation of the new Russian manned spacecraft (PTK) is scheduled for 2020.

Development Director of cluster of space technologies and telecommunications Fund “SKOLKOVO” Dmitry Paison believes the erosion of the monopoly of RSC “Energia” is a natural process.

— In the case of the number of “Advances” is not entirely correct to talk about the impact of the market on the company’s business. For RSC “Energia” is only the size of the procurement, the amount varies depending on the obligations of the Russian space Agency before NASA. In “Energy”, as far as can be judged, are ready for it, and therefore have diversified portfolio, says Paison.

According to Vitaly Lopota, vacated because of a change in order to “Progress” resources will be used to create scientific and energy module for the ISS (NEM-1) and PTC (project manned transport spacecraft of new generation). The contract on creation of the NEM-1 with a volume of more than 15 billion rubles “Energy” won last fall. The cost of creation of a complex of SHC (except for the vehicle includes missile unit emergency rescue, Assembly-protective unit and the whole complex of ground facilities) is estimated by experts of RSC Energia 160 billion rubles in 2012 prices.

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