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Russia to create manned backup vehicle for lunar flights without NASA funding


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Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said NASA has asked Roscosmos to create a lunar version of the Soyuz spacecraft as a manned space transport system for flights to the moon.

A senior Russian space industry source told Sputnik that Moscow will develop an upgraded version of Soyuz at its own expense, and no funding from Nasa is expected.

"NASA will not pay, it's planned to do all the work at its own expense," the source said.

Ensure the Soyuz's ability to fly to the Moon, an acceleration unit and a new thermal shield that will allow the spacecraft to return to Earth's atmosphere at the second cosmic speed (11.2 kilometers per second, or 6.95 miles per second) . are needed.

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The lunar version of Soyuz will also require new systems for power supply, communications and life support.

Documents from Russian manufacturer of RSC Energia spacecrafts available for Sputnik show that the installation of stellar sensors, manual control devices, an evaporation system, additional engines and oxygen cylinders are required to ensure the spacecraft flights to the moon.

In 2017, former RSC Energy chief Vladimir Solntsev said several people have turned to the corporation to fly around the moon and are ready to pay $ 120 million for a ticket. He called this possible flight in 2021-2022. In this case, the modernization of Soyuz for the flight around the Moon required $ 500 million.

In late June, Rogozin said that manned flights to the Moon on the Soyuz spacecraft are possible, while the development of the new Federation spacecraft is being completed. The development of a new spacecraft designed specifically for flights to the Moon has been in progress since 2009.

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On January 17, Rogozin announced that RSC Energia could create new Federation spacecraft and upgrade the Soyuz spacecraft for flights to the moon.

In addition, he said that Roscosmos was waiting for new negotiation positions with NASA at the station next to the Moon in connection with the start of the update of the Soyuz spacecraft for flights to the Moon.

NASA did not answer Sputnik's question about whether it really turned to Russia with a proposal to create a manned space support system. Roscosmos also could not respond quickly to Sputnik's request for funding for the project.

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