Russian scientists find defect in new heavy lift space rocket engine

Fri, 2019-01-18 12:38

MOSCOW: Scientists have discovered a defect in the engines of
Russia’s new flagship heavy lift space rocket that could destroy
it in flight, an apparent setback to a project President Vladimir
Putin has said is vital for national security.
The Angara A5, which was test-launched in 2014, is being developed
to replace the Proton M as Russia’s heavy lift rocket, capable of
carrying payloads bigger than 20 tons into orbit. A launch pad for
the new rocket is due to open in 2021.
In July, Putin said the Angara A5 had “huge significance” for
the country’s defense and called on space agency Roscosmos to
work more actively on it and to meet all its deadlines.
The issue with the Angara A5 was brought to attention by scientists
at rocket engine manufacturer Energomash in a paper ahead of a
space conference later this month.
The paper, reported by RIA news agency on Friday and published
online, said the engines of the Angara A5 could produce low
frequency oscillations that could ultimately destroy the
A special valve had been fitted to mitigate the issue, but in some
cases the oscillations continued, it said. Energomash did not
immediately reply to a request for comment.
Russia’s space program has been dogged by mishaps in recent
years, including failed cargo delivery missions into space and the
aborted launch in October of the manned Soyuz mission to the
International Space Station. Russia’s current heavy lift rocket,
the Proton M, has had a nearly 10 percent failure rate in more than
100 launches since it entered service in 2001, creating pressure to
reorganize and improve the space program.

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Source: *FS – All – Science News Net
Russian scientists find defect in new heavy lift space rocket engine