The present concept
of the development of the launch vehicles is the result of the initiative scientific and technical work "Promising means of launching
spacecraft", completed in the organization "Energy Exchange Technologies" (St. Petersburg) in 2002.
The concept is an organizational and technical solution that demonstrates the capabilities of the domestic
rocket and space industry in the context of a systematic organization of its activities. A distinctive feature
the concept is to focus not on the interests of individual enterprises, but on the interests of both the direction of activity
and the industry as a whole.
Our concept turned out to be the most complete and balanced of all the proposals for the development
of Russian rocket and space technology, and remains so today (adjusted for the state of the intended participants).
Its implementation would make it possible to load
the leading Russian organizations involved in space activities with specialized work.
The study was based on a non-obvious, but productive approach, which consists in the fact that the main task of developing a launch vehicle system is its structural improvement in order to achieve organic compliance with the structure of the base. This means that the development of the launch vehicle system should be subordinated, first, to its own interests-the interests of the structure and its scientific and production base, and, secondly, to ensuring the demand for launch vehicle services.
The validity of this approach is explained by the following:
1. At the time of the initiation of the work, the situation in the industry was characterized by uncertainty and lack of targets. In such an environment, long-term planning based on the current situation did not make sense.
2. The time cycle of the withdrawal funds is much longer than the period of formation of the current demand for them.
3. The creation of a launch vehicle requires both large capital expenditures and a significant time for their development, often exceeding the period of demand for launch vehicles.
4. It is a methodological mistake to build systems, including economic ones, based on the balance of supply and demand. Market mechanisms are useful for regulating the operational sphere of activity, and at the heart of the system organization are completely different. other principles.
The question of systemic development during the crisis.
The work was conceived and carried out during a period of sharp reduction in orders for the production of rocket and space technology. Therefore, the question was quite appropriate:
is it possible to develop systemically during a period of reduced functional activity?
To answer it, you need to understand that system development is the development of the structure of the system, accompanied by by including functionally new elements in it and optimizing the links. At the same time, the volume of functional activity of the system may be reduced. The development and complication of the system during a crisis increases its survivability and prospects for the future, while its simplification (degradation) due to the irreversibility of development statistically leads to the opposite result. This conclusion, however, is based on the fact that, that natural system development is not spontaneous, but is caused by the need to optimize intra-and near-system processes; artificial development should also not be arbitrary, but follow the laws and rules of natural development. In theory, this development should aim to increase linearly independent connections, which in practice will lead to an increase in the system's capabilities. Then the system development in the period of crisis of functional activity is possible and implies the following strategy:
Reduction of functional activity-reduction of the basis of the system due to the elements involved in linearly dependent processes-system organization, accompanied by system development - expansion of functional activity due to new directions and new properties of the system.
The most important point of system design is the definition of the basis, which sets the maximum parameters of the possible growth of the system structure. In general, the basis of the production industry includes production facilities, research material base, scientific knowledge, means of technical support of activities, technological experience and personnel united in teams. The more complex the field of activity, the more important the personnel become. The proposed strategy primarily affects the production capacity and personnel, which at the time of creation of the concept at the same time, the research and technological part of the basis, the most important ones, is preserved and developed. qualified personnel and the main types of production. The concept required an increase in the financing of the industry by 1.5-2 times, which, in our opinion, would pay off by reducing social and system costs.
An alternative to system development could be a controlled degradation of the system structure, accompanied by its conglomeration, which could be carried out with a reduction in the cost of space exploration, but for a number of reasons it did not take place. The current structural changes in the space industry are carried out on an already degraded basis, have no clear justification and are unlikely to lead to serious results even with a significant increase in funding.
Finding a solution
The analysis of cargo traffic to space showed that more than half of the cargo delivered by Russian carriers and the Zenit launch vehicle to low orbit is liquid cargo-fuel and water. At the same time, the bulk of the fuel is contained in the upper stages, designed to launch vehicles into high orbits and departure trajectories. Hence, it followed that the cargo flow it can be divided into raw materials and high-tech components, assigning these tasks to different means of withdrawal. As a result, the set of launch vehicles was transformed into a system of launch vehicles based on their deep specialization. Due to the significantly different physical and economic properties of the types of cargo, there were significant differences in the requirements for the properties of specialized launch vehicles. This allowed us to hope for a noticeable operational economic effect mainly due to two factors:
1. Reducing the cost of delivering raw materials to low orbit.
2. Testing the reliability of launching communication satellites to the geostationary platform on a smaller carrier.
The key issue of this decision was the possibility of creating a means of delivery of liquid / raw materials with high economic characteristics (low cost of removing a kilogram of cargo) and acceptable costs for the creation. A prerequisite for the latter is the fact that raw materials are amenable to any reasonable crushing without loss of properties, which implies the possibility of optimizing the dimensionality of such a launch vehicle. The main factors for reducing the cost of creating a launch vehicle due to the reduction in dimension are as follows:
1. Overall reduction in the cost of full-scale processing of the product.
2. Increasing the share of using previously developed technical solutions and tools.
3. Increase in the effect of using reusable elements due to an increase in the rate of operation of the launch vehicles.
The most suitable solution in terms of properties was in the field of horizontal launch aircraft and space vehicles. Such means were developed for a long time, but did not find implementation due to the low demand for the size of the output cargo, which was obtained with an acceptable dimension of the means and the cost of its creation. The allocation of the raw material component of the cargo flow changes the situation - an effective means that often delivers small portions of cargo to orbit becomes in demand.
As a means of delivering raw materials, a two-stage aerospace horizontal launch system is proposed, using a subsonic carrier aircraft as the 1st stage, and as the second - reusable rocket launcher with a disposable fuel tank. This system can be considered a reduced analog cargo version of the Multi-purpose ASS developed by Molniya company with an axisymmetric layout of the 2nd stage. By that time, there was a fairly voluminous scientific and technical reserve for this type of breeding tool, which showed its economic efficiency.
Our research has shown the possibility of further improving the efficiency of this system, as a result, an original technical solution was proposed, based on the use of the energy of the formation of the payload obtained from the fuel components to increase the specific impulse of the propulsion system. A vehicle using this technology could put 25% more cargo into low orbit, provided that this cargo was water. According to the share of the output cargo, such a device, having a reusable base, was close to cargo single-use version MASS-Cargo.
The rest of the strategy for creating the SV system was based on the use of cheap water in orbit, which assumed:
1. Extensive use of the last stages of the PH on oxygen-hydrogen fuel.
2. Retrofitting these stages with space refueling facilities.
3. Processing of water at the orbital station into fuel components, their storage and the availability of a refueling complex.
According to the set of properties, the delivery and processing of water into liquid oxygen and hydrogen is preferable to the delivery of finished components of oxygen-hydrogen fuel, other types of fuels have lower energy efficiency.
An important consequence of creating such a system would be a sharp reduction in the need for heavy media, which would leave the manufacturer idle "Proton" launcher - Khrunichev company. Therefore, it was considered important to develop a technological range of Angara carriers based on unified missile modules. At the same time, an original version of the development of the technological range was proposed using single-tank modules and the overflow of fuel components. This range covered a range of payloads from 4 to 40 tons.
Technical solutions for the means of delivering water to orbit and the technological range are protected by patents of the Russian Federation.
Distribution of work
At the time of creation of the Concept , the following distribution of activities was assumed:
1. Orbital refueling station - РКК "Энергия"
2. Reusable space tanker - ОАО "Молния"
3. Technological line of launch vehicles - ГКНПЦ им. Хруничева.
The distribution of work volumes in these areas fairly closely reflects the role of these organizations, requires a minimum of structural changes and is based on their technological background and traditional, mastered areas of work. For all areas of development proposed in the There were teams of qualified personnel familiar with the subject of the work, relevant technologies, experience and accumulated knowledge!
Currently, the composition of the participants needs to be reviewed, since the creative potential of RPA "Molniya" is largely lost, and the company itself was excluded from the system of the Russian Aviation and Space Agency at the time of its transformation into the FSA and practically repurposed.
Economic consequences of the decision
The concept involves the abandonment of super-heavy launch vehicles and does not require large-scale aerospace systems. This will allow us to avoid large costs both for the development of large-size carriers and other unpromising SV, and for the construction of launch complexes for them, redistributing funds in favor of creating payloads.
A comparison of the method of delivering satellites to geostationary orbit, using orbital refueling, with the usual one showed that it is ~20-30% more cost-effective already with a cargo flow equal to the Russian share of the world cargo flow to the geostationary in the late 1990s - early 2000s.
System consequences of the decision
The most important consequence of the work was that the proposed system of withdrawal funds not only is it more efficient on its own, but it is also able to compete with the equatorial launch when launching satellites into geostationary orbit. This unexpected surprise is of strategic importance for our country.
Another important effect of creating the proposed system is a significant increase in the capabilities for launching large-mass vehicles to the GSO and departure trajectories. Tasks such as manned flights to the Moon and an expedition to Mars are becoming real and economically non-destructive in terms of providing by means of deduction.
The concept of a vehicle for delivering water to orbit has allowed us to expand our understanding of the capabilities of liquid launch vehicles. It turned out that it was possible to overcome the previously considered maximum achievable values of the payload coefficient by a significant amount - up to ~25%. For the first time in several decades , a new type of liquid-fueled rocket engine has been invented , which has significantly higher characteristics.