Andrei Kislyakov opinion pieces:
- “Russian Space Program Needs To Change”, 12/8
- “Outside View: Space industry confusions”, 13/8
- “What’s the outlook for the ISS?”, 14/8.
Two-part article on “Nuclear Power in Space” by Yurii Zaitsev: Part 1 (RIAN/SpaceDaily, 13/8) and Part 2 (RIAN/SpaceDaily, 15/8). For an interplanetary mission (e.g. to Mars) a small nuclear reactor would provide a more efficient power source than solar panels (which are increasingly ineffective the further away from the Sun a spaceship gets). Russia developed a unit called “Topaz” during the Soviet era, which has been flown in space on satellites. (I first saw mention of the Topaz in the Stephen Baxter novel Titan).
Unfortunately, with current technology only nuclear fission (splitting an atom) is used with its unpleasant side-effects of radiation; fusion (combining atoms) would be ideal. There is also the environmental problem of how to bring a reactor back to Earth!
- “Obsolete space industry”, Space Daily, 15/8: Andrei Kislyakov opinion piece.
For Russia, the ISS is all that is left of its once stupendous manned program. Its loss would shake the industry to its foundations. But the question arises: If Russia is to stay on, which is beyond discussion, then what is to be done and, most importantly, how?
- FP Space posting: “Soyuz/Progress upgrades”, 20/8. Summary of a Novosti Kosmonavtiki article about planned upgrades to the spacecraft.
- “Bold New Projects Critical To Future Of Russian Space Exploration”, Space Daily, 20/8. Interview with former Energiya president Nikolai Sevast’yanov.
- “Russian, European Space Agencies To Develop Manned Spaceship”, RIAN/Space Daily, 22/8. Announcement at the MAKS-2007 Airshow.
- “Russian space agency to form three space holdings by 2015”, RIAN/Space Daily, 22/8.
- “50th Aniversary Of The Russian ICBM Rocket”, Space Daily, 23/8.
- “Mars-500 Experiment Could Be Extended To 700 Days”, RIAN/Space Daily, 23/8. Pity this can’t be a real mission, even just one going around Mars (not landing on it).
- “Russia’s space guru opts for evolution”, RIAN/Space Daily, 23/8. Andrei Kislyakov on the dismayingly limited plans for Russia’s space program – just upgrade some old designs.
And why can’t the Russian space program do something similar to this: “NASA and Internet Archive Team to Digitize Space Imagery”, SpaceRef, 23/8. There must be a lot of things in the Russian archives that the public hasn’t seen; it would be a great way of getting their attention.