Anatoly Perminov, chief of the Federal Space Agency, has approved of the independent space tugboat developed by the Russian-Ukrainian space company Cosmotrans for putting satellites into faraway orbits, including toward the Moon and Mars. Cosmotrans director general Vladimir Andreyev said this in a RIA Novosti interview summing up the results of the international aerospace exhibition ILA-2004, held in the environs of Berlin.
"I reported our new development to FSA head Anatoly Perminov and he liked it," Andreyev said. The space tugboat is intended for work in tandem with the Russian booster Dnepr, based on the intercontinental ballistic rocket SS-18 Satan, removed from army service within the framework of international agreements on the reduction of offensive armaments.
After it is separated from Dnepr, the space tugboat can, in standalone flight, carry satellites and small space stations to different orbit. "It is our basically new development, based on proven technologies and techniques," Andreyev noted.
As a result of nose-cone modernization, Dnepr can put into orbit much heavier spacecraft. "The program of enlarging the payload zone intends enlargement of the rocket's upper part. The nose cone, under which the satellite sits, is as it was in the military missile, launched to success over 160 times," Andreyev said. "We introduce nothing new in the body of the missile, proved well over years of combat duty. This greatly improves the trust of our customers," he stressed.
At the ILA-2004, Cosmotrans concluded a contract with the American corporation Bigelow Aerospace for the launch of six non-military satellites by the Russian conversion carrier rocket Dnepr. "We are very glad about the contract. It intends the launch of six American satellites under the program of unfolding space structures in orbit and practicing new technologies," Andreyev said.