[amsat-bb] An alternative ... or ... competition !!!.

John Hackett archie.hackett at hotmail.com
Sun Jul 5 03:46:08 PDT 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen,
                               For those that don't know it, The chief of RosKosmos, the Russian Space Agency *confirmed* last week the Russian intention to pull the plug on the ISS in the 2015 - 2020 timeframe and to construct another dedicated Russian 
space station.

According to Anatoly Zak RosKosmos informed NASA of these plans 14 days ago.

The new Russian station is *NOT* intended to be a laboratory like the ISS but 
more of an in-orbit contruction platform for future Mars-like and outer space 

The station will comprise a maintainable 'ball' section with several docking ports 
with attachable modules.

I propose that amateur radio satellite operators get together and form a group to suggest/try to influence/impliment an ARISS type of project for this space station.

A Strela type frame could be attached to the underside of the 'ball' and since the station is planned for a Molinya type orbit the coverage would be suitable for DX.

The planned orbit would put the station predominently over Russia - as opposed to the current ISS equatorial orbit.

Personally, I would suggest an RS-10/11 RS-12/13 clone with a ROBOT ...
(read: propagation tester) - as these satellites were without the shadow of a 
doubt the best for recruiting newcomers.

It would, in my opinion, be a viable concept and an alternative to some of the 
latest 'ideas' of a transponder on the moon ... which wouldn't 'catch' many 
potential newcomers but would (*IN MY OPINION*) only serve a few dedicated 'experts' ... leading to the demise of amateur satellite communications in general.

Comments, monies and praise to LA2QAA.

Criticisms, horsewhipping and flaming to GM1SXX.

73 John.   <la2qaa at amsat.org>

Interested parties may read the following ...

The OPSEK project

2008, the Russian successor to the International Space Station, ISS,
was identified as Orbitalniy Pilotiruemyi Eksperimentalniy Kompleks,
OPSEK, or Orbital Manned Assembly and Experiment Complex in English.*
Unlike previous designs of Mir, Mir-2 and the ISS,
the heart of the station would be a four-ton ball-shaped node module.
Equipped with six docking ports, this relatively small and simple
element would be the only permanent element of the station. All other
modules would come and go as their lifespan and mission requires.

      The initial architecture of the OPSEK complex could be built out of modules originally planned for the Russian segment
of the ISS. The exact scenario of the OPSEK assembly would depend on
the end of the ISS and the readiness of the latest Russian modules.
According to a 2008 scenario, the MLM multipurpose module, the node module and a pair of NEM power platforms could be first launched to the ISS in 2011, 2013 and 2014-2015,
respectively. With the deorbiting of the ISS looming around 2020, these
modules could separate from the old outpost to form the core of the new
Russian station. Another, more controversial scenario considered the
separation of the practically entire Russian segment, including the MIM-2 docking compartment and the Zvezda service module,
prior to the ISS deorbiting. In this case, the 20-year-old service
module would temporarily take a responsibility for the flight control
of the OPSEK, until its replacement with a 40-ton versatile core
module, UMB, launched by a next-generation rocket from yet-to-be built launch site in Vostochny during 2020s.

separation of the Russian segment from the ISS would leave the rest of
the outpost without effective orbital maneuvering capabilities, leaving
the European ATV spacecraft
as a likely candidate to perform the tasks of attitude control and
deorbiting. To achieve this the ATV would have to be modified to enable
its docking with the US segment of the ISS.

on the operational orbit selected for the OPSEK, it might be necessary
to change the orbital inclination of the modules departing the ISS and
forming the new station. The lowest inclination accessible from
Vostochny is 51.7 degrees, while the ISS is orbiting the Earth with the
inclination 51.6 degrees toward the Equator. It is estimated that one
or two Progress cargo ships would be necessary to push the modules from one inclination to another.

official statements during 2008 and 2009, it is clear that the one of
the chief objectives of the OPSEK complex would be the support for
expedition to Mars. All major elements of the Martian expeditionary
complex, such as main habitation module, Mars lander and
nuclear-powered space tug would dock to the station before its
departure from the low-Earth orbit toward Mars. The Martian expedition
would at the OPSEK as well.

      The station would also play a similar role in lunar exploration. Reusable space tugs could link OPSEK with the Lunar Orbital Station, LOS, in orbit around the Moon, thus creating a transport chain for a permanent lunar base. Such tasks  as servicing of modular satellites by orbital tugs based at the OPSEK complex were also cited.

broader terms, TsNIIMash research institute, a chief strategist of the
Russian space agency, formulated the OPSEK concept as a foundation of
the nation's space strategy. By 2009, the new station was seen as a
cornerstone of a new space exploration plan, which extended four
decades into the 21st century. An ambitious program apparently included
manned missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond. (344)

      Cooperation with Europe and the US

2008, Russian plans for maintaining presence in the low-Earth orbit in
general and the creation of a successor to the ISS in particular had
been met enthusiastically in Europe. As ESA had little hope to match
the US effort to return to the Moon at the beginning of the 21st century,
preserving a destination in the low-Earth orbit seemed critical for the
political support of the manned space flight on the continent.

June 2009, Simonetta Di Pippo, ESA director of human space flight told
the editor of RussianSpaceWeb.com that she shared the Russian vision of
the future space station as a platform for deep space missions. "I have
continuous consultations with officials in Russia. We meet every month,
month and a half, and now
we are going to start jointly, the study how to proceed beyond 2025, Di
Pippo said, ..."and we have a common idea that we would like to
preserve presence in the lower orbit. We are studying different
scenarios, whether we need permanent presence or, maybe, a human-tended
capability, and we can end up with a totally different solution in the
end, but I don’t believe we can leave Earth orbit."

      Di Pippo also said that although  current NASA plans for return to the Moon
reserved no essential role for the station, it could change in the
future. "Even on the NASA side, they have too many different
developments (associated with the Earth orbit), including commercial
involvement, which they can not immediately give up," Di Pippo said. 

      By the end of 2010,
all partners in the ISS project were expecting to agree on the
extension of the ISS lifespan from 2015 to 2020 or even 2025. Once end
of life for the ISS was decided an active planning for post-ISS manned
space flight could begin in Russia, Europe and possibly the US.


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