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ronatu
Do you know that Russains could be on Moon first?
This is how:

http://site.voila.fr/space-models/model/n1/n1_miss.htm



smile.gif
RNeuhaus
Nice drawings and no real news!
Phil Stooke
Not news, perhaps, as the story has become well known to space enthusiasts in recent years. But these are very nice drawings. The surface photo one shows a deployed instrument in the middle distance... not referred to in the caption. A seismometer?

The Soviets began considering landing sites before the landing was cancelled, and that leads to another mystery. What I know so far is this: they had to be close to the equator for dynamical reasons, the same as early Apollo sites. Three areas were considered: the Luna 9 region (I don't mean right beside it, but the general region... actually Luna 9 was not close enough to the equator to be a good site), Sinus Medii, and Mare Fecunditatis near the later Luna 16 site. They got as far as measuring crater density, surface roughness etc., exactly as Apollo did, before the job was abandoned. In the process they rejected the Sinus Medii site as too rough. This is from Sacha Basilevsky, who did the work.

BUT - the question is, what images did they use for this site study? There were no Russian images suitable for this study. It had to be Lunar Orbiter. So that restricts the sites examined to those imaged by Lunar Orbiter. But did they have prints of Orbiter images? Or copies of the US Army and Air Force Orbiter Site Maps? Legitimately obtained or not? Nobody would tell me what they used. However, if they really were restricted to Lunar Orbiter images in those regions the sites were very constrained, and actually the western area would have been much better imaged. I venture to suggest that Flamsteed (near Surveyor 1) or the unused Apollo Site 5 would have been the likely targets.

Phil
Bob Shaw
Phil:

I think it depends *when* the work was undertaken - the Soviets had two waves of Lunar orbiters, the first being their traditional 'clockwork' film-based (like their planetary probes) with the last couple being similar instead to Lunokhod in both structure and systems and with, I recall, more adaptable video output. If the work was undertaken early then they made have had some of their own images, but certainly the US pictures were superior (if they could get them). If later, then we might still have seen them make use of US images to fine-tune their own campaigns.

I wonder whether the unflown manned Zond flights might have been employed as recon missions - Soyuz had a long military history and it may be that off-the-shelf large format camera kit was available for inboard mounting (and in fact there were some rather fine images returned even by the unmanned flights). There's long been speculation about the anonymous boxes on the top of Zond - perhaps these were associated with camera packages (batteries, etc) and stored outwith the descent vehicle for volume/CG/etc reasons?

Possibly the key would be in the orbital mechanics - if the almost-flown late 1968 manned Zond had it's launch date chosen not just to get *to* the Moon and back but also to see particular places under specified lighting conditions (a la Apollo 10) then I'd say that's a big hint! The earlier unmanned Lunar Zonds might also have tested the trajectories for later landing site observations, too...

(Hmmm... ...maybe the turtles were specially trained for ReconOps - at least, if somebody asked them what species they were then they'd be certain to reply in the affirmative!)

Bob Shaw
Phil Stooke
Good points, Bob, but in fact these options don't work.

The landing site analysis work was done while there was still a hope of landing first, and at that time only Luna 12 had flown (Lunas 10 and 11 probably had cameras too but attitude control or other problems prevented their use). Luna 12's images were actually good enough to plan human landings with - the two frames Ted posted under 'Soviet Lunar Images' cover areas 5 km across at a resolution of about 5 m/pixel, adequate for landing site planning, but they are near Aristarchus, too far north for the human landing attempt... and there are probably only those two or at most a handful of other frames with decent lighting.

The later orbital Lunas (19 and 22) were too late and very limited in resolution and coverage (see that thread for coverage maps). The Zonds which did take photos were limited by their return-to-Earth trajectories (which were the focus of each mission: navigation, control and re-entry testing) to photography of the western limb and far side. Also, even the best images, from Zond 8, are not detailed enough for landing site certification. In principle you are right to mention the unflown Zonds, but I'd be surprised if they were intended for anything other than re-entry testing like the rest.

I don't know about the anonymous boxes, but Zond used film cameras and the film had to be returned so they weren't outside the capsule. In fact Zond 6 crashed, and its film cannister was flattened and cracked by the impact. They managed to salvage enough fragments of negatives to piece together a reasonable image of the far side.

As far as I can see the Soviets had no choice but to use U.S. images. They still seem to deflect questions about it if asked, unlike many other things they are now very open about.

Phil
RNeuhaus
When I visited the Smithsonian Museum of Aviation and Space, I found many information about the space race between Russia and America. So far I have recalled is that the Russia has failed many previous attempts before sending a man to the moon. However, there are still lots of information are still buried so I don't really know what exactly have happened on that time. I suspect that Russians were so deseperate and didn't make enough planning and coordination for each step of project. Hence, Russian has aborted the race to Moon after many failures. I am afraid that some were jailed by the Soviet Goverment. That is my speculation due to lack of transparency information. No Public Relations at all!

Rodolfo
Bob Shaw
Phil:

Yes, the flown Zonds certainly appeared to be not-quite-100%-OK re-entry/systems tests - I still wonder whether there were any obvious lighting constraints on the almost-flown chappie.

As for the boxes on the forebody, they do seem to differ from the package flown on the N1's Soyuz-related capsule. I was really thinking about batteries etc rather than film - obviously the film would have to get back, but I can think of a host of good reasons for power being external to the pressurised vehicle (assuming that the Soviets could 'do' vaccuum rated batteries - they used to put their electronics in pressurised boxes on most of their early vehicles!).

Bob Shaw
edstrick
Since the Zonds (besides the unrelated Zond 3 and Venus and Mars Zonds 1 and 2) were on Apollo 13 type loop-around-the-moon-and-return figure-8 trajectories, they never flew over the nearside. Zond was incapable of lunar orbit so the failed missions could not have attempted anything significant in terms of landing site mapping.

What I still don't understand is the failure of the "heavy" lunar orbiters to return hardly any information of interest. With the payload capability of the Luna sample return and Lunokhod missions placed in orbit instead of landing, they clearly carried a lot of payload, but it's been minimally described and a bare minimum of science results published.
RNeuhaus
I found additional information about Russia's manned Lunar program (1940-1980)

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/spacecraft_manned_lunar.html

Interesting article. Previously I was so ignorant abut it sad.gif

Rodolfo
tedstryk
My understanding is that the Russians had just about everything ready to go but no ride for this moon landing mission. In other words, the N-1 just never worked right. So in other words, they were so close and yet so far away. It would be like Apollo had the Saturn V not worked. They probably, from what I understand, gotten it to work by the mid 70s, but since their landing was still smaller scale than Apollo, they considered it embarassing, and moved on to building space stations, an area where they could claim "firsts." I wish they had continued the effort....it might have provided the push needed to keep Apollo going a while longer.
GregM
QUOTE (tedstryk @ Jul 4 2005, 09:24 PM)
My understanding is that the Russians had just about everything ready to go but no ride for this moon landing mission.  In other words, the N-1 just never worked right.  So in other words, they were so close and yet so far away.  It would be like Apollo had the Saturn V not worked.  They probably, from what I understand, gotten it to work by the mid 70s, but since their landing was still smaller scale than Apollo, they considered it embarassing, and moved on to building space stations, an area where they could claim "firsts."  I wish they had continued the effort....it might have provided the push needed to keep Apollo going a while longer.
*



Well, yes it true that the main sticking point in the Soviet lunar programís inability to get the job done was the launch vehicle, when speaking in the strictest of terms. However, the whole Soviet scheme was VERY weak when compared to Apollo, and there were many other places besides the booster in the Soviet Lunar mission plan that might (or likley would) have caused a mission failure. The booster was just the largest of many weak points. With a few exceptions, everything in the Soviet program was much more primitive than Apollo in terms of technology development and robustness, yet was excessively complicated in areas that would not gladly tolerate such things (such as two separate descent propulsion stages for the lander). To look into the interior of the Soviet lander or mothership (a beefed up Soyuz) is to look into something more akin to a 1930ís submarine rather than a late 1960ís spacecraft. I half expect to see Captain Nemo flying the LK instead of Alexi Leonov Ė who might have been the first person on the Moon in a different timeline had everything gone perfectly for them. In terms of sophistocation, robustness, redundency, and technical development, Apollo looked like the starship Enterprise compared to these spacecraft. Mr. Leonov would have been a very brave man indeed if he had got the chance to succeed instead of Neil Armstrong.

I strongly suggest learning more on the subject for anyone interested Ė it is a fascinating subject on what was the riskiest and most longshot manned space mission design ever conceived. But boy, it would have been really cool to have seen them actually pull it off.

Good links for any who are interested:

http://www.astronautix.com/articles/sovpart2.htm

http://www.astronautix.com/craft/soy7klok.htm

http://www.astronautix.com/craft/lk.htm

http://www.myspacemuseum.com/eurolk.htm

http://www.deepcold.com/deepcold/lk_main.html
Phil Stooke
I posted some things on the orbital imaging missions in another thread, but following up on edstrick's comment about how little was released from the orbiters...

Well, different times, of course, but my impression is that these orbiters were thought of as mainly experimental, systems-testing missions. But here's another example of a Luna 22 result... from my forthcoming book (that's why I'm giving out such a heavily reduced version!). Luna 22 carried a radar altimeter. It appears to have made only four observations, which were published in an extremely obscure Soviet journal. I saw these ground tracks plotted without explanation on a Russian map at MIIGAiK, but they were plotted wrong! (lat and long, east and west, confused in the plotting), rendering them useless. Here they are correct, and if you compare this with the Luna 22 images you will see they cover the same area.

The Soviets at this time really didn't have the receiving capability to download vast amounts of data from long-term lunar missions - or at least it would have been a real stretch. I think that may have doomed the orbiters to small amounts of data return, as well.

Click to view attachment

Phil
Bob Shaw
Phil:

I think you're right on the button re the 'systems test' aspect of Luna 22 - it was reported around that time that it had even had a Lunokhod motor and wheel aboard to test the technology!

In respect to 'missions that never were', some of the ever-so-slightly-speculative Soviet plans actually involved a Lunokhod-based LRV. I wonder whether MER would make a good dune buggy? Oops, I forgot, it's *terrible* on dunes!

Bob Shaw
ronatu
QUOTE (GregM @ Jul 5 2005, 12:18 AM)
Well, yes it true that the main sticking point in the Soviet lunar programís inability to get the job done was the launch vehicle, when speaking in the strictest of terms. However, the whole Soviet scheme was VERY weak when compared to Apollo, and there were many other places besides the booster in the Soviet Lunar mission plan that might (or likley would) have caused a mission failure. The booster was just the largest of many weak points. With a few exceptions, everything in the Soviet program was much more primitive than Apollo in terms of technology development and robustness, yet was excessively complicated in areas that would not gladly tolerate such things (such as two separate descent propulsion stages for the lander). To look into the interior of the Soviet lander or mothership (a beefed up Soyuz) is to look into something more akin to a 1930ís submarine rather than a late 1960ís spacecraft. I half expect to see Captain Nemo flying the LK instead of Alexi Leonov Ė who might have been the first person on the Moon in a different timeline had everything gone perfectly for them. In terms of sophistocation, robustness, redundency, and technical development, Apollo looked like the starship Enterprise compared to these spacecraft.† Mr. Leonov would have been a very brave man indeed if he had got the chance to succeed instead of Neil Armstrong.†



The LOK spacecraft was roughly equivalent to the Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM) "mother ship". Basically a souped-up Soyuz, it served as transport vehicle & living quarters for the 2 man lunar crew to and from the moon. The middle section, just like Soyuz, was used during launch and reentry, and for most of the vehicle control functions. Also note the rear instrument section, which has been elongated from the basic Soyuz design to allow for extra propellants, and the fact that no solar panels were used (for those readers who like to track Soyuz variants). Electrical power was supplied by fuel cells.
The odd looking apparatus on the nose of the vehicle was used for reaction control and docking. 4 small metal fingers were used to guide the docking probe, which could snap into any one of 108 small hexagonal holes in the "Kontact" docking plate on the top of the LK ascent stage. This enabled a docking to take place no matter where on the LK docking plate the LOK managed to make contact.


The LK was the Soviet functional equivalent of the American Lunar Module, but with certain notable differences: the LK would have carried only a single Cosmonaut to the lunar surface and he would have had to "space walk" from the LOK to the LK; the LK would have used the same engine for both final descent to the lunar surface and ascent back to orbit.
dvandorn
A slight etymological aside, here -- just as LM stood for Lunar Module, LK was an acronym. It stood for (if I'm remembering the spelling right) Luniy Korabl. The O in LOK stood for the Russian word for "orbiting," I forget the word right now...

In the Soviet spacecraft designation game, "Korabl" (which best translated into "cabin") was used most frequently to refer to unmanned tests of manned spacecraft. Several test flights of the Vostok were given the name "Korabl-Sputnik." And while it was flown under the more generic "Cosmos" name, the LK was indeed test-flown twice in Earth orbit.

The LK would have ridden a crasher stage down for the majority of its descent, and had about 100 seconds between separation from the crasher and ignition of its terminal braking rockets to when it had to touch down. It had very, very limited ability to redesignate its landing point, and the braking engines were throttled using a manual throttle-arm which reduced or increased fuel flow into the combustion chamber. Because the odds were fair that an LK would land on a slope (craters being omnipresent), it had "settling rockets" attached to the leg struts which ignited upon lunar contact to push the LK *down* into the dust, ensuring that it would sit upright, even on slopes of more than 30 degrees.

And yes, the Soviets were very concerned about a person being able to walk properly on the Moon, and what might happen if he fell over. With only one landing crewman, if someone fell over and turned turtle, he might die without ever being able to get back up (at least that was the Soviets' fear). They had a contraption that looked like an elderly person's walker, that the moonwalking cosmonaut would carry with him to lean on. There was also a plan for a Lunokhod to scout out a landing area and provide television coverage of the landing of the LK. The cosmonaut would then attach a seat to the Lunokhod and drive it around the landing site, taking pictures and collecting rocks from the comfort of his "travel chair."

I believe the Lunokhod was to be more than just transportation, it would have contained an emergency oxygen supply in case of a backpack failure -- generally, it was a way of making up for there only being one guy out there, with no one within a quarter of a million miles to help him.

There is also a speculation (discussed at Mark Wade's excellent Encyclopedia Astronautica) that, when they were certain that the N-1 wouldn't be ready in time to fly an LOK/LK flight prior to Apollo's first landing attempts, the Soviets may have gotten close to giving the green light to an alternate mission, assembling the entire N-1 TEI package in LEO from separate Proton and Soyuz booster launches. It was during this period, in early 1969, that the LK was first test-flown. But the LOK variant of the Soyuz hadn't yet flown, the Kontakt docking system had not been flight-tested, and the LOK heat shield and return trajectory hadn't been tested successfully (the Zond tests having failed in some crucial manner each time). The best "guess" is that the Soviets were assembling the pieces and might have attempted such a multi-launch LOK/LK flight had Apollo failed to land by the end of 1969 -- but they knew there was a great amount of risk, with so many of the components and flight operations untested.

My best guess is that, if the Soviets had indeed tried to fly a multi-launch LOK/LK mission, it had no better than a 50/50 chance of getting its crew back alive, and probably less than a 20% chance of actually achieving a manned landing and return.

-the other Doug
dvandorn
One more little note of interest -- since the LOK/LK was set up such that there was no connecting tunnel between the orbiter and the lander, the LK crewman had to transfer to and from his craft via EVA. That's why the very first Soyuz mission was planned to demonstrate EVA transfer between two vehicles. It wasn't accomplished until the dual Soyuz 4/5 flight, but it was originally the plan for Soyuz 1/2 to perform a crew transfer.

-the other Doug
RNeuhaus
All above appends have very interesting history that have happened when I was a innocent boy from high school. I was following very close on Apollo programs and knew very little except of the successfull moonlanding of Lunokhod.

Now Russians are willing to cooperate with Americans along with Europeans (Asians have not yet have expressed) to conquer Mars and hope it won't be a race among them in any way.

Rodolfo
ilbasso
The space race felt very scary at times to us average citizens. The Soviet Union launched an unmanned probe to the Moon about 2 weeks before Apollo 11 took off. There was no news about this probe other than it had entered lunar orbit. Without real news as to its intent, speculation ran rampant. Were they going to try to return a sample to Earth before Apollo 11 could? Or, were they going to try to crash it into Apollo 11? Or was it out of control?

We learned later that the Soviet government had assured the US government that the probe was in a different orbit and posed no threat to Apollo 11.

We are lucky now that governments for the most part (excepting spy satellite missions) announce their launches in advance and share the information. But it wasn't all that long ago that the Department of Defense flew a large number of Space Shuttle missions and gave no public info on the missions other than the launch date.
ronatu
Ironically enough, Soviet (now russian) spaceship Soyuz probably going to be the first piloted spaceship flying around the Moon after more then 30 years...
Adding more irony that Soyuz will carry a couple of Americans as tourists...
What a turn!


*A man is not old until regrests start taking the place of dreams...*
ronatu
QUOTE (dvandorn @ Jul 6 2005, 03:36 AM)
One more little note of interest -- since the LOK/LK was set up such that there was no connecting tunnel between the orbiter and the lander, the LK crewman had to transfer to and from his craft via EVA.  That's why the very first Soyuz mission was planned to demonstrate EVA transfer between two vehicles.  It wasn't accomplished until the dual Soyuz 4/5 flight, but it was originally the plan for Soyuz 1/2 to perform a crew transfer.

-the other Doug
*



It was planed for Soyuz 2/3
ronatu
QUOTE (edstrick @ Jul 4 2005, 03:47 PM)
What I still don't understand is the failure of the "heavy" lunar orbiters to return hardly any information of interest.  With the payload capability of the Luna sample return and Lunokhod missions placed in orbit instead of landing, they clearly carried a lot of payload, but it's been minimally described and a bare minimum of science results published...


Russians always being not very good with publishing - first it was not allowed, now - there is no motivation... sad.gif
paxdan
private venture to put a soyuz round the moon.

*slaps forehead*

d'oh! it's so simple i can't believe i didn't think of it.

*rkrygkrrkyrr*

the sound of NASA bosses grinding their teeth.

Anyone reckon the Chinese might try something like this within the next few launches? Is bunging up a couple of guys on a free return trajectory within their launch capability?
RNeuhaus
Ticket to Moon is already for sale. 2 vacants for US$100 millions per preson. Contact with the company: Deap Space Exploration - Alpha, Arlington.

The trip details are still being worked out, but two scenarios are possible.

1) One requires the crew to dock at the ISS for up to 14 days before launching off on an approximate six-day flight to the moon.

2) the ISS will not be used and the crew will orbit the Earth for approximately three days before blasting off for the moon.

This company has identified over 1000 individuals who have the financial resources to afford such a flight. Maybe, there will be a big raffle company to pick up one very lucky winner.

Have a nice trip to Moon! The best bet time that this will happen is by the year 2008!

Click here for more information.

Rodolfo
RedSky
To the Moon....

Just a few weeks ago at the other Mars board, the subject of tourism to and beyond low earth orbit came up. I suggested that it might be feasible for Russia to do so when (if) its new 6 passenger Kliper vehicle became available. If they put a Mir core-type (Zvesda) module into LEO, they could then use it as living quarters for a swingby trip around the moon. The start of the tourist mission would begin with a transfer stage (say, something like the old Saturn S4B upper stage) docking to the core. Once done, the Kliper would go up a few days later and dock to the core with 2 pilots and 4 passengers. Then they would TLI the "Lunar Swingby Station" into a free-return trajectory around the moon. Not only would there be a day or two of good moon viewing... but don't forget what the view of approaching earth from that distance would be like! Then, upon return, a burn from the transfer stage would put the assembly into a high capture orbit. This would be lowered over a few days, until the Core was back in its normal parking orbit. The Transfer Stage is then jettisoned and deorbited into the ocean. The Kliper then returns from LEO as it normally would. Then, every few tourist missions, the Core would be visited by a dedicated re-stocking mission.

I never dreamed they'd try offering this now! The reason I thought this would all wait until the 6-person Kliper is that just having one passenger in a Soyuz would probably not be that cost-effective. Even though the original Soyuz was meant to be a lunar ship (comparable to the Apollo CSM), and could probably be re-adapted to that purpose, it would be a very stoic passenger indeed to be willing to spend $100 million for a week in a tiny Soyuz with 2 cosmonauts.

With 4 passengers in a Kliper and a Core living module, though, that's $400 million in sales per mission, which even might make a profit. Besides the Kliper, the only added development would be the transfer stage, that might have to be more powerful than the S4B in order for the earth return capture burns, instead of a direct fast entry. But the savings in the reuse of the (Mir) Core might make having that larger stage worthwile just for the return capture.
Bob Shaw
As I understand the proposal, there are indeed two options. One uses an on-orbit life-expired 'Taxi' Soyuz with a Zond heatshield, while the other involves a dedicated Lunar Soyuz launch. Obviously, the former saves money, and gives any paying passenger(s) a week or so aboard the ISS, too. Speaking of which, some sources are quoting two passengers, which might preclude the Taxi option - but would pay the Russians rather more. I don't doubt that a l-o-o-o-n-g queue of returning ISS crews would be prepared to spend a few days extra in cramped quarters in order to visit the Moon, somehow!

In any case, the next step after organising the presence in LEO of a crewed Soyuz is to launch (according to some tiny graphics I saw) what looks like a Breeze-M upper stage on a Proton. You will all be aware, of course, that Breeze-M is based on the original Zond translunar escape stage, making history repeat itself to a pleasing degree. However, things get still more interesting. Zond was launched atop it's translunar stage, and with no Orbital Module. The new proposals seem to show a Pirs-class Habitation Module attached to the upper stage, with which the Soyuz would dock, thereby providing both a physical connection and extra living space. Presumably, 35 years of gradual improvement to Proton will have upped it's payload weight to the point where the margins are more than adequate. So, it's not merely a trip to the Moon aboard a Soyuz, but there's a nice big extra room (with a view) too!

I'm saving already!
RedSky
QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ Aug 11 2005, 02:55 PM)
... Speaking of which, some sources are quoting two passengers, which might preclude the Taxi option - but would pay the Russians rather more.
*


I really wouldn't have thought a 2-passenger option as being feasible. Would it really be prudent for there to be 2 passengers and only one pilot in a Soyuz for a 7-day circumlunar trip? From a matter of potential health problems, I would want at least another qualified pilot there. I doubt the passengers' space training would involve Soyuz piloting.

That's why I always thought a mission like this would wait for the 6-man Kliper (2 pilots and 4 paying passengers), and a larger living module (like a Mir Core, or smaller Salute-type module) that was reusable and stayed in a LEO parking orbit between tourist missions.
dvandorn
QUOTE (ronatu @ Aug 10 2005, 09:13 PM)
It ((Soyuz crew transfer)) was planed for Soyuz 2/3
*

Actually, it was planned for Soyuz 1/2 -- after Komarov's launch on Soyuz 1, a three-man crew was set to launch in Soyuz 2 within two days. A rendezvous and docking, followed by transfer of two of the Soyuz 2 crew into Soyuz 1, was planned. (This is documented in several different places, and is also inherent in the Soviet announcement of the launch of Soyuz 1 -- the Sovs never gave a number to the first flight of a new spacecraft. The announcement of the vehicle as Soyuz 1 was a confirmation to the West that a second Soyuz was planned to fly within a few days.)

After one of Soyuz 1's solar panels failed to deploy, the planned launch of Soyuz 2 was canceled and the Soviets began to plan for Komarov's early return (although, apparently, some Soviet mission planners argued for Soyuz 2 to fly, and its EVA crewmen to go out and fix the solar panel problem). It's a *very* good thing they didn't launch Soyuz 2, since it shared the same problem Soyuz 1 had with the "sticky" parachute canister. Had Soyuz 2 flown, it would have crashed and killed its crew, as well.

As for the Soyuz 2/3 mission, I'm pretty certain that it was always designed to be a rendezvous and docking between a manned Soyuz and an unmanned Soyuz. (We're talking about the Soyuz 2/3 flight as it was designed after the Soyuz 1 accident.) I don't think the lone Soyuz crewman was going to transfer to the unmanned vehicle had the docking worked (which it didn't).

-the other Doug
ljk4-1
Moonscam: Russians try to sell the Moon for foreign cash
---

In recent weeks Russians have discussed the possibility of
establishing a lunar base on their own, perhaps to refine helium-3.

James Oberg examines these pronouncements and sees them as another
effort by Russian companies to win foreign funding.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/551/1
PhilHorzempa


I thought that this would be the appropriate thread in which to post this
article from The Planetary Society detailing ongoing plans between Russia and
Europe to develop an ACTS, Advanced Crew Transportation System.

http://www.planetary.org/news/2006/0628_Eu...s_to_Study.html



You may recall that there was discussion that Europe and Russia might
cooperate on building the new Clipper mini-shuttle space plane. It seems that
after more closely examining where manned spaceflight is heading in the next
few decades, i.e., the Moon and Mars, that they have ditched the Clipper
proposal. Instead, they seem to be considering a capsule design, perhaps
a larger version of the Soyuz. Doesn't this sound like "Zond-On-Steroids"?



Another Phil
MarkG
'Challenge to Apollo' is well worth a read if you haven't come across it already. I think this is the URL:

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntr..._2000122281.pdf

(Note: it's about an 85MB file)
GravityWaves
China and Russia are planning a joint mission to Mars that will bring back samples to earth and land on one of the red planet's tiny moons, state media quoted a Chinese scientist as saying Wednesday. Ye Peijian, of the Chinese Research Institute of Space Technology, made the announcement at a forum on the nation's space technology development, Xinhua news agency said.
http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/China_And...o_Mars_999.html
':mars:' 'smid_10'
Ye said Russia will launch the spacecraft in 2009 and it will carry China-made survey equipment. The mission will collect samples on Mars and the planet's nearest moon, according to Xinhua.
Big_Gazza
That must be the Phobos grunt mission, though I was not aware that China was involved.

The article is misleading as the sample return is only from Phobos, not Mars as it suggests. Maybe this is just an example of shoddy writing or poor journalism.
tedstryk
QUOTE (Big_Gazza @ Aug 25 2006, 01:46 PM) *
That must be the Phobos grunt mission, though I was not aware that China was involved.

The article is misleading as the sample return is only from Phobos, not Mars as it suggests. Maybe this is just an example of shoddy writing or poor journalism.


Russia agreed to add a small, ride-along Chinese orbiter. The mission may also carry the Russian/Finnish MetNet precursor mission. The "may" refers to the fact that the MetNet landers will undergo drop tests this spring or summer. Inclusion in Phobos-Grunt hinges on the tests being successful.
edstrick
.... hinges on the tests being successful."

That's opposed to the usual " fly it, crater it, test it " method?
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