At present, RSC Energia has developed a conceptual
configuration for the interplanetary orbiter where the crew
will work during the entire interplanetary transit. This incorporated
the experience of work on space stations.
| Mass, kg
|Specific Impulse, m/s
first experimental spacecraft (Module-M) is to be delivered
to ISS on-board Progress spacecraft, to be subsequently
assembled by the crew during an EVA and moved away from
the space station. Using electric propulsion main engines,
the spacecraft will raise its orbit to 1200 km. This mission
will study the effects of long operation of electrical propulsion
engines on the equipment.
At present, Energia's manufacturing plant has built the
spacecraft structure, virtually all the mechanical units
and assemblies have been tested, and the spacecraft support
systems and scientific payloads have passed the phase of
developmental testing in the lab. However, since the funding
for this work has stopped, manufacturing of further elements
for the spacecraft is suspended.
The next spacecraft, Module M2, is to be sent to a Lagrangian
point (H= 1,500,000 km). Along with developmental testing
of solutions to fundamental problems of the interplanetary
vehicle flight, this spacecraft is also to be used for early
warnings of magnetic storms on Earth caused by the solar
And, finally, Mars-Module is to be sent to Mars to study
the planet. It will be the first spacecraft, which, along
with the developmental testing of the interplanetary vehicle
will be intended for Martian research using remote sensing
equipment and landers with the necessary equipment, which
it will deliver. It will support the operation of the equipment
in Mars orbit for more than two years. If need be, this
spacecraft will be capable of returning to low Earth orbit.
Mars-Module will be capable of addressing the following
Mars research tasks:
- Study of Mars climate, surface and internal structure;
- Global photographic survey of the Martian surface;
- Mars remote sensing.
A main feature of the series of spacecraft for developmental
testing of the interplanetary vehicle is that they will
be de3livered to ISS on-board Progress spacecraft to be
assembled by the space station crew.