Heft 75/2002

des Instituts für Geodäsie

Heft 75/2002


Space Activity in Russia  -  Background, Current State, Perspectives

135 S.

Auflage:  400

ISSN:  0173-1009




(in Englisch)

Preface 3
1  Main Components of Space Activity 7
2  Legal Basis of Space Activity 10
3  Financing of Space Programs 16
    3.1  Budget Financing 17
    3.2  Private Financing 21
4  Organizational Structure of Russian Aviation
    and Space Agency

5  Space-Rocket Industry 36
    5.1  Main Period  (1946-1990) 37
    5.2  Transitive Period  (1991-1992) 41
    5.3  Current Period  (1993-today) 46
6  Spaceports (Cosmodromes) 55
    6.1  Kapustin Yar 55
    6.2  Baikonur 57
    6.3  Plesetsk 59
    6.4  Svoboniy 61
    6.5  Future Aspects and Trends 62
7  Command, Control and Tracking System 65
8  Long-Term Orbital Stations 73
9  Space Research 81
    9.1  Fundamental Research 82
           9.1-1  Comparative Planetology 83
           9.1-2  Space Astronomy 86
           9.1-3  Space Physics 90
    9.2  Applied Research 91
           9.2-1  Space Communication 92
           9.2-2  Natural Resources and Protection of Environment 96
           9.2-3  Space Meteorology 100
           9.2-4  Space Geodesy and Navigation 109
           9.2-5  Space Biology and Medicine 113
           9.2-6  Space Technology 117
10  Commercialization of Space Activity 120
      10.1  Major Factors 120
               10.1-1  Diversification 120
               10.1-2  Standardization 122
               10.1-3  Licensing 123
               10.1-4  Space Insurance 124
      10.2  Main Directions 126
               10.2-1  Satellite Communication 127
               10.2-2  Selling of Earth Remote Sensing Imagery 129
               10.2-3  Commercialization of Mir Space Station 130
               10.2-4  Selling of Ground Stations and Equipment 130
               10.2-5  Selling of Boosters and Providing Start-Ups 130
11  Perspectives 132
Bibliography and References

(in Englisch)

During her stay as visiting scientist at Munich Bundeswehr University (UniBw) in 1996/1997, Dr. Kira B. Shingareva, professor for economics and management at Moscow State University for Geodesy and Cartography (MIIGAiK) and first co-author of this treatise, had expressed the strong desire to publish her long-term experience as collaborating research scientist with the former USSR space program. During the middle of the 1970's, she belonged to the long-perspective spce program preparation team and for several years was responsible for the coordination of separate programs. In that period she happened to experience no less than 23 different versions. The last 20 years have seen her preoccupied in the Faculty of Applied Cosmonautics at MIIGAiK, where she has been giving lectures in the field of management and organization of space activity and its economical background and effectiveness. Two of these courses form the basis for this treatise.

Even though her main contributions have been mostly confined to issues concerning the cartography of planets, K. B. Shingareva, as principal scientist of the Planetary Cartography Laboratory at MIIGAiK, nevertheless gained a wealth of (insider) information about political, academic, industrial, practical, etc. reasoning during the development of space activity in the former USSR and in modern Russia. By virtue of her somewhat not too close involvement in technical details of the cosmonautivs field in the last period of the USSR, she was able to keep a clear synoptic view of a technology so eminently important for the way the USSR saw itself. From an outsider's point of view she also seems to see and represent the situation in this delicate subject by a pronounced sense of objectivity.

Today at MIIGAiK, K. B. Shingareva is mainly engaged in giving courses - besides those mentioned above - on economics, management and marketing. Since a few years she chairs the Commission on Planetary Cartography of the International Cartographic Association. She is author or co-author of over 100 scientific publications on topics such as map projections for celestial bodies, classification and nomenclature of Lunar and Martian maps, conception of extraterrestial geography, etc. A most comprehensive work among these is the "Atlas of Terrestrial Planets and Their Moons".

The role of the second co-author, Dr. Egon Dorrer, professor for photogrammetry and remote sensing at Munich Bundeswehr University, is an indirect one. His main contributory work to this publication must be seen as that of an independent and critical reviewer, of a sometimes difficult yet indulgent editor knowledgeable in science and technology oriented problems, and of a translator of the original manuscript text, occasionally written in a cumbersome and complicated, not eo speak of incomprehensive "Russian" English, into a more fluent and legible version. Thus, even though he cannot be considered the creator of the contents of this treatise, his editorial work became indispensable for the final value of the publication.

During his professorship in the Department of Surveying Engineering at the University of New Brunswick, Canada in the years 1968-1973 and in the Institute for Photogrammetry and Cartography at UniBw's School of Geodesy and Geoinformatics, between 1974 and 1999, E. Dorrer gave general and special lectures on photogrammetry, cartography, remote sensing, adjustment calculus, and computer programming. He was visiting scientist at various universities in Europe, Israel and North and South America. He is author and co-author of some 100 scientific and technical papers in his field of expertise. He is member of several scientific and professional societies and , between 1988 and 1992, was president of the German Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. He used to conduct several research projects concerned with photogrammetry and cartography from space, e.g. MOMS stereo restitution for Earth remote sensing from space, MARS-96 cartography from high resolution imagery. He is now involved in the cartography and photogrammetry part of the European MARS-EXPRESS mission, responsible, in particular, for a realistic and homogeneous cartographic representation of the surface of Mars in image maps.

Despite early discussions and exchange of information already in 1997, serious work could not start before May 1999, and it has taken several years - till now - to come up with a realization of the original idea for this publication. One of the main difficulties was that neither of the two co-authors speaks English as her or his native language. The second co-author, although having gained long-term experience with English both in speaking and writing, therefore still cannot guarantee for a perfect English. Another obstacle was spatial separation between the two co-authors. In spite of a few joint sessions in Moscow and Munich, where many mutual misunderstandings could be cleared, the main bulk of contact work - chapter by chapter, section by section - had to be carried out via e-mail. To be honest, without e-mail, the joint publication would never have been finished. Occasional problems arose from different, sometimes even contradictory viewpoints of the two co-authors. Since many parts of the original manuscript date back to the early 1990's, the editing process required almost continuous up-dating, particularly concerning the Mir space station, but also elsewhere. Nevertheless, the authors believe that under these special circumstances the treatise finally not only turned out rather well but that it also makes a valuable contribution to the complex history of space activity in the former USSR and in Russia.

Regarding the general contents of this publication, a very important point is that the various results or outcomes of research are not discussed as such; they are not treated at all. As principal author, K. B. Shingareva is concerned with general organizational, logistic or general political, also general technological issues only. Rather than technical or scientific detail, mainly relations and interconnections as well as historical developments within a general - predominantly Russian - landscape of space activity are dealt with. In this treatise the authors' main message revolves around a historical, thematically and chronologically oriented working up and representation of the complex structures of the former USSR's space agency and their transition to modern Russia. The connections disclosed in this way may possibly give a new, somewhat surprising picture of the evolution of space travel in the former USSR.

Chapter 1 introduces and defines the main components of space activity in Russia. These comprise primarily the legal and financial aspects of space programs as well as the organizational structures such as industry, spaceports, command, control and tracking facilities, and long-term orbital stations. In addition, both basic as well as applied space research in different fields of science and technology and recent tendencies towards commercialization of space are explained.

Chapter 2 discusses the legal basis of space activity. In the early phase of austronautics (or cosmonautics, as it used to be called in the former USSR) the only operational juristic persons related to space were the states, the governments, to be exact. That is why a special International Space Law enacted common rules between individual states regarding their space activities. Internal national laws were based on it later. In the former USSR legislative regulations of space activities were virtually nonexistent for a long time. The first legislative document in Russia concerning space appeared in February 1992. The main part of the chapter illustrates the availability of legal documents and shows the problems concerning legal regulation and commercialization of space activities in Russia.

Chapter 3 deals with the financial aspects of space activity. Two principal sources must be dustinguished, viz. budget (government) financing and non-budget (private) financing. The chapter contributes to an understanding of the role of each of these sources for the development of space activity in Russia.

Chapter 4 describes the background and development of the Russian Aviation and Space Agency (short: Rosaviakosmos). The way leading to this important organization was a difficult one and continued for more than 40 years. Listed are, in addition, the most relevant organizations of Russia's aerospace industry. Thematic maps not only illustrate the locations of science and technology as well as space industry centers in Russia and the former USSR, but also offer some information about Russia's international cooperation on space activity.

Chapter 5 treats the three chronological phases of both creation and development of the space-rocket industry in Russia and the former USSR, viz., Pre-Perestroika (Main) Period, Transitive Period, and Post-Perestroika (Current) Period. During the first and longest period, the entire space-rocket branch weas managed solely by the state, i.e., the Communist Party, and was kept strictly secret. The second period is characterized by dissolution of the old and forming of a new structure. In the third period completely new features appear, e.g., noticeable decline of degree of confidentiality, rise of non-budget financing sources, complete change of management structure, severe and deliberate cuts of budget financing, broad scale international cooperation.

Chapter 6 contains a brief history of spaceports in Russia and the CIS countries, viz., Kapustin Yar, Baikonur, Plesetsk, and Svobodnyi. The locations of these "cosmodromes" are illustrated by sketch maps and both current situation and perspectives of the facilities are discussed.

Chapter 7 describes the command, control and tracking system. Also called commandmeasuring facility, this complex system consists of several subsystems such as commandmeasuring stations, mission control and coordination centers, unified uniseveral time and communication services, onboard equipment. The structure is shown on a few block diagrams.

Chapter 8 is devoted to long-term orbital stations. It explains how the experience acuumulated during operation of the "pre-historical" Salyut and Almaz stations lead to the creation of famous Mir space station in 1986. Composed of the four modules Kvant-1 and -2, Spektr and Priroda, Mir was in orbit for 15 years until March 2001, the last five years with considerable aid from the U.S. The chapter discusses the scientific and perating significance of the Mir station and closes with a somewhat brief presentation of Russia's contribution to the International Space Station ISS.

Chapter 9 discusses the development of space research in Russia, its techniques and methods. On the one hand, successful achievements in fundamental space research are exemplified for scientific fields such as comparative planetology, space astronomy, and space physics. On the other hand, the growing relevance of and increasing economical need for applied space research are explained for areas with, in general, a higher degree of public acceptance, such as space communication, natural resources and protection of environment, space meteorology, space geodesy and navigation, space biology and medicine, and space technology.

Chapter 10 contains information about commercialization of space activities, viz. major factors for its promotion and main directions of it. Major factors such as diversification, standardization, licensing, and space insurance increasingly have become indispensable charcteristics for economical and effective utilization of space activities. In addition, sommercial services rigorously fostered by Rosaviakosmos such as in space communication, selling of earth remote sensing imagery, instrumentation or boosters and space vehicles, and leasing of spaceports, play an enormous role and have developed most profitably.

Chapter 11 gives some perspectives of space activity in Russia. However, lack of financial means on the one side and the necessary upgrading of many facilities and space vehicles on the other side prevent reliable prognoses for the not too distant future. Alleviation of this situation requires ever closer cooperation with foreign partners. Real science projects have become rare. A somewhat bright future may only be envisaged for non-budget financed projects such as space communication and space tourism.

The authors are grateful to J. Peipe and D. Beineke, UniBw-collaborators, who not only gave valuable hints for the benefit of the final publication, but also brought in their expertise for the reproduction and printing phase. Last hut not least, the two authors want to express their gratitude to Bruni, second co-author's wife, who, although having put a good face upon it, had to suffer for several years without denying moral or physical support to her husband.

February 2002

Moscow Munich
K. B. Shingareva
E. Dorrer

zurück zum Heft-Verzeichnis