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PLANNED RUSSIAN SPACE MISSIONS IN 2018:
Beginning of 2018: Russia to launch Kanopus-VM No. 1 satellite.
February: Soyuz-2 (ST)/Fregat rocket to launch the European MetOp-C meteorological satellite from the ELS complex in Kourou, French Guiana. The mission was first announced on Sept. 10, 2010, with the launch then expected in the last quarter of 2016. Built by Astrium, the Metop-C satellite will weigh 4,250 kg at launch. It will be fitted with a dozen instruments designed to take atmospheric measurements (pressure, humidity, temperature, ozone concentration, etc.) at different altitudes, and to map temperatures and wind fields on the ocean surface.
November: A Zenit-2SB rocket with a Fregat upper stage to launch the Gamma-400 astrophysics satellite into a highly elliptical 300,000 by 500-kilometer orbit with an inclination 51.8 degrees toward the Equator. (As of 2008, the launch was expected as early as 2013, 299) The spacecraft was to be equipped with detectors capable of registering very high-energy gamma radiation from space which does not penetrate Earth's atmosphere. Gamma ray research helps in understanding of such astrophysical phenomena as solar flares and dark matter. Gamma-400 was designed to complement and expand the sensitivity and resolution of previous space-based gamma observatories such as Compton GRO, Fermi GLAST and AGILE.
By a Russian government decree No. 1036-53 from Dec. 28, 2008, a preliminary design for the Gamma-400 project was included into the Russian space program during 2006-2015 with a projected completion in August 2010. At the time, the launch date was expected in 2015. The spacecraft would be based on the Navigator platform and have a lifetime of five-seven years. It would take the spacecraft seven days to complete a single orbit and its altitude would ensure stable flight during no less than 10 years. Lebedev Physics Institute was appointed as a prime contractor of the scientific mission. The scientific program of the mission was approved by the FIAN insitute in May 2009 and endorsed by the Russian Academy of Sciences on June 2, 2009. By 2011, NPO Lavochkin completed a preliminary design of the spacecraft. At the time, the launch was expected in 2015-2016. By the beginning of 2012, the mission slipped to 2018. In May 2012, ISS Reshetnev announced that the company completed a preliminary design of a solar panel for Gamma-400. In August 2012, an NPO Lavochkin presentation confirmed plans to launch Gamma-400 in 2018, with other sources specifying November 2018 as the launch date.
2018: A Zenit-3SLBF/Fregat-SB to launch the Elektro-M (No. 1) weather-forecasting satellite into geostationary orbit from Baikonur. (In 2008, the launch was promised in 2014. (299) and 2009, the mission slipped to 2015 (388). By 2012, the launch was delayed to 2018.)
2018: A Rus-M rocket to launch a new-generation PTK NP spacecraft with the first crew onboard from Vostochny. (As of 2007-2011. Launch vehicle change in 2011. By 2012, only an unmanned test flight on Zenit from Baikonur was considered realistic in 2018.)
2018: An Angara rocket to fly its first mission from a newly completed launch pad in Vostochny Cosmodrome, possibly with an unmanned prototype of the PTK NP spacecraft. (A statement by the head of TsNIIMash research institute Gennady Raikunov on December 3, 2012.)
After 2017: Soyuz rockets to launch SAR-Lupe-2 observation satellites. (As of September 2012)
End of 2018: Soyuz-2-1b rocket to launch the eight-ton OKA-T-MKS No. 1 (52KS) free-flyer module to be serviced from ISS during its five-year mission. The spacecraft would be used for research in the field of nanoelectronics, alloys, composite materials and biotechnology. (459) The launch was originally planned for 2015, however by fall 2011, it had to be postponed to 2017-2018, due to lack of potential customers. (521) In April 2013, the launch was promised at the end of 2018. (634)
2017-2018: Russia to launch the first of three Vozvrat-MKA retrievable capsule spacecraft.
This page is compiled by Anatoly Zak; Last update: December 3, 2013
Page editor: Alain Chabot; Last edit: April 30, 2011
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Scale model of the Mars rover for the ExoMars project. Copyright © 2010 Anatoly Zak
Scale model of the Mars lander with the ExoMars rover inside. Copyright © 2010 Anatoly Zak
As of 2013, the Vozvrat-MKA capsule still had a hope to fly around 2018. Copyright © 2013 Anatoly Zak