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Transfer and Cargo Orbit Workhorse Developed
February 6, 2007 15:10

Russian scientists plan to finish development of a brand new transfer and cargo orbit stage “Frigate-SB” till end of this year. New modified transfer orbit stage allows taking additional working loads to space on various carrier vehicles, said general designer of the Lavochkin science and production association.

Previously “Frigate” transfer orbit stage has worked only with “Souyz” carrier vehicles; however “Frigate”’s modified version opens new horizons for space exploration. Scientists work on uniting “Frigate” with “Zenith” rocket; moreover, they hold negotiations with “Arianespace” company on using Russian transfer orbit stage with “Ariane” carrier vehicle. Since all test launches of “Frigate” were successful, the number of commercial contracts on “Frigate” manufacturing exceeds production association’s potentials.

General designer of the “Frigate” projects says that first launch of “Frigate-SB” mated with “Zenith” carrier vehicle is scheduled for the end of 2007 – the transfer stage will orbit “Electro-L” meteorological device.

The main difference between “Frigate-SB” and his predecessor is that new version of the transfer orbit stage has drop tanks, which finish their task before main transfer stage starts functioning thus allowing taking to space additional working loads. Together with “Zenith” carrier vehicle “Frigate-SB” will be able to take over 2 tons to geostationary earth orbit – 6 hundred kilograms more than together with “Zenith-DM”, which space researchers have used before.


 Modified transfer orbit stage allows modern “Souyz-2.1B” carrier vehicle to take 900 kg and advanced rocket of new generation “Angara” – 1.7 tons to geostationary earth orbit, as for French heavy-lift “Ariane-5” – 3.5 tons of working load will be on their way to the orbit. However, “Frigate-SB” has even more potential applications than that mentioned above. Since “Frigate”’s capacities aren’t used in whole, scientists plan to launch several small satellites together with the main spacecraft, if their orbits are close to main spacecraft’s orbit.

Mentioned micro-satellites are currently being developed in the Lavochkin science and production association on the basis of new “Karat” platform – satellite designers have already received many orders from Russian Academy of Sciences and other domestic enterprises, as well as from foreign companies. Scientists consider a possibility of using “Frigate” as part of two-stage transfer orbit stage “Frigate-DM”, which will greatly expand potentials of Russian space industry on the global market of launch services.

    Science News
    Lavochkin S&P association

Kizilova Anna

Tags: Space     

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