by Vladimir YEFANOV, Dr. Sc. (Tech.), Deputy Director for Science of the Experimental Design Bureau, Maxim MARTYNOV, Cand. Sc. (Tech.), Deputy Chief Designer, Head of the Experimental Design Bureau, Konstantin PICHKHADZE, Dr. Sc. (Tech.), First Deputy Chief Designer, First Deputy Director General of the Scientific and Production Association named after S. Lavochkin (Moscow)
Fundamental space science originated over 50 years ago. For this short historical period, a multitude of discoveries were made. This breakthrough became a reality after the launch of scientific instruments beyond the limits of the Earth and its gravitation field using automatic space vehicles.
The starting point of the research works under consideration is the year 1957. The third artificial satellite of the Earth launched on May 15, 1958, already had relevant scientific instruments installed on board. This line of research experienced a substantial development in 1965, when an automatic station Luna-9 designed by joint efforts of the Rocket and Space Corporation Energiya and the Scientific and Production Association named after S. Lavochkin (then Experimental Design Bureau-1 and Mechanical Engineering Plant named after S. Lavochkin) successfully landed on the natural Earth satellite. All previous launches of robots to the Moon, Mars and Venus accomplished set missions only partially due to faults of boost rockets or on-board equipment. In 1965, our enterprise took the lead in designing of automatic space machinery for
fundamental research (before that we had successfully designed aircraft and rocket vehicles).
FROM LUNA-16 TO GRANAT
In the second half of the last century, we designed space vehicles that brought our country to the forefront in some areas of scientific research. Here are some of them: Luna-16--delivery of the lunar soil to the Earth in an automatic regime; Luna-17--a. mobile research laboratory Lunokhod-1; Venera-7 and Mars-3 successfully landed on relevant planets; Venera-9 and Venera-10-transmitted black and white images of the landing areas to the Earth; Venera-13 and Venera-14-enabled us to enjoy colorful panoramic images of the environment, took soil samples and performed their chemical analysis; Venera-15--radar mapping of the northern hemisphere of this planet; Vega-1, Vega-2--delivered balloon probes to the Venus and transmitted images of the Halley's comet nucleus to the Earth.
In addition, more than 10 space vehicles of the Prognoz and Interbol series were launched to study the Sun, solar-terrestrial relationships and the magneto-sphere of the Earth. In the 1980s we designed unique orbital astrophysical observatories Astron and Granat.
Astron was launched on March 23, 1983; scientific program of this automatic space vehicle included UV research of the electromagnetic radiation of the stars, X-ray sources, analysis of the celestial sphere, concurrent observations in the UV and X-ray radiation bands, etc. For the five years of active research, the laboratory contributed a lot to a large number of top-priority scientific discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics.
Granat was launched on December 1, 1989; it was designed to obtain high resolution and high sensitivity images of separate areas of the celestial sphere in the gamma - and X-ray bands of the electromagnetic radiation, localize discrete X-ray and gamma radiation sources, study spectral response of space gamma - and X-ray sources, including residual X-ray radiation, etc.
In the recent fifteen years none of the fully automatic special-purpose Russian space vehicles for fundamental research were launched, which is dictated by poor economic environment in our country. The extensive space program for 2006-2015 was developed and approved by the RF Government only in 2006.
In fact, we have started to launch fully-equipped space vehicles for fundamental and applied research in 2011. (In the previous years, engineering works, testing and construction of the space vehicles were completed).
On January 20, 2011, a geostationary hydrometeoro-logical satellite of a new generation Elektro-L designed to collect data for Rosgidromet and the World Meteorological Organization was launched. It transmits multi-spectral images of cloud cover and underlying surface of the whole Earth in a visible and infrared band to the terrestrial stations every thirty minutes 24 hours a day.
The periodicity of surveying managed from the Earth can reach 10-15 minutes. The surveying is of scientific and applied character; collected data are used to analyze and forecast the weather, estimate the condition of aquatic areas of seas and oceans, flight conditions for aircraft. Elektro-L is also used to transmit data from the autonomous meteorological platforms and signals
of the COSPAS-SARSAT emergency buoys. Finally, sensors installed on this space vehicle help adjust helio-physical forecasts.
On July 18, 2011, an orbital astrophysical laboratory Spektr-R-Radioastron with a 10-meter reflector aerial on board was launched; together with the major terrestrial radiotelescopes and space tracking stations, it forms a system allowing to carry out observations with a resolution million times better than a human eye can offer. This system is itself a space radio interferometer with a base exceeding the Earth in size, which gives a very high angular resolution when observing very remote sources.
The orbit of this satellite depends of lunar cycles. The average orbital period makes up 9.5 days (the period varies from 7 to 10 days), half of the longer axis is 189,000 km, orbit inclination--51°. The perigee radius is from 10,000 to 70,000 km, the apogee radius is from 310,000 to 390,000 km.
The main scientific task of the described space radiotelescope is to study the structure and dynamics of space radio-frequency radiation sources with an angular resolution equal to a microsecond of the arc. One more thing. There is a scientific complex Plasma-F on board the Radioastron designed to explore turbulence of the solar wind in a poorly studied frequency band of the interplanetary magnetic field and solar cosmic rays.
It is worth saying that both space vehicles were designed on the basis of one orbital platform Navigator, which will be used as a model for all big artificial satellites of the Earth developed at the Scientific and Production Association named after S. Lavochkin. Such approach will guarantee launches under the Federal Space Program-2015.
The recent launch of the Phobos-Grunt space vehicle designed by specialists of our design bureau is also of high interest from the scientific point of view. The case is that many fundamental questions on the structure and formation of the Earth, evolution of its shells, origin and development of life cannot be answered only by way of research of terrestrial matter. Scientists need to
know composition of the matter and structure of the Solar system planets, small space bodies (including satellites), meteorites and other space microparticles. The contemporary space vehicle Phobos-Grunt, as well as future Luna-Glob, Luna-Resurs-1 and Luna-Resurs-2 are intended to obtain new data in this very field of human knowledge.
Both these projects envisage delivery of matter from Phobos--Mars' and Moon's satellite--to the Earth. Studies of the soil will give a key to the mysteries of the universe, including the one whether a protoplanet cloud was in the area where planets of the terrestrial group formed; was it homogeneous or heterogeneous; is the present-day assumption on the composition of the primary terrestrial matter correct or not? Did Mars and Phobos form from a single gas-dust cloud or were planet satellites formed from the initial chaos? What are the characteristics of the primary organic matter in this area, is it somehow related to the origin of life? Phobos is of prime importance in this case, since it neither has melted nor experienced magnetic exposure, and its soil will have exact coordinates in the Solar system.
It's worth saying that in addition to the aforementioned studies, remote surveying of Mars and Phobos will be carried out, and the latter will be even explored with contact methods. Some devices installed on this vehicle will help scientists explore the regolith of Phobos in the close proximity to the landing area from different places in the radius of ~1 m. Concurrently, Chinese micro-satellite YH-1 (to be delivered to the planet together with our robot) will explore Phobos as a celestial body (fixing of its form and mass, gravitation and magnetic fields, etc.) and near-Mars environment. Scientists are planning to study reposing forms of biological objects in the conditions of a long interplanetary mission (Biophobos experiment), etc.
In addition to scientific research, the described space vehicle also has an engineering and technical task--to
Adjustment of service modules to the perspective space complexes for fundamental planetary studies.
carry out flight tests of interplanetary platforms designed within the Phobos-Grunt project for other space expeditions.
At the moment, all leading space exploration countries are adjusting their plans for in-depth studies of the Moon. Expediency of applied studies with the aim to explore its resources and establish extraterrestrial bases for launching piloted flights to Mars, as well as scientific proving grounds, especially astrophysical ones, are the main reasons.
In our opinion, it is space robots that will play the central role in a mid-term period before colonization of the Moon by man.
According to the Federal Space Program-2015, space vehicles for a number of space expeditions with different scientific tasks are being designed now. These projects will all be implemented in 2013-2014, which means that other countries also have a possibility to participate in them. Moreover, international cooperation will increase scientific efficiency and optimize time and financial expenses.
As for a long-term perspective, it would be reasonable to focus contact studies in the subpolar area of the Moon using multifunctional Moon research vehicle, which will take soil samples, deliver them to the Earth, be of use to establish a research station for testing soil processing technologies, extraction of separate elements and their delivery to the Earth, conduct a wide range of scientific research, including astrophysical explorations. It would be interesting to place a radiotelescope on the reverse side of the Moon.
Here is a list of research projects scheduled to study the Moon, planets and small bodies of the Solar system:
--Luna-Resurs-1--contact studies using a landing station and a small-size Indian Moon research vehicle (to be launched in 2013);
--Luna-Glob--large-scale studies of the Moon from the orbit of its artificial satellite and on its surface (to be launched in 2014);
--Luna-Resurs-2--continued contact studies in the subpolar areas using a multifunctional Moon research vehicle;
--Lunny poligon--long-term scientific and technical studies;
Space platform NAVIGATOR used with astrophysical space equipment.
-Venera-D-long-term studies of the Venus and its atmosphere by orbital and landing robots, including balloon probes (to be launched in 2016);
--Mars-NET-a. continuous and global monitoring of the climate and seismic activity, as well as navigation support of expeditions to the Red Planet by the orbital vehicle and landing stations (to be launched in 2016);
--Apofis--adjustment of a trajectory of the Earth-threatening asteroid of the same name by way of a radio beacon and other markers to be fixed on it for a highly-precise tracking and understanding of its structural and physical properties (to be launched in 2020);
--Expeditsiya-M--delivery of soil samples from Mars to the Earth, a detailed geochemical analysis of its soil, elaboration of the models of the atmosphere and surface (to be launched in 2020);
--Laplas-Yevropa-P--remote studies of the Jupiter and its satellite using a robot and then contact studies of the satellite by way of a landing probe, surface soil sampling to study its composition and find signs of exobio-logical life (to be launched in 2020);
--Merkury-P-- studies of morphology, planetary plasma, geology, structure and surface of the Mercury, mapping, chemical analysis of the soil, seismic activity and gravimetry (to be launched in 2020).
All specified interplanatery space vehicles are designed on the basis of service modules developed by the Scientific and Production Association named after S. Lavochkin for the Phobos-Grunt project.
The Federal Space Program-2015 also envisages development of orbital space vehicles for astrophysical and astronomical studies. They are designed on the basis of the space platform Navigator. Here is a brief description of these devices:
--Spektr-RG--studies of the Universe in X-ray and gamma ranges of electromagnetic radiation (to be launched in 2013);
-Spektr-UF--studies of the Universe in the UV range of electromagnetic radiation (to be launched in 2015);
--Gamma-400--measuring of space gamma-radiation in the power range of 0.1-3 • 103 GeV (to be launched in 2015);
--Spektr-M--studies of the Universe in millimeter, submillimeter and infrared ranges of electromagnetic radiation (to be launched in 2018).
In the near future it is also planned to launch Intergeliozond to study the Sun from a comparatively close distance.
It is worth mentioning here a new, rather promising line of astronautics--development of small-size space vehicles for scientific studies. The analysis of require-
Adaptation of the all-purpose platform KARAT to the interplanetary space vehicles.
ments attached to them as service systems and a base platform enables specialists to standardize all necessary parameters and finally design a small-size universal space platform Karat. Furthermore, the Federal Space Program-2015 schedules to design a series of similar devices to carry out research works, which only full-size research satellites could do in the recent past. Scientific experiments for them are developed by the leading scientific institutions: RAS Institute for Space Research; RAS Institute of Physics named after P. Lebedev; RAS Physico-Technical Institute named after A. Ioffe; RAS Institute of Geomagnetism, Ionosphere and Diffusion of Radiowaves named after N. Pushkov; Scientific Research Institute of Nuclear Physics, Moscow State University; Moscow Institute of Engineering and Physics, etc. The first group of such devices designed on the Karat basis includes:
--Zond-PP--studies of the characteristics of the terrestrial surface using L-range satellite radiometer (to be launched in 2012);
--Monika and Relek--studies of physical mechanisms of cosmic ray generation and physical mechanisms of exposure of the terrestrial atmosphere to energetic particles of the solar, magnetospheric and atmospheric origin (to be launched in 2012);
--Konus-M--high resolution research of time profiles of gamma-splash spectra (to be launched in 2013).
All in all, it is planned to develop over ten satellites. The mass of each space vehicle in the orbit will not exceed 250 kg. The Rezonans satellite is also planned on the basis of this very platform and is aimed to study the magnetosphere of the Earth and solar-terrestrial relations.
Implementation of the fundamental space research program described in the article will guarantee an adequate position in the global space research community for Russia.
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