Questions tagged [russia]

The country of Russia is what remains of the former Soviet Union (Of which Russia was a province/state). The Russian/Soviet space program has been quite expansive and capable over many decades. Currently it appears to be suffering from lack of funding leading to quality control issues at times.

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How many nuclear fission reactors have been launched into space? How many are still there?

I remember @Hobbes's answer mentioning that the US has put one nuclear fission reactor in space, and that not much was known about Russia's program. The Bloomberg article NASA Is Bringing Back Cold ...
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Why did Sputnik 1 have four antennas?

Sputnik was only launched a few hundred kilometers above Earth, and transmitted only a simple beeping signal. What was the purpose of having four antennas? Wouldn't one be powerful enough?
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Is there any advantage in launching spacecraft from a high latitude, or why was Plesetsk built so far north?

For launching satellites or other spacecraft, there is a significant advantage in being close to the equator: angular momentum helps in gaining initial speed and one can launch into any inclination. ...
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Is the Nudelman-Rikhter gun installed on Zvezda module?

By having a gun on board, one can conduct military kinds of experiments. Exploring armoring approaches for spacecraft, warning systems for the personnel, orbital ballistic studies for the multi-body ...
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Is potable water in the American & Russian segments still stored separately?

This article writes to say An interesting fact is that the Russian and American segment water supplies can’t be mixed. The U.S. water uses iodine for bacteria control, while the Russian water uses ...
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Russian “kerosene” versus American “RP-1”

RP-1 rocket fuel is a "highly refined form of kerosene". Most of the literature I have seen refers to Russian rockets using kerosene, versus American rockets using RP-1 (*1). Is there really such a ...
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What are the parameters of the new Iodine electrical rocket engine developed by RSC Energia?

Several news outlets are reporting Energia Rocket and Space Corporation is nearing completion of a new electrical rocket engine using iodine stored as a solid and vaporized as needed. The new ...
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Why will Russia start arming cosmonauts again?

The Phys.org article Russia to give cosmonauts guns to fend off animals on landing says: Cosmonauts have been unarmed for more than a decade but Roscosmos agency head Dmitry Rogozin said it was ...
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ESA/Roscosmos, China, UAE and US all sending missions to Mars in 2020 (Summer of L̶o̶v̶e Mars); how far apart are their frequencies?

Gizmodo's Second failure of ExoMars parachute test throws schedule in jeopardy says: ExoMars 2020 is due to launch during a narrow window open between July 25th to August 13th 2020, during which ...
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Why is the Russian approach to the aerodynamics of their rockets different?

Russian rockets look like this: They flare them out at the bottom. With their newest rocket, the Proton, the flared shape is gone but the boosters still have caps that angle in towards the main ...
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“Pillars of Baikonur” What is the purpose of the hundreds of short, white posts near the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad?

The caption given in the third image included in the Space.com page Expedition 56: The Space Station Mission in Photos reads as follows: At the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad, remote-controlled ...
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How did the Russians get moon rocks?

I've read somewhere that the Russians have moon rocks. How did they get them?
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Early high-inclination crewed flights

I noticed to my surprise today that the very early Soviet flights were to a very high inclination - all the Vostok flights were between 64.9° and 65°, and the Voskhod flights were at 64.7° and 64.8°. ...
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Are the Russians planning to replace the Baikonur Cosmodrome?

For decades, the Baikonur Cosmodrome was the premier Soviet space launch site. Many historic launches took place there, and it earned its place in the history books. But then the Soviet Union fell ...
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How will the RD-180 ban affect US space program?

RD-180 is a rocket engine produced by Russian NPO Energomash company. It is used in such US rockets as Atlas III and Atlas V. There are rumors, that Russia is considering to ban RD-180 export to US. ...
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When/where did the cosmonauts fight wolves?

When/where did the cosmonauts fight wolves? or was it bears? With a gun? Could someone provide a more complete story? One of comments on the article TidalWave linked in the Soyuz joysticks question ...
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How do items from the Russian and Soviet space programs end up in private collections?

A member today posted this photo showing a complete instrument panel from a Soyuz TM capsule, and a globus instrument from a Voskhod capsule: Both items are in their private collection. Only 5 ...
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Does Russia still manufacture parts for their space program that would otherwise be obsolete?

The Russian space program is notable for continuing to use the same designs that have been successful for decades. For example, the Soyuz boosters and Soyuz crew vehicles in use today are still the ...
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Did early Russian capsules really have “Human Inside” labels?

This comic claims that it was to prevent people panicking and attacking the crew. However, Vostok pilots were supposed to land separately from the capsule. Are there any photos supporting this claim? ...
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How did Alexey Leonov bleed off the pressure in his space suit?

On the Voskhod 2 mission, cosmonaut Alexey Leonov performed a spacewalk which ran into issues when Lenov's spacesuit had some sort of pressure buildup. From the wiki - [Leonov] was forced to bleed ...
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Why exactly did Khrushchev present Pushinka to JFK's daughter Caroline?

Pushinka (Fluffy) was the name of one of the Strelka's (Arrow's) six pups that she had after being safely landed to Earth from orbit to which it was launched aboard Vostok-1K rocket No. 2 on 19 August ...
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How many leaks have been fixed on the ISS, roughly?

Leaks come in all sizes. Very small ones might be ignored or remain undetected, slightly faster ones might be identified and dispositioned; if they are slow and going to remain stable, they might not ...
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Why are Molniya orbits peculiar?

Molniya orbits are always associated with Russian satellites. What advantage do they have over other orbits?
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Why are there advertisements in the Russian ISS flight control room?

I found a photograph of the Russian ISS flight control room: Source: NASA https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Russian_ISS_Flight_Control_Room.jpg Below the large screen are several ...
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Do American astronauts wear Sokol space suits when flying on a Soyuz?

The Wikipedia article on the Sokol space suit seems to suggest that all personel traveling on a Soyuz vehicle must wear a Russian made spacesuit: Each Soyuz crew member is provided with a made-to-...
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How did Lunokhod 1 become “lost” in 1971; in what ways did astronomers “look for it” after that?

The Smithsonian Magazine article Lost Soviet Reflector Found on the Moon says: There are actually five retroreflectors on the Moon: three placed by Apollo astronauts and two that sit atop Soviet ...
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Are any of these Soyuz controls involved in separating the orbital module?

According to this Q & A, it's very likely that the Soyuz spacecraft's orbital module can be manually separated independent of other spacecraft operations. On this CollectSpace page, there's an ...
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What does Zvezda alone lack from being a capable space station?

A recent discussion on the ISS has raised some questions in my mind about Zvezda: Can the US Part of ISS survive independent of the Russian? What does Zvezda alone lack from being a capable space ...
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What does the abbreviation “MS” for the current Soyuz version name mean?

A quick search the meaning of the abbreviations for the previous versions of the Soyuz spacecraft easily tells me their meaning: Soyuz T. 'T' is for транспортный, ...
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Russian manned Moon landing capability today

Do Russians have means of launching a manned mission to the Moon? Do they have an engine with sufficient thrust and stability needed (RD-170 has bigger thrust than the F-1 engine, if I read the data ...
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How did the Luna spacecraft collect samples of the moon and containerize them for return to Earth?

The Wikipedia page Sample-return mission and this answer list Luna 16, 20 and 24 missions as each bringing back of the order of 100 grams of lunar material to Earth, but their Wikipedia pages don't ...
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What is the flyaway cost of a Soyuz and Proton Rocket?

The obvious wikipedia articles... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_orbital_launch_systems http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_orbital_launchers_families ...don't have this info. I'm ...
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How is Spektr-R doing these days?

Under the question What are Spectr-R's major contributions to radio astronomy that could not have been done from Earth? there is a new comment that points (again) to the BBC News article Spektr-R: ...
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Do space stations have standardized officer designations for crew?

I have some anecdotal information. The ISS has a commander, and I noticed here that it had a Flight Engineer, and in this article (found here) I see that Skylab had a Science Pilot. Do space stations ...
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What size and shape is an SL-16 R/B and for how long will they orbit Earth?

This night I've seen two SL-16 R/B on the sky with my binoculars. These where part of some Zenit rockets that launched satellites in the 90s. They travel at altitudes that double the ISS, uncontrolled....
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Roscosmos: Government agency, state-owned corporation, or something else?

Exactly what kind of organization is Roscosmos? An agency of the government, like NASA? We seem to treat it as such in this site. A state-owned corporation, like the old Soviet design bureaus? The ...