Roscosmos will stop purchasing Zenit rockets manufactured by Dnepropetrovsk Yuzhmash plant, – Roscosmos spokesman Igor Burenkov reported. According to him the satellites planned to be launched with the help of Zenit rockets will be delivered to the orbit by new boosters of Angara series.
Previous Roscosmos Head Oleg Ostapenko didn’t want to reject Zenit rockets however new authorities made up the mind not to reckon upon Ukrainian rockets anymore.
Meanwhile Yuzhmash is facing difficulties. On January 22 the authorities announced two-month unpaid vacations. For the recent three years production output has decreased four times.
Nevertheless those already finished rockets will be delivered to the ordering party. TsENKI spokesman reported that two Zenit rockets are already finished and delivered to Russia. One of the rockets with Electro-L N2 satellite will be launched in June, the second is to orbit Spectra-RG.
According to TseNKI one more rocket manufactured especially for the launch of Ukrainian Lybid broadcasting satellite is almost finished, but it lacks cruise engine and control box to be delivered from Russia and Yuzhmash is unable to pay for them at the present time.
Currently 5 RD-171 engines for Zenit rockets are stored at Energomash Scientific and Production Association producing them. Energia rocket and space corporation President Vladimir Solntsev reported that the company suggests using these engines for developing new super-heavy booster.
First Angara boosters were launched in 2014, that time light and heavy models were sent to space. Unlike Proton new boosters use more ecologically-friendly propellant and will be launched from Russian territory instead of Baikonur spaceport situated in Kazakhstan.