How the mighty have fallen: A Russian official yesterday predicted that they will only do a total of 10 launches for the two year period from 2019 to 2020.
“Five launches are envisaged for 2019. Five launches of manned and resupply ships, and also of a nodal module are planned for 2020,” the vice-premier said at a meeting held at the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation on the problems of piloted cosmonautics in the process of fulfilling long-term space exploration programs. [emphasis mine]
The highlighted words reveal a second tidbit, namely that they apparently will not be launching the Nauka module to ISS in 2019, as previously announced.
In a related story, a Russian space official also confirmed that they will definitely cease flying American astronauts on Soyuz in April 2019, as per the NASA-Russian contract.
The second story does not mention the Soyuz flight seats that Boeing owns, obtained as part of the settlement of the Sea Launch partnership. I wonder about their status. Are the Russians going to block them? I also suspect that this second story might be a negotiating effort by the Russian government to press NASA into buying more flights, something NASA has so far not done.
Either way, the first story essentially places Russian in the bottom echelon of space-launch nations, ranking comparable to what India and Japan have been doing in recent years. Both these countries however expect to up their numbers, which makes Russia’s space future look even more dismal.
For the entire history of space, beginning with Sputnik, the Soviet Union/Russia had consistently dominated the world in annual launches. For them to have fallen so far tells us much about the failed socialist and centralized policies of the Putin government. They do not work. They never work. In fact, they cannot work.
Will someone please tell this fact to both the American Democratic Party, and the many people who continue to vote for its new socialist agenda?
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