credit: CNES / caption: one day this will not just be a CGI video screengrab
This month, the European Space Agency director general Jean Jacques Dordain told me, the launch complex gantry for the Samara Space Center Soyuz 2-1a rockets flying from French Guiana should be finished and a maiden flight date should be announced. However Russia’s deputy prime minister Sergei Ivanov was not so sure when speaking to RIA Novosti this week, saying “This year, I hope, a milestone rocket…event will take place” [emphasis added]
This blogger would have asked Dordain at the CroySat-2 launch event but the director general was not available for questions, despite the success of that Kosmotras Dnepr rocket flight. Perhaps the Soyuz 2-1a flight will take place in time for the global space summit Ivanov’s president, Dmitry Medvedev, has called for? Rather than the usual G8 suspects of the US, European countries, Russia and Japan Medvedev also sees exploration collaboration between it and the G8 near-peers, China, India and Brazil. In this article on the Russian Federal Space Agency website Ivanov pledges increases in spending for the country’s space programme. Are you listening Mr Obama?
credit: Federal Space Agency / caption: the gantry ...