According to TASS, the new record short scheme used by the Progress MS-09 resupply ship to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) will come in handy for the Moon’s exploration, Cosmonaut, Head of the Energia Space Flight Center (the developer of Soyuz and Progress rockets) Alexander Kaleri said on Tuesday.
Under Russia’s future lunar program, a flight capsule can be assembled in orbit from several parts, which will require more than one launch of carrier rockets. Thus, a spacecraft may be delivered into orbit in one launch and a booster in another, the cosmonaut said.
In this case, a need may emerge to do it in a maximally fast manner, he noted.
‘With the oxygen-hydrogen booster, for example, the time from fueling it on Earth to the time of using up fuel in orbit will be critical. It will be required to launch this unit, test it, approach and dock with it, make a check and start the engines within the shortest time possible," Kaleri said.
"The two-rotation scheme of the flight to the orbit "in any case gives an advantage and certain flexibility for the program’s implementation in different versions," the cosmonaut said.
Russia’s Progress MS-09 resupply ship flew to the orbital outpost on Tuesday using the record short two-loop scheme for the first time. The cargo spacecraft’s flight lasted just 3 hours and 40 minutes. It blasted off at 00:51 a.m. Moscow time and touched the space station already at 04:31 Moscow time.
Earlier, Progress cargo spacecraft used the four-loop short scheme, under which their flight lasted about six hours.