UGLEGORSK (Amur Region), September 2 (RIA Novosti) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved the development of super-heavy rockets with a cargo capacity of up to 150 tons, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Tuesday.
“I was told today that the president gave his preliminary approval to begin this work [on creating super-heavy rockets]. This means that after the development of the entire string of light-, mid-, and heavy-class Angara carrier rockets, we will move on to creating carrier rockets of a completely new class: not just a 7-, 15-, or 25-ton cargo load, but a 120- to 150-ton cargo load," Rogozin said.
Super - heavy rockets are needed to send spacecraft beyond the Earth's orbit.
The Deputy Prime Minister also noted that the immediate start of the project was crucial even though the project has not yet been prepared and approved by the President and the Government.
"We cannot do without [super- heavy rockets]. We need to start the construction of such a complex by 2020" Rogozin said.
He added that it was "a return to the best of the Soviet era experience."
According to previous reports, a project to build a new super-heavy carrier rocket was included into the draft new Federal Space Program (FSP) for 2015-2025, but the program has not yet been approved. It is expected that the project will be implemented in two stages. The first stage encompassing the construction of a rocket capable of lifting from 70 to 80 metric tons. The second building a carrier rocket capable of lifting from 100 to 120 metric tons into a low-earth orbit.
The Rocket and Space Corporation "Energia", the Khrunichev Space Center and Rocket Space Center “Progress” have all applied to be involved in the establishment of the project.
The modular Angara rocket is also under development and comes in several versions, the largest of which is planned to send up to 35 tons into orbit.