|Function||Human-rated orbital launch vehicle|
|Country of origin||Russia|
|Payload to LEO||23,800 kg|
|Launch sites||Vostochny Cosmodrome|
|Thrust||4.15 MN (933,400 lbf) each|
|Specific impulse||338 sec|
|Fuel||LOX / RP-1|
|Specific impulse||463 sec|
|Fuel||LOX / LH2|
Rus-M was a proposed launcher design which was intended to become Russia's main launch vehicle for crewed spaceflight after 2018, and an integral part of the Prospective Piloted Transport System which included a new manned spacecraft being developed to replace the Soyuz.
Rus-M was being developed by TsSKB-Progress, beginning in 2009. The program was halted in October 2011; "We have come to the conclusion that we do not need a new rocket, we can continue using those we already have," said Vladimir Popovkin, head of Russia's space agency, according to the Novosti news agency.
In spring of 2009, TsSKB-Progress won a government contract to develop a new launcher for Russia's human space program. The project was featured in MAKS 2009 Airshow, and preliminary design of the vehicle was expected to be submitted to the Russian space agency Roskosmos by August 2010.
Safety requirements put forward by Roscosmos emphasized that the launcher design is to be extremely reliable; safe abort options for crewed vehicles must be available at any stage of flight, and vehicle departure from the launch pad must be guaranteed for the case of an emergency during an early stage of the launch sequence. The launcher was planned to provide a basis for a future heavy launcher capable to carry a payload of 50—60 tons, as well as for a super-heavy design lifting 130—150 tons.
Four variants of Rus-M were planned for development. Each version would use a variable number of common cores as the first stage and boosters, each powered by a single Energomash RD-180 rocket engine burning kerosene and liquid oxygen. Two upper stages were planned. The first would have used four RD-0146 hydrolox engines developed by Chemical Automatics Design Bureau. The second option would have been a kerosene fueled stage common with Soyuz-2.
The first version of the rocket was to use three first stage cores, inseparably bolted together, with an RD-0146 powered second stage. It would have been able to lift a cargo or satellite payload of 23.8 tons to a 200-km, 51.7-degree circular orbit, a crew vehicle of 18.8 tons to a 135 by 400-km orbit, 7.0 tons to geostationary transfer orbit and 4.0 tons to geostationary orbit. The second variant would add two additional cores, and allow the strapon boosters to detach earlier in flight, boosting payload capacity to 35 tons. Version 3 would use stretched tanks on the booster cores, increasing payload again to 50 tons. Version 4 would fly with only a single core, and a Soyuz 2-derived upper stage.
TsSKB Progress was responsible for overall project leadership, system integration, second stage development and production. First stage development was to be led by Makeev KB Mash, while NPO Avtomatiki was to provide the rocket's flight control system.
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