Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute
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TsAGI completes Test Phase of Orel manned transport spacecraft

29 October 2019

The Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute named after Professor N.E. Zhukovsky (part of the National Research Center Zhukovsky Institute NRC) has completed a phase of testing for the Orel manned transport spacecraft, which is being developed at the Korolev RSC Energia.

The studies were focused on aerodynamic properties of parachute bay cover at the moment of its separation from the spacecraft re-entry vehicle. The parachute bay cover separation is directly involved in the deployment of the reentry vehicle parachute system, therefore the crew safety cannot be guaranteed without its reliable and collision-free separation.

The tests were run on the spacecraft model in the TsAGI T-128 large transonic wind tunnel at subsonic speeds using a computer-aided rig.

“The experiment simulated the separation of the parachute bay hatch cover to various distances within a wide range of angles of attack of the re-entry vehicle. At the same time the aerodynamic forces and moments acting on this component of the model were recorded. The subsequent analysis of the experimental data will make it possible to determine the most efficient and safe way to jettison the bay cover”, — said Vladimir Plyashechnik, chief specialist of the department for study of aerothermodynamics of hypersonic aerospace and rocket vehicles at TsAGI.

RSC Energia experts will use the obtained set of experimental data to verify and update the analytical methods for determining the behavior of the parachute bay cover during its jettison from the re-entry vehicle. Thus, the results of the experimental studies conducted at TsAGI will help in coming up with a sound and reliable design and with operational modes for one of the structural elements of the spacecraft.

Orel is a new-generation reusable manned transport spacecraft that is being developed by S.P.Korolev RSC Energia. It is designed to take people and cargo beyond the low Earth orbit towards, among other things, the Moon. If need be, a stripped-down version of the spacecraft could be used for missions to space stations in low Earth orbit. Orel will carry a crew of up to four. The spacecraft will be able to stay in free flight for a period of up to 30 days, and stay attached to a space station for a period of up to 1 year.

TsAGI Press Service
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