Scientists are preparing to test the first “king engine” as part of the Soyuz-5 rocket stage

(ORDO NEWS) — Last year, the Energomash Research and Production Association handed over the RD-171MV engine to the Progress rocket and space center: bench tests are waiting for it as part of the first stage of the Soyuz-5 launch vehicle.

The development of the new Soyuz-5 rocket has passed another important stage. The RD-171MV engine was handed over for tests as part of the carrier stage. This was reported by TASS with reference to the CEO of Energomash Igor Arbuzov.

According to the general director, all obligations to customers have been fulfilled. Arbuzov announced plans to deliver the engine in 2021 for testing as part of a rocket stage last January. It is worth saying that the RD-171MV already has tests behind its back: Roscosmos conducted the first fire tests of the engine back in 2020. All parameters of the product were normal.

The RD-171MV was given the unofficial nickname “Tsar Engine”: it is positioned as the world’s most powerful liquid-propellant rocket engine. The novelty was developed by specialists from NPO Energomash: mainly in order to be used as part of the first stage of the Soyuz-5 medium-class launch vehicle, also known as the Irtysh.

They wanted to use the engine as part of the first stage of the promising Yenisei super-heavy rocket. It is difficult to talk about the future of this carrier now. At various times, the media wrote about the revision of the appearance of the carrier and even about the possible abandonment of the rocket.

Structurally, the RD-171MV has become a modernized version of the Russian RD-171M engine, which, in turn, was developed on the basis of the Soviet RD-170. The engine runs on oxygen-kerosene steam and has four combustion chambers.

RD-171MV is the first Energomash engine, where the role of the original design documentation was played not by paper drawings, but by electronic 3D models. This made it possible to significantly reduce development time, optimize manufacturing processes and reduce overall costs.

The Soyuz-5 rocket itself has recently attracted special attention. Recently, the head of Roskosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, said that during its first test launch in 2023, the Aist satellite will be launched into orbit, and not a mock-up of a spacecraft, as might have been expected. In total, according to the flight test program in 2023-2025, the Baikonur Cosmodrome will perform three launches of a new rocket.

In the future, Russian specialists will create an improved Fregat-SBU upper stage for the carrier, which will allow it to fully realize its capabilities. They want to prepare the block for flights in the middle of the decade.


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