On November 26, 2002 agreements were executed in Moscow, Russia between the International Space Company, Kosmotras and the private United States company TransOrbital, Inc., for use of a series of Dnepr launch vehicles on the first commercial missions to the Moon.
Participating in negotiations were George Dennis Laurie, President of TransOrbital, Inc. and Vladimir A. Andreev, Director General of ISC Kosmotras, as well as experts from both companies. Negotiations resulted in execution of Framework Agreement on the launch of a Series of Lunar Spacecraft on Dnepr Launch Vehicles. Earlier, TransOrbital and ISC Kosmotras signed the Launch Services Agreement on the launch of the Trailblazer replica.
US TransOrbital, Inc. has come up with a very pragmatic program for performing commercial lunar missions. The implementation of this comprehensive program is scheduled to begin in late 2002 by launching a full scale replica of the Trailblazer spacecraft into low earth orbit. In late 2003 it will be followed by the commercial launch of a lunar orbiter. The objective of this mission is to obtain images of the lunar surface, to photograph the Earth's rise over the Moon, as well as many other experiments. In late 2004 TransOrbital is planning to deliver a lunar lander to the Moon. Current TransOrbital plans provide for 1-2 lunar missions per year. TransOrbital's lunar program will be focused on multiple tasks, including but not limited to, the delivery of containers with commercial cargo to the Moon, conducting experiments in the interest of NASA and private companies, exploring various regions of lunar surface by means of a moon rover, including confirmation of US astronaut presence on the Moon.
The TransOrbital's lunar program is based on the use of reliable Dnepr launch vehicle as an orbital delivery means. Dnepr LV is a converted SS-18, the most powerful ICBM in the world, Dnepr launch vehicles will be available for use through 2018-2020 timeframe.
Unique, for a light class launcher, performance of Dnepr allowing to deliver 3,500-4,000 kg of payload into a low earth orbit makes it possible to equip the spacecraft to be delivered by powerful propulsion units that enable to inject the spacecraft into high energy orbits, including escape trajectories to the Moon and Mar. This capability of Dnepr will be applied to TransOrbital's program, the spacecraft of which will be equipped with their own propulsion systems.
Currently, the Dnepr LV is planned for use by many companies in various countries. Six spacecraft belonging to various countries have been launched on Dnepr LV with six more scheduled for launch in late 2002, one of them being the Trailblazer replica.
The TransOrbital program enjoys not only a solid technical basis, but also has all necessary legal procedures in place. TransOrbital is the first company to ever be issued a permit from the US State Department for a launch to the Moon. TransOrbital has become the first commercial company authorized to photograph from the Moon and from every point on the way to the Moon.
The Dnepr Program is carried out in accordance with the special decrees of the Russian and Ukrainian governments. Activities under the Dnepr Program are monitored by the Russian Ministry of Defense and space agencies of both countries. Practical work under the program is performed jointly by Russian Ministry of Defense and ISC Kosmotras team consisting of industrial and scientific entities of Russia and Ukraine.
About TransOrbital, Inc, (www.transorbital.net) TransOrbital, Inc. is a privately owned supplier of aerospace design, analysis and launch services. Established in 1998, TransOrbital is the first company of its kind authorized by the U. S. government to photograph, explore and land on the lunar surface. The 2003 Trailblazer spacecraft's primary mission is to return HDTV video and other multimedia content from lunar orbit to market as commercial products, as well as the delivery of both personal and commercial cargo to the moon.
About International Space Company (ICS) Kosmotras (www.kosmotras.com/ru) ICS Kosmotras is a private supplier of launch vehicles. ICS Kosmotras provides launch vehicles for many companies and countries around the world. ICS Kosmotras activities under the Dnepr program are covered by special decrees by both the Russian and Ukrainian governments. The Dnepr LV is the worlds most powerful SS-18 ICBM. Unique for a light class launch vehicle, the Dnepr is able to deliver 3,500 - 4000 kg of payload into low earth orbit.
Point of Contact:
Tel: 858-455-5900 or 703-960-5953
Fax: 858-455-5979 or 603-619-5538
E-mail: at email@example.com.
Further information may be found at the TransOrbital website: www.transorbital.net
Tel: +7(095) 745-72-58
Fax: +7(095) 956-1619
Further Information may be found at the ICS Kosmotras website: (www.kosmotras.com/ru)