anatoly perminovW445.jpgIn credit: ESA / caption: Former Space Troops general and now Federal Space Agency head Anatoly Perminov

In an interview with Russian spaceflight magazine Novosti Kosmonavtiki Anatoly Perminov (see picture) head of the Federal Space Agency (aka Roscosmos) talks about the agency’s plans for its new launch vehicles and spacecraft, which now include “orbital tugs” and “transfer stages” for manned lunar missions

While the Russians have talked about their Energia Soyuz TMA replacement, the Advanced Crew Vehicle (ACV), having a lunar and Mars mission capability this is the first time this blogger has seen an official speak of what might be called Earth departure stages or an orbital tug based on the ACV

Reproduced in English on Roscosmos’ website the interview text refers to LLO transfer stages but no spelling out of LLO is present so this blog is assuming its low lunar orbit. This would tally with ideas the European Space Agency and its industrial partners have had about what could be done in future Moon missions including a low lunar orbit space station

The interview also provides details about the progress and plans for the proposed Vostochny cosmodrome and 2015 is again stated as the date for the spaceport’s first launch. It is also said that Baikonur is being upgraded

In the interview Perminov also states that the first test flight for the country’s new family of rocket’s called Angara will be in 2011 but this was already known. The Roscosmos website also has news about a new rocket engine production facility and preparation for the landing of Soyuz TMA-16