The Center for the Operation of Ground-Based Space Infrastructure Objects (TsENKI, part of Roscosmos) reported that specialists from the Vostochny cosmodrome are preparing for the first launch of a Soyuz rocket using a new type of fuel – naphthyl.
“The launch complex for Soyuz-2 carrier rockets at the Vostochny cosmodrome is preparing for the first launch of a rocket on a completely new, highly environmentally friendly type of fuel – naphthyl”the message says.
Autonomous tests of the launch complex, transferred to the new fuel, were carried out in December 2021. “After autonomous tests, it can actually be considered that the launch complex has been converted to naphthyl. However, to complete the full cycle of the transition, it is necessary to conduct comprehensive tests.– added to TsENKI.
Comprehensive tests are carried out directly during the preparation for launch, when the rocket is installed in the launch system and has gone through a full cycle of preparation before refueling. “During the preparation of a space rocket for launch, it is necessary to refuel and drain the fuel. Based on the results of this operation, a decision is issued on the complete transition of the launch complex to a new type of fuel.– explained in TsENKI.
In December, Roscosmos informed about the start of testing the systems of the Soyuz launch complex at the Vostochny cosmodrome after upgrading to a new type of fuel. Naphthyl is an environmentally friendly type of hydrocarbon fuel with the use of polymer additives. It provides increased efficiency, which allows you to put a large payload into orbit.
Roskosmos notes that previously only the third stage of carriers was refueled with naphthyl, but now it is used at all stages of refueling. Compared to kerosene, it is visually denser, colorless and transparent. When working with naphthyl, TsENKI specialists use standard personal protective equipment (as when refueling a car), since this type of fuel is safer.