Russian universities conquer outer space

Space, its development, studies, creation of unique devices and even environmental work in space – this is not a complete list of projects that Russian universities are currently implementing as part of the federal program Priority 2030 of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science . We talk about how these universities shaped the history of domestic space exploration and what researchers are creating today for the country’s strategic industry.

They were first!

History of Moscow State Technical University (MSTU) named after VINE Bauman is inextricably linked with domestic rocket science and astronautics, and the phrase “They were the first!” definitely about Baumanka and its graduates, because it was from here that such famous designers as Sergei Korolev, Igor Barmin, Andrey Tupolev and many others came from. Among Russian and Soviet cosmonauts there are also many MSTU graduates. The third female cosmonaut Elena Kondakova, a cosmonaut who made eight spacewalks, the general designer of RSC Energia and the head of the SM-3 department of the Moscow State Technical University Vladimir Solovyov and 11 other cosmonauts graduated from this university in their time.


Today, MSTU is the main university for training personnel of the state enterprise Roscosmos, and joint development is also underway. Within the framework of the “Priority 2030” program at MSTU. NE Bauman, work is underway to ensure the country’s research, technology and personnel readiness for the transition to a new technological order and global leadership in the scientific and technological field. The university’s development program includes science and innovation, education, teams, management systems and infrastructure.

“The brightest space projects this year are the Bauman launch and the Space Marine competition. On March 18, the launch vehicle Soyuz-2.1a was launched with the transport crewed spacecraft Soyuz MS-21. The uniqueness of the launch lies in the fact that the crew consists entirely of graduates of the Moscow State Technical University NE Bauman, and the coat of arms of the university was depicted on the rocket,” says rector Mikhail Gordin.

SUAI creates a unique display of the onboard space network

In the troubled pre-war winter of 1941, a new university appeared on the map of the country’s educational institutions – the Leningrad Aviation Institute, which today is known to everyone who comes into contact with the subject of space research as St. Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation (GUAP). Since 1985, the institute has become the country’s leader in the field of targeted intensive training of specialists, and since 1989 it has been one of the first to start training research engineers.

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Today, the work on creating a unique laboratory rack for SpaceWire on board the space network at the first aviation university of Russia under the Priority 2030 program is being completed. The booth will feature all-Russian equipment working with the promising SpaceWire standard for data transmission. In the near future, this will enable cooperation with industrial companies that need to test their equipment and confirm that it complies with this standard.

“SpaceWire is one of the standards for communication on board space and aircraft networks. It should provide compatibility with various types of equipment and multifunctional use of finite elements and subsystems. We want to make this booth a unique scientific facility registered in the Russian Federation. Now all the equipment is purchased, the process of assembly is underway. Boards and switches are already placed on the rack, we are preparing drivers and software. Registration of a unique scientific installation is not a quick process, but according to the schedule, we must complete the work by the end of this year” , says Valentin Olenev, Head of Department No. 14 at the Institute of Aerospace Instruments and Systems.

A feature of the network is that it can easily be extended to more devices. This is achieved by connecting a SpaceWire switch and organizing a more complex network structure. It is also possible to check the software of various researchers and developers for compliance with the SpaceWire standard. Today in Russia there are no analogues to this development.

From Il-2 attack aircraft to new generation satellites

The Aviation Institute, which became the core of the current Samara National Research University named after academician SP Korolev, opened in Samara (then Kuibyshev) in October 1942. At that time, about 30 companies and organizations in the aviation industry had been evacuated to the city. Serial production of the Il-2 attack aircraft was launched here, which became the most massive combat aircraft in the history of aviation. And the Aviation Institute (KuAI) became the base for training engineering personnel of these companies. In the post-war years, research work began to develop related to the production of the latest models of aviation equipment. On 22 February 1966, the Aviation Institute was named after the academician SP Drottning.

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To develop their own spaceship specialists at Samara University. SP Korolev started in the 1980s. The first Pion satellites went into orbit in 1989 and studied the upper atmosphere. From 1989 to 1992, six satellites from this series were launched.

“In 2013, two AIST-1 satellites were launched with scientific equipment to study the Earth’s magnetic field and low-orbit collisions with cosmic dust. In April 2016, the small spacecraft Aist-2D was launched into orbit from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. Its development was carried out by researchers from Samara University named after. SP Korolev together with specialists from the Progress Rocket and Space Center. “Aist-2D” was created for scientific experiments and remote sensing of the Earth. At the moment, he has filmed more than 68 million square meters. km of the Earth’s surface and continues to work successfully in orbit. Today, researcher at Samara University. SP Koroleva, as part of the implementation of the Priority 2030 program, is working on a small spacecraft of the third generation of the AIST family, – rector Vladimir Bogatyrev described the university’s contribution to the study of space.

According to RAEX experts, the university is one of the three best universities in Russia in the direction of “Aviation and rocket and space technology”.

Cosmonauts study at MAI

The Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) is the leader among all civilian universities in terms of the number of graduates who have flown into space. 23 pilot-cosmonauts left the walls of the university. Currently, there are three graduates and four PhD students from MAI in the cosmonaut corps.

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MAI’s strategic project No. 1, implemented under the grant from the Priority 2030 program, is dedicated to space, among other things. Among other things, the strategic project “Future Aerospace Markets – 2050” involves ensuring the leadership of MAI in the segment of space systems and space services that use space communication.

“More than 3,500 of our students are trained in the interests of the rocket and space industry. Our university cooperates with leading developers and manufacturers of rocket and space technology, and during their studies, students gain experience working on promising projects of companies of the State Corporation Roscosmos. At the same time, it should be noted that cosmonauts also go to study at the Moscow Aviation Institute. At the moment, six test cosmonauts and three specialists from the Cosmonaut Training Center are studying at MAI postgraduate training. In addition, one of them, Anatoly Ivanishin, came to us when he was on board the international space station. All doctoral students brought their scientific tasks related to the instructions of the Federal Space Program. For example, there is a project on the information model of the operator of a complex dynamic simulator or work on automation and planning of the training of crews on manned spacecraft,” explained Alexander Shemyakov , Vice Chancellor of strategic development of MAI.

In addition, as part of the development program, the university opens new network training programs. For example, in the interests of the space industry, a training program for the Vostochny Cosmodrome is being conducted together with Amur State University.

In space, they must restore order and improve the environment

At Omsk State Technical University (OmSTU), training in rocket specialties began in 1965. For 57 years, the university has graduated more than 2,400 specialists in the fields of aviation and missile training. They work at companies throughout the country, from Kaliningrad to Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

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Today, as part of the implementation of a grant from the federal program “Priority 2030”, the development of aircraft and rocket engines continues here. One of the university’s strategic projects is also devoted to the subject of space ecology. According to and.about. rector of OmSTU Dmitry Maevsky, research in the field of rocket and space technology will reduce the anthropogenic impact on the environment and increase the economic efficiency of rocket and space activities.

“In 2021, work began together with Roscosmos to clean up outer space and create engines for small spacecraft. I am sure that the potential of all participants in the process will strengthen the position of each and ensure that Russia enters the TOP-5 -the countries in 2030 that have technologies to reduce the anthropogenic impact on the ecology of space, says Dmitry Maevsky about the university’s work.

Among the promising projects are developments in the field to reduce the technogenic impact on the environment and clean the near-Earth space from space debris. Scientists at Omsk Polytechnic University are researching the creation of new materials and designs for the separating parts of the launch vehicle, which will lead to their successful disposal on the descent path.

Gagarin unites SSU’s youth. NG Chernyshevsky

Space research within the walls of Saratov State University (SSU) named after VING Chernyshevsky began four years before the significant flight of Yuri Gagarin: the observation station worked at the university. Here, along with traditional visual observations of satellites, a complete astrometric processing of photographic observations at stations of the Astronomical Council of the USSR Academy of Sciences in various parts of the world was carried out for many years.

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The most important achievement of SSU in the field of space research was the development and creation under the leadership of Professor Yu.A. Sklyarov (1931–2014) of satellite equipment to measure the components of the Earth’s radiation balance. It is still operating successfully today: the IKOR-M meter for reflected shortwave radiation is on board Meteor-M No. 2 satellite, and the ISP-2M solar constant meter are located on the Elektro-L geostationary satellite.

And today, space topics are an integral part of SSU students’ lives.

“Saratov University is one of the organizers of the All-Russian Open Film and Art Festival “Gagarin.doc”. It includes popular science lectures, round table discussions, the First! short film competition, creative meetings, exhibitions and much more. This year Gagarin.doc opened yesterday, on April 11, and this is already the sixth festival, which brings together creative youth, experienced mentors and everyone who loves space,” says Alexei Chumachenko, rector of the university.

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