Russian scientists have suspended the work on the development of the Yenisei super-heavy carrier rocket, which is designed for the Roscosmos lunar program, the head of Progress Rocket and Space Center Dmitry Baranov said.
"It is possible that its appearance will be corrected. This question has not been fully resolved yet, so the development has been paused for now. We are ready to continue the work after the appropriate decision is made. I think that this is a matter of several months, I would say, before the middle of this year," Baranov told Interfax.
Earlier, the Space Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences recommended postponing the works on the creation of the super-heavy carrier rocket for flights to the Moon. It was proposed to carry out first manned flights to the Moon using the heavy Angara-A5V rocket. This rocket is also going through the stage of development. In this case, it will be necessary to launch at least two rockets for one flight to the Moon and dock the spacecraft with the flight module in low-earth orbit.
The preliminary design of the new super-heavy rocket was approved in the fall of 2019. Two modifications - "Yenisei" and "Don" - were to be created for the purpose to deliver 125 and 147 tons of cargo in near-earth orbit, and 27 and 33 tons in circumlunar orbit.
In March 2020, the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, tweeted photographs of the designs of the future rocket based on the blocks of the Soyuz-5 carrier rocket, which is also currently being created.