Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) informed it has expanded its competencies in certifying containers for dangerous goods.
In 2014 RS certified a new specific type of containers for upper stage rockets by request of Lavochkin Research and Production Association, and in the beginning of December 2014, containers used for shipping space objects to the Kourou launch site
in French Guiana were
successfully returned to the port of St. Petersburg
Containers of this type are a unique high-tech product designed to protect expensive space equipment from external exposure while shipping it to the launch site in the Pacific Ocean and are currently in use for international outer space exploration programs.
During certification, RS confirmed the containers’ compliance with the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, the European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code). The certificates issued by RS following the results of examinations and tests allow using such containers for carrying dangerous goods (including upper stages rockets) by road and sea.
The upper stage rocket created by Lavochkin Association is an autonomous artificial intelligence robot which guides the whole process of propelling the spacecrafts according to a flight assignment without any guidance from the Earth. The Fregat upper stage operation logic provides independent operational error management for the final stage of a carrier rocket. On December 18, 2014, the Soyuz-ST-B carrier rocket with the Fregat upper stage successfully took off at the Kourou launch site.