Dmitry Baranov, general director of the Progress rocket and space center, told RIA Novosti that the development of a super-heavy rocket for flights to the Moon has been completely stopped, but can be resumed in accordance with changes in the program.
Back in December 2020, the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin wrote on Facebook that the project of the super-heavy rocket Yenisei (in a heavier version – Don) will be revised to use more advanced technologies in development, for example, methane instead of oxygen and kerosene as fuel. At the beginning of this year, the Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences on Space called for the postponement of work on the creation of a rocket, recommending Angara for flights to the moon. A month later, Progress suspended the design of the Yenisei, explaining this by a change in the appearance of the rocket.
Previously, it was assumed that the development will be completed in October 2021. By order of Roskosmos, the rocket and space center was to assemble a rocket from the Soyuz-5 and Soyuz-6 rockets under development on the RD171MV and RD-180MV oxygen-kerosene engines. If the space corporation decides to resume the project, the work will continue. At the moment, the enterprise and Roskosmos are refining the program for creating a space rocket complex for a super-heavy carrier rocket.
Industry sources report that Russia can create a super-heavy methane carrier instead of an oxygen-kerosene rocket. This initiative allegedly came from Rogozin himself.