OPS "Almaz" Series Salyut-2
In the United States, work on orbital stations soon after they began to receive a clear military orientation. In order to keep up with America in these matters, in the Soviet Union, by the mid-60s, research was carried out on the creation of manned stations. In addition to the OKB-1, in which it was supposed to create a station using an assembly in orbit, the OKB-52 under the direction of VN Chelomei was involved in the work.
The start of work on the orbital station project in the OKB-52 can be attributed to October 12, 1964, when the general designer suggested that the company’s employees start creating a visited orbital manned station (OPS) with a crew of 2-3 people and a one-two-year existence. The station was designed to solve problems of scientific, economic and defense importance and was launched into orbit by the UR500K carrier. The draft design of the OPS, or rather, the rocket and space system, which received the name "Almaz" was adopted in 1967.
“Almaz” was conceived as a space observation post with comfortable conditions for the crew and well equipped observation equipment, accurate guidance system, capable of monitoring both forest fires and pollution of seas and rivers, and movements of military forces.
For delivery to the station crew and reserves, their own transport supply ship (TKS) was developed, designed to be outputted by the same UR500K missile. Initially, it was supposed to supply the station and TKS with similar return vehicles, designed to descend from orbit this idea was abandoned. VA remained only on the transport ship.
at the bottom there is a hatch into the chamber from which capsules with research materials could be lowered to Earth. The capsule had its own gunpowder remote control, a parachute system, a drop heat shield and a descent bay with a beacon. Its stabilization before turning on the remote control was carried out by twisting after the necessary orientation before release from the station. Around the HQ housed the units of propulsion systems OPS, deployable antennas and two large solar panels. The tail part of the station with CC was closed with a cone-shaped shield from screen-vacuum thermal insulation.
In front of the pressurized cabin in the small-diameter zone there was a crew compartment with sleeping places, a table for meals, a lounge chair and portholes for viewing.
For household - working compartment with a remote control, workplace, optical sight, allowing to stop the run of the earth's surface and observe the individual parts, a panoramic-viewing device for a wide view of the Earth, a periscope device for viewing the surrounding space. The back of the pressurized cabin was occupied by surveillance equipment and control system.
A large optical telescope for observing the Earth took place behind the working compartment from floor to ceiling of the OPS. It was supposed, having shot the land or sea sections, to show the film directly at the station, to view it and the most interesting frames to be transmitted on the television channel.
Considering that during the design of the Almaz OPS in the United States, work was carried out on various sorts of space interceptor satellite interceptors, the station took measures to protect against such interceptors and tugs: It could be pointed at the desired point through the scope, turning the station. “Diamond,” of course, could not attack anyone - it was just a means of self-defense.
The work on the Almaz rocket-space system was distributed as follows: the project as a whole, the station itself and the aircraft of the TKS spacecraft were developed at the head organization of V.N. - in the branch ? 1 TsKBM. The UR500K rocket was also created there. The station, the ship and the carrier should have been manufactured at the machine-building plant named after Khrunichev.
At the first stage of the creation of the "Almaz" system, the crews on the OPS were to be delivered to the Soyuz spacecraft. In this question, interaction was established between the TsKBM and the OKB S. P. Korolev (TsKBEM).
The customer’s creators of the Almaz complex were given very difficult tasks in terms of equipment characteristics, reliability and duration of its operation. And if by the end of 1969 the schedule of work on the creation of the OPS and some service systems was strictly observed, then the work on the instrumentation structure of the station was delayed.
By 1970, the corps of eight DOS and two flight OPS units were created and ground testing of the station systems was carried out. The composition of crews for flights to the station, which were trained at the Cosmonaut Training Center, was determined.
However, for certain reasons, under pressure from the leadership of the Ministry of General Machine Building, manufactured hulls, accessories, part of equipment and documentation were transferred to TsKBEM, where on the basis of the Almaz OPS using the Soyuz spacecraft systems in cooperation with the branch No. 1 of TsKBM in less than a year Created long-term orbital station (DOS) - "Product 17K."
DOS differed from the OPS by the transitional compartment in the front of the small-diameter zone, to which the Soyuz spacecraft was docked. At the tail end of the station, a modified Soyuz spacecraft PJSC was installed, the power supply of the station was supposed to be carried out using four small solar panels, also taken from the Soyuz spacecraft and mounted in pairs in the small diameter zone and PJSC. In terms of instruments, DOS also had very little in common with the OPS "Almaz": the latter was much more saturated with equipment.
In connection with the acceleration of DOS operations for flights to the station at TsKBEM, a transport modification of the Soyuz spacecraft was quickly developed, having a docking assembly of new design.
Salyut 1 was exactly what it appeared to be: a science station in Earth orbit, in fact the very first long-duration space station and so deserving of a major place in the history of space exploration. Salyut 2 was something different. Though the West didn’t know at the time, the Soviet Union had a second complementary space station program, Almaz.
OPS-1 was armed with a repurposed NR-23 short recoil cannon, a type that was used in Soviet bombers until the 1960s. The Nudelman-Rikhter NR-23 is a Soviet cannon widely used in military aircraft of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact. It was designed by A. E. Nudelman and A.A. Rikhter to replace the wartime Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 and VYa cannon, entering service in 1949. The NR-23 was used on fighter aircraft, including the MiG-15, Lavochkin La-15, MiG-17, and some marks of the MiG-19. The AM-23 was used in the defensive turrets of the Antonov An-12, Ilyushin Il-28, Myasishchev M-4, Tupolev Tu-14, Tupolev Tu-16, Tupolev Tu-22, Tupolev Tu-95/Tu-142, and the Tupolev Tu-98 prototype. On the day OPS-1 was ordered to de-orbit (its crew having left previously) it was triggered remotely and test-fired. Some cosmonaut sources say it was successful at shooting down a test satellite.
Chelomei‘s answer to the Soyuz was the Transport Supply Spacecraft, or TKS - “Transportnyi Korabl’ Snabzheniia”. The TKS consisted of two modules. The first was the orphaned VA crew capsule (Vozvraschaemyi Apparat, “Return Vehicle”), which was attached to the new FGB support module (Funktsionalno-Gruzovoy Blok, “Functional Cargo Block”) which also served as a crew habitation module.
WESTERN VIEWS OF SOVIET MILITARY SPACE ACTIVITIES
By Charles S. Sheldon II,[1917-1981], Chief of the Science Policy Research Division of the Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service
1971-1975 & 1976-1980
VIII. MILITARY MANNED SPACE MISSIONS
Even before Project Mercury received its go-ahead in the early days of NASA, there was a proposal for MISS (Man in Space Soonest) which the U.S. Air Force sponsored. Later, Dr. Walter Dornberger's concept which perhaps had its ancestry in the Eugen Sanger antipodal bomber was translated into the X-20 Dyna-Soar project. This evolved over some time into a reusable space glider to be launched by a Titan III launch vehicle as a demonstration of reusable ships handling the heat load of reentry by radiation rather than ablation or heat sinks, methods which had been used earlier.
But in 1963, Dyna Soar was cancelled, and replaced by the MOL or Manned Orbiting Laboratory. This was also to be launched by a variant of the Titan III. It would have had a modified Gemini for the recoverable capsule and a hatch cut through the heat shield to reach via air lock a long tank with the orbital work space for this military station. One excuse used for canceling this project in 1969 was that it duplicated the NASA Skylab plan. This was probably true only to the extent that both programs were to find out how well men functioned during moderately long orbital stay times. But the nature of the orbits to be flown and the work to be performed was quite different. The United States elected during the 1960's and early 1970's not to have a separate military manned space program, after several false (and expensive) starts. Only minor experiments offered by the Department of Defense were accepted for incorporation in the broader framework of scientific and technological tests included in Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab.
If the Department of Defense is to have a military manned space program, it will be within the general structure of the Space Shuttle. The Shuttle is mostly being paid for by the NASA budget, but design considerations such as cross range on reentry were made flexible enough to be compatible with military requirements. Also, the Air Force will construct launch facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base to come on stream after development flights at the Kennedy Space Center . Whether military pilots will conduct military operations with their copies of the Space Shuttle, or whether they will use it almost exclusively to launch and later to repair or retrieve other independent unmanned payloads remains to be seen. At the moment the Department of Defense is not even committed to buying Shuttles.
As other parts of this chapter and another chapter show, the Soviet Union probably has gone a different route in use of manned space flight for military purposes. But if this surmise is supported, it almost has to be developed inferentially rather than from any overt Soviet statement or direct evidence. Most of the missions which have been talked about as practical military tasks in space technologically are not that different from civilian missions. They may directly support observation, with an emphasis on search and close study of manmade facilities and human activities, rather than a study of natural resources of farms, forests, minerals, water supply, and oceans. The technology and operations of placing, calibrating, repairing, and retrieving particular data gathering experiments may not be so different between civilian and military tasking agencies.
PROGRAM DETAILS OF MAN-RELATED FLIGHTS
By Marcia S. Smith Formerly with the, Science Policy Research Division of the Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service
THE SPACE STATION ERA
SALYUT 2: SPACE STATION FAILURES
On April 3, 1973 Salyut 2 was launched into a 260 x 215 km orbit, with a period of 89 minutes and an inclination of 51.6°. The next day Cosmonaut Yevgenly Khrunov announced that cosmonauts were engaged in preparations for new flights, supposedly to link up with Salyut, and on April 6 Victor Louis of the London Evening News reported that a Soyuz spacecraft was ready for launch. Thus when no launch followed Salyut 2, there was speculation that the Soyuz launch had failed. On two occasions the space station was in a position for rendezvous, but no launch occurred. When on April 8 Salyut 2's orbit was raised to 268 x 248 km, above an appropriate rendezvous orbit, experts concluded that whatever had delayed the Soyuz launch was more serious than originally thought. Some suggested that solar flare activity on the 4th and 5th of April prevented the launch rather than equipment failure, but when April 11 came and there was still no launch, general opinion was that either Salyut or Soyuz was having major difficulty.
Spaceflight magazine reported that Salyut 2's initial orbit was higher and more elliptical than Salyut 1's, possibly due to poor performance of the D-l booster. Numerous fragments detected in the orbital path suggested the D-l had exploded, although in retrospect it seems likely these early pieces of debris were no more than the routine releasing of equipment and window covers.
The real trouble came on April 14 when Salyut was reported to have undergone a "catastrophic malfunction" which ripped off the solar panels and boom-mounted rendezvous radar and radio transponder, leaving the vehicle tumbling in space without telemetry return. The craft may have separated into many pieces, some large enough to be tracked, but most were rather small and decayed quickly. Either an explosion or a misfiring thruster were blamed, although the most widely held theory was that the D-l upper stage had exploded with its debris damaging the space station
On April 28 TASS reported that Salyut "had concluded the programme of flight," and although the official statement said it had completed its mission, the word "successfully" (used in the most nominally successful flights) was omitted. This suggests that the Russians wrote the mission off as a failure. The main body of the station decayed through air drag on May 28, 1973 , and reentered near Australia .
Noting that the telemetry transmissions from Salyut 2 were similar to those used by Soviet reconnaissance satellites, Aviation Week and Space Technology concluded that the mission was not a Salyut at all, but that the Russians were simply trying to mislead the Soviet press and information agencies. The manned Salyut 3 a year later, however, used the same telemetry and suggests that Salyut 2 was the first of the military Salyuts.
1. SOVIET SPACE PROGRAMS, 1971-75, OVERVIEW, FACILITIES AND HARDWARE MANNED AND UNMANNED FLIGHT PROGRAMS, BIOASTRONAUTICS CIVIL AND MILITARY APPLICATIONS PROJECTIONS OF FUTURE PLANS, STAFF REPORT , THE COMMITTEE ON AERONAUTICAL AND SPACE .SCIENCES, UNITED STATES SENATE, BY THE SCIENCE POLICY RESEARCH DIVISION CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE, THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, VOLUME – I, AUGUST 30, 1976, GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, WASHINGTON : 1976.
* The late Dr. Sheldon, was Chief, Science Policy Research Division, Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress.
A. SOVIET SPACE PROGRAMS: 1976-80, (WITH SUPPLEMENTARY DATA THROUGH 1983) MANNED SPACE PROGRAMS AND SPACE LIFE SCIENCES PREPARED AT THE REQUEST OF HON. BOB PACKWOOD, Chairman, COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION UNITED STATES SENATE, Part 2, OCTOBER 1984, Printed for the use of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D. C., 1984
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