The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Space


Other Facilities

SPACE RESEARCH CENTERS

Reliable information about Soviet space research centers is also limited. There are a few which have come to public attention. For example, the engine development work of the Leningrad Gas Dynamics Laboratory has been revealed through research publications of a theoretical nature, and early experimental engines as well as a few currently operational engines have been put on display and described as developed there. There is even a museum in Leningrad where it is possible to see these products.

The large body of published literature in various fields of space sciences reveals researchers in many scientific institutes pursue studies of geophysics, the upper atmosphere, radiation, space medicine, the planets, the Sun, and so forth. But it is not possible from these papers to build a definitive list of titles and locations of space laboratories and centers. It can be assumed that some are in the new science cities which have been created in several parts of the Soviet Union .

A fairly detailed description of one major institute was provided during 1971. The Moscow Space Research Institute of the Soviet Academy of Sciences consists of administrative buildings, parking lots, and landscaping in front, and laboratories in the central area, with experimental and storage areas at the back. The administrative building has three stories, underground parking, a library, conference and reception rooms, and an auditorium seating 1,200 persons. The laboratories are in a 13-story building with 2-story annexes. There are special air-conditioning units in towers nearby. All told, there are 41,000 square meters of floor space, including 33,000 square meters in laboratories; and the building volume is 599,870 cubic meters, including 534,700 cubic meters in laboratories. (62)

II. MANUFACTURING AND ASSEMBLY CENTERS FOE SPACECRAFT AND ROCKETS

Few details are available on Soviet factories equivalent to those of American industry in which specialized craft are built or where “serial" production is carried on. Occasional American visitors have

been allowed to visit aircraft factories, and it is always possible that some space manufacturing is done in closed but adjacent buildings in some of these aviation centers. Occasional photographs have shown assembly lines for Vostok and for Soyuz spacecraft, and the numbers of such craft shown in the pictures strengthens the notion that the same basic shells are used for the large unmanned recoverable Kosmos flights used by the Soviet military to conduct observations of interest. Somewhere there must also be a production line for the smaller Kosmos, because many use the same basic shell, with modifications to fit the particular missions of the craft.

Except for the very largest launch vehicles, presumably almost all components are rail-transportable, especially as the Soviet railway lines have a generous clearance gauge through tunnels and stations. We know both through Soviet movies and through the recent visits to Tyuratam that launch rockets and payloads are brought together in assembly buildings within a few kilometers of the launch pads, with the mating done horizontally, and then the combined rocket and payload pushed out to the pad atop flat cars and special transporters by Diesel locomotives. At the pad, the transporter tilts the rocket up into a vertical position for final checkout and launch. This may not be true of the G-l-e class vehicles, but seems to apply even through the D-l-e class.

I. TEST AND TRAINING CENTERS FOR SPACE

Of necessity the Russians must have test stands for rocket development, and environmental chambers for rockets and payloads. These are not described as to location in the open literature.

Because of the numerous Soviet failures in planetary payloads, they have come to the American practice of having a duplicate payload in an environmental chamber undergoing as nearly as possible the same conditions as the actual spacecraft in flight, so that if problems develop, solutions can be tested with the laboratory "bird". This was first announced as the practice with the Venera 4 flight. (63) Something similar has been hinted at in connection with manned flights in 1974 and 1975.

The principal test and training center for Soviet cosmonauts is at Zvezdnyy Gorodok east of Moscow in the suburbs. This has been visited by both the American astronauts and NASA technicians, and also by the Western press. There are classrooms, isolation chambers, centrifuges, simulators, and mockups, as well as good living accommodations for the cosmonauts and their families, and associated scientists and technicians.

Apparently there are some facilities for training in the Tyuratam area, presumably in or near the new, burgeoning city of Leninsk . The American visitors found the accommodations provided at Leninsk to be equal or superior to those provided at the Kennedy Space Center . The cosmonauts when suited up for flights ride out to the pad in a well equipped, air conditioned bus, much in the manner that NASA astronauts are transported.

When the Soyuz 9 cosmonauts returned to Earth, they went to a special isolation center, which was highly reminiscent of the Houston quarantine facility, perhaps as a dry run for similar procedures once Soviet cosmonauts return from the Moon. (64)

The lunar material recovered by Luna 16 on the Moon was also taken to a special isolation laboratory at an unspecified point which employs the same general kind of procedures to preserve freedom from contamination, both in and out, as Houston has supplied for its Lunar

Receiving Laboratory. (65)

All in all, one is struck with the close parallels between the U.S. and Soviet programs in terms of procedures and equipment, but also with the paucity of definitive Soviet information in the public domain on any of these matters aside from the few facilities which have been occasionally opened to visitors.

References;

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,

62. Stroitelstro i Arkhitektura, Moskvy, Moscow , No. 1, 1971, pp. 26-29.

63. TASS, 0800 GMT, October 19, 1967 , quoting Komsomolskaya Pravda, Moscow .

64. TASS, 1704 GMT, June 20, 1970 .

65. TASS, 1077 GMT, September 26, 1970 .



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list



 
Page last modified: 10-04-2016 19:06:48 ZULU