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Soyuz 7K-VI Zvezda ["Star"]

The Soyuz spacecraft began to be designed in 1962 at OKB-1, first flying around the moon. A bunch of spaceships and booster blocks 7K-9K-11K were supposed to go to the moon ... Subsequently, this project was closed in favor of flying around the moon on the spacecraft L1, launched on the rocket Proton.

Soviet engineers were tasked with developing projects for military versions of the Soyuz spacecraft. Which was in the early stages of development at the time. One of these projects was the Soyuz-R spacecraft. It was to become an orbital reconnaissance platform, similar to the American manned orbital laboratory. Another project, the Soyuz-P ( Interceptor ), was supposed to solve more active tasks. After rendezvous with the target (American spy satellite)the astronaut had to make a spacewalk to inspect the target. And if necessary, neutralize it.

Several military models of Union spacecraft were planned, but none actually flew in space. These versions were named Soyuz P , Soyuz PPK , Soyuz R , Soyuz 7k-VI and Soyuz OI (Orbital Research Station). The Soyuz P ( Perekhvatchik , Interceptor) space interceptor and the Soyuz R ( Razvedki , reconnaissance) command reconnaissance spacecraft were proposed in December 1962 by Sergei Korolev. In an initial preliminary design, Soyuz P would use a Soyuz 9K rocket stage and an 11K Soyuz tanker spacecraft to conduct a series of dockings and refueling operations. A full complex would then be able to trace the intersection points of enemy satellites in orbits up to 6,000 km in altitude. The Soyuz-R system consisted of two separately launched spacecraft, including a small orbital station 11F71 with photographic reconnaissance and electronic reconnaissance equipment and a Soyuz 7K-TK for transporting teams.

Originally, the Soyuz P was designed for wing control and destruction of enemy satellites. It was intended that the Union would have a rendezvous with the target satellite. To minimize the risk to the crew, a new version, Soyuz PPK ( pilotiruemovo korablya-perekhvatchika , piloted interceptor spacecraft) was later proposed.

However, the most serious was the variant of the warship called Soyuz-7K-VI. This technique was originally developed in order to place real weapons in orbit. This unit has never flown. However, they managed to build a prototype. And this is the only "space fighter" ever created in reality.

The 7K-VI space fighter was named "Star". And although it was developed on the basis of the basic design of the Soyuz spacecraft, it was still significantly different from it in appearance. In its normal configuration, the Soyuz spacecraft has a rounded nose for the return capsule. And an almost spherical orbital module. However, the Zvezda ship looked different. Its orbital module was cylindrical in shape. And outwardly it resembled the American Apollo ship. From all recognizable solar panels Soyuz spacecraft also decided to refuse. The Zvezda space fighter was to be powered by a plutonium battery. This would allow for long-term missions in orbit. Up to 30 days.

The 23-mm cannon, according to the project, installed on the nose of the returned capsule, was created by Alexander Emmanuilovich Nudelman. He was one of the most prominent weapons designers in the Soviet Union. The space cannon was a reworked version of the aircraft cannon of his own design. It was to become a weapon without recoil. Because any recoil would change the spacecraft's orbit every time the cannon fired.

VYa 23mm cannon which was taken advantage in 1941, had too strong recoil and was established basically on attack aircraft Il - 2. In 1943 in ??B-16 the new 23-mm a cartridge has been developed. The initial missile velocity in a trunk in length of 1450 mm made 700 m/s. The new part has been developed also. The weight of such cartridge with a part appeared almost twice less weights of a cartridge with a part of VYa 23mm cannon. Under a new cartridge in ??B-16 the NS-23 (Nudelman - Suranov) cannon has been created. Ground state tests of NS-23 were completed on May, 4, 1944, and also air tests on Yak-9 on June, 7, 1944 have been finished. The NS-23 was issued and after war for 1953. In total from 1944 to 1953 on both factories 28479 NS-23 cannons have been made.

Work on the Star was canceled in 1967 with a single prototype in the later stages of construction. Plans for the Zvezda space fighter advanced to the point that even a crew was assigned. The training of the cosmonaut with this VI began in September 1966. The cosmonaut group selected included Commander Pavel Popovich , pilot Alexei Gubarev , flight engineers Yuri Artyukhin , Vladimir Gulyaev , Boris Belusov and Gennady Kolesnikov . Popovich-Kolesnikov and Gubarev-Belusov were the main teams, with other engineers acting as reserves and then assigned to later teams. They even managed to start training, but in 1967 the program was abruptly closed. The Soviet Union decided to concentrate on unmanned versions of satellite fighters.

The military manned spacecraft of the Kozlov Design Bureau, whose project was developed to replace the Soyuz 7K-VI by Korolev's Design Bureau, was brought to the preliminary flight stage and canceled in favor of the Chelomey Design Bureau by the military orbital station. "Diamond" and the TKS spacecraft.

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Page last modified: 12-08-2020 15:40:04 ZULU