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|Kvant Cutaway - The Kvant module was the first addition to the Mir core. The module is divided into a pressurised laboratory compartment and a non-pressurised equipment compartment. The laboratory compartment is further divided into an instrumentation area and a living area, which are separated by an interior partition.|
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Article Number: 11F37. Manufacturer's Designation: TsM-E 37Ke-010. Class: Manned. Type: Space Station. Nation: USSR. Manufacturer: KB Salyut.
The Kvant spacecraft represented the first use of a new kind of Soviet space station module, designated 37K. An order authorising the beginning of development was issued on 17 September 1979. The basic 37K design consisted of a 4.2 m diameter pressurised cylinder with a docking port at the forward end. It was not equipped with its own propulsion system. The original authorisation was for a total of eight 37K's of various configurations:
- One experimental 37KE (using a surplus FGB module of the cancelled Chelomei TKS manned ferry as a tug) which would be docked to the front port of the Salyut 7 space station.
The 37KE was designated Kvant and was equipped with an astrophysics payload. It also used the Salyut-5B digital flight control computer and Gyrodyne flywheel orientation system developed for Almaz. As the module neared completion Salyut 7 experienced numerous technical problems and Kvant was retargeted for a docking with Mir. But at that time Mir was planned to be in a 65 degree orbit, and Kvant was 800 kg too heavy for the Proton launch vehicle to place in such an orbit. In January 1985 Mir was changed to a 51.6 degree orbit, which solved one problem. But now it was planned that Kvant would dock with the rear port of Mir, requiring the addition of lines to conduct rocket propellant from Progress tanker spacecraft to Mir's storage tanks. This increased weigh again, forcing the FGB to have it's propellant load reduced to 60% in the high pressure tanks and empty low pressure tanks. Still, at 22,797 kg, Kvant was the heaviest payload ever lofted by Proton, requiring special custom modifications to its launch vehicle.
- Four 37KS modules for Mir. These would be delivered and docked to the station by a new lighter weight FGO tug.
- Three 37KB modules. These would be carried in the payload bay of the Buran space shuttle. They could remain attached to the bay or (modified to the 37KBI configuration) be docked to the Mir or Mir-2 space stations using the Buran manipulator arm.
Credit: © Mark Wade. 2,429 bytes. 202 x 295 pixels.
Kvant was originally to be launched in late 1986 but problems with its scientific payload resulted in it spending 14 months at the spacecraft integration hall at Korolev. Software development delays with the Salyut-5B resulted in it being deleted as well (it was later delivered to Mir with the Kvant-2 module). Finally it was delivered to Baikonur in November 1986. Following a successful launch it managed to dock to Mir on April 12, 1987, on the second attempt after the crew removed a trash bag from the docking collar in a space walk. The FGB tug, its work done, then backed away from the station. But the manoeuvres had cut into its already-reduced propellant supply. Unable to deorbit itself to a controlled burn-up in the atmosphere, the FGB was instead commanded to boost itself into a storage orbit 40 km above Mir. From there its orbit decayed until it made an uncontrolled re-entry on 25 August 1988.
Kvant itself remained attached to the Mir station throughout its long life. Kvant successfully operated until fall 1989, at which time operation was stopped for a planned reconfiguration of the Mir station. Kvant was restarted in October 1990 with calibration observations showing no apparent degradation from the year off. Attitude control thrusters were added to one of the external masts mounted by cosmonauts in 1992 to reduce fuel consumption of pointing manoeuvres. One solar array wing from the Kristall module was transferred to Kvant in 1992. Two new solar arrays (12 kW total) were delivered in 1995 to replace Kristall array. Most of Kvant's instruments had failed by the mid-1990's and by then it was used mainly for rubbish storage.
|Kvant / SM Jettison - Picture Kvant showing SM jettison 1|
Credit: RKK Energia. 9,360 bytes. 322 x 238 pixels.
The Kvant ('Quantum') module was the first addition to the Mir base block and contained scientific instruments for astrophysical observations and materials science experiments. Kvant conducted research into the physics of active galaxies, quasars and neutron stars. The module also supported biotechnology experiments in anti-viral preparations and fractions.
The module was divided into a pressurised laboratory compartment (40 cubic meters total pressurised volume) and a non-pressurised equipment compartment. The laboratory compartment was further divided into an instrumentation area and a living area, which were separated by an interior partition. A pressurised transfer compartment connected the Mir base block with the laboratory compartment.
The unpressurised equipment compartment contained power stabilisers. In addition to its primary scientific equipment, the module also carried Gyrodyne flywheel gyrostabilisers designed orient the station without use of propellant. Two external masts, erected by cosmonauts on the outside of Kvant, were used for a variety of experiments. Two Earth horizon sensors, two star sensors, and three star trackers were used for attitude knowledge.
Credit: © Mark Wade. 3,244 bytes. 207 x 384 pixels.
Payloads aboard Kvant included four experiments, that taken together, were sometimes referred to as the Roentgen Observatory. All four experiments pointed toward the same source at the same time:
- TTM Coded Mask Imaging Spectrometer - a wide-angle camera that used a coded aperture mask to determine source location. It covered the energy range 2-30 keV with a 7.8 deg x 7.8 deg field of view. It could achieve an angular resolution of 2 arcminutes and a time resolution of 1 sec. Provided by the Netherlands/UK.
- HEXE (High Energy X-ray Experiment) - Four detectors that covered the 15-200 keV energy range. The instrument had a 1.6 x1.6 deg field of view and has a maximum time resolution was 0.3-25 ms. Provided by West Germany.
- Sirene 2 Gas Scintillation Proportional Spectrometer - a gas scintillation proportional counter that covered the 2-100 keV energy range. It had a 3 x 3 deg field of view with a maximum time resolution of 1.25-2.5 ms. Provided by ESA.
- Pulsar X-1 - 4 phoswich detectors that covered the 20-1300 keV energy range. It had a 3 x 3 deg field of view with a maximum time resolution of 10 s. Provided by the USSR.
|Cutaway of Kvant - Cutaway of Kvant illustrating service module that separated after docking with Mir.|
Credit: RKK Energia. 22,186 bytes. 464 x 189 pixels.
Additional experiments included:
- Glazar UV Spectrometer - covered wavelengths between 1150-1350 angstrom. The instrument could provide up to 1-2 angstrom resolution and had a 1.3 deg FOV.
- Mariya magnetic spectrometer - measured high-energy electron and positron fluxes in near-Earth space.
- Arfa-E - installed on the exterior of the module in January 1990 to investigate the Earth's ionosphere and magnetosphere by injecting electron beams perpendicular to the geomagnetic field.
Total Length: 13.0 m. Maximum Diameter: 4.2 m. Total Habitable Volume: 40.00 m3. Total Mass: 18,500 kg. Total Payload: 4,100 kg. Total Propellants: 5,000 kg. Electric system: 6.90 total average kW. Electrical System: Batteries.
- Module: Physics Module. Purpose: Space station module astrophysics. Length: 5.8 m. Basic Diameter: 4.2 m. Max Diameter: 4.2 m. Habitable Volume: 40.00 m3. Overall Mass: 10,600 kg. Payload: 4,100 kg. Electric system type: Solar cells.
|Kvant / SM Jettison - Picture Kvant showing SM jettison 2|
Credit: RKK Energia. 9,440 bytes. 322 x 190 pixels.
Equipment: - Pulsar X-1: 5 gamma ray telescopes for 20-800 kev range with 3 deg fov - Roentgen X-ray observatory - Glazar UV telescope 1150-1350 angstrom range - Unnamed 20-1300 kev range instrument with 180 deg field of view GSPS spectrometer with 3 degree field of view, 1-100 kev range - Hexe, 1.6 degree field of view, 15-200 kev range - TTM coded mask telescope with 2-20 kev range, 7 degree field of view - Phoswich 15-250 kev X-ray spectrometer
- Module: Service Module. Purpose: Space station module tug. Length: 7.2 m. Basic Diameter: 4.2 m. Max Diameter: 4.2 m. Overall Mass: 7,900 kg. Propellants: 5000 Electric system type: Batteries. Remarks: Used only once, tug docked Kvant module to station, then separated and was commanded to destructive reentry over Pacific Ocean. .
17 September 1979
37K space station module authorised
The basic 37K design consisted of a 4.2 m diameter pressurised cylinder with a docking port at the forward end. It was not equipped with its own propulsion system. The original authorisation was for a total of eight 37K's of various configurations. Of these, only the 37K-E (Kvant module of Mir) and the 37KS (instrumentation module in Buran) would fly.
01 November 1983
37KS Modules for Mir cancelled, replaced by FGB modules.
Design and fabrication reached an advanced phase when it was decided that the separate tug concept resulted in too low a net scientific payload (3 tonnes). Integrating the tug with the module was expected to increase this to 5 tonnes and provide some reserve engine capability at Mir and additional pressurised volume. Accordingly the 37KS modules for Mir were cancelled. Work on the 37KE experimental module (Kvant) and the 37KB Buran modules continued. The function of the 37KS modules was taken up by modules by KB Salyut derived from the FGB. A competing proposal from NPO Energia for a unified spacecraft that combined the 37KS module with the engine unit of Mir was rejected.
Credit: Mark Wade. 19,752 bytes. 640 x 224 pixels.
01 January 1985
Mir planned orbit changed to 51.6 degree inclination
This change was made at least partially due to weight growth in the add-on modules, which had become too heavy for the standard Proton launch vehicle.
01 November 1986
Kvant module delivered to Baikonur
Kvant was originally to be launched in late 1986 but problems with its scientific payload resulted in it spending 14 months (versus 5 planned!) at the spacecraft integration hall at Korolev.
31 March 1987
Kvant 1 Program: Mir. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Proton 8K82K. Mass: 20,000 kg. Perigee: 385 km. Apogee: 393 km. Inclination: 51.6 deg. Duration: 2,586.99 days.
MIR module; high energy observatory. Docked with Mir. Rendezvous with Mir 5 April; soft dock 9 April; EVA on 11 April to remove fabric strip from docking apparatus and hard dock; jettisoned service module on 12 April at 22:18
168 km X 278 km orbit to 172 km X 300 km orbit. Delta V: 7 m/s
169 km X 296 km orbit to 172 km X 314 km orbit. Delta V: 5 m/s
170 km X 313 km orbit to 297 km X 345 km orbit. Delta V: 46 m/s
298 km X 344 km orbit to 345 km X 364 km orbit. Delta V: 18 m/s
Service Module only, after undocking with Mir:
345 km X 364 km orbit to 341 km X 363 km orbit. Delta V: 1 m/s
340 km X 361 km orbit to 383 km X 406 km orbit. Delta V: 24 m/s
Total Delta V: 101 m/s
Officially: Extra-atmospheric astronomic research and resolution of a number of problems with scientific and economic applications.
12 April 1987
Kvant docks to Mir
It managed to dock to Mir on the third attempt after the crew removed a trash bag from the docking collar in a space walk. The FGB tug, its work done, then backed away from the station. But the manoeuvres had cut into its already-reduced propellant supply. Unable to deorbit itself to a controlled burn-up in the atmosphere, the FGB was instead commanded to boost itself into a storage orbit 40 km above Mir.
25 August 1988
Kvant FGB Tug re-enters
The FGB tug's multiple docking manoeuvres in April 1987 had cut into its already-reduced propellant supply. Unable to deorbit itself to a controlled burn-up in the atmosphere, the FGB was instead commanded to boost itself into a storage orbit 40 km above Mir. From there its orbit decayed until it made an uncontrolled re-entry.
- 8 - NASA Shuttle-Mir Web, NASA, 1997. HTML when accessed: http://shuttle-mir.nasa.gov/ops/mir/
- 20 - Matson, Dr Wayne R, Editor, Cosmonautics - A Colorful History, Cosmos Books, Washington DC, 1994.
- 182 - Portree, David S. F., Mir Hardware Heritage, NASA Reference Publication 1357, March 1995.
- 453 - Hendrickx, Bart, Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, "The Origins and Evolution of Mir and Its Modules", Vol. 51, P. 203-222, 1998..
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Last update 12 March 2001.
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