|OS - N1 launched space station - 1969|
Work on the OS-1 began on 25 September 1962. Following a meeting between Khrushchev and chief designers at Pitsunda, Khrushchev ordered the start of a project to put a 75 tonne manned platform with nuclear weapons into low earth orbit (dubbed elsewhere as 'Battlestar Khrushchev'. Korolev was authorized to proceed immediately to upgrade the three stage N vehicle to a maximum 75 tonne payload in order to launch the station. By 1965 the mockup of the huge station had been completed. Its status after that is unknown. In 1991 engineers from Energia and other design bureaus taught a course on "Russian Manned Space" at MIT. Among them was Dr. Vladimir Karrask, the first chief designer for the UR-500 (Proton), who told of a shroud he designed for the N-1. The shroud was cylindrical - 6 m diameter x 30 m long - with a very "Proton-like" blunt conical top. He indicated that it had flown on the N-1. Another engineer, S. K. Shaevich, stated that flight hardware (including a backup) was ready for the N-1 flights. There are several indications that the last two N-1 flights had the Karrask shroud, and possibly the OS-1 station, mounted on them. At any rate the termination of the N-1 launch vehicle program ended any possibility of launching the station - unless it was the same as the Mir 2 jumbo space station that was planned for launch by the Energia booster in the 1990's.