|Rotor Soyuz - Heavily dented model of Soyuz capsule used in test of rotor recovery system.|
Credit: Jakob Terweij. 31,167 bytes. 395 x 262 pixels.
In the second quarter of 1963, when Korolev had begun design of the Voskhod multi-manned spacecraft, he instructed his bureau to begin design of a three-manned orbital version of the Soyuz, the 7K-OK. Korolev finally obtained approval for this spacecraft in the decree of 3 December 1963.
The 7K-OK earth-orbit version of Soyuz as developed in accordance with the decrees of 16 April 1962 and 3 December 1963 was to be capable of the following:
The 7K Soyuz spacecraft was initially designed for rendezvous and docking operations in near earth orbit. In the definitive December 1962 Soyuz draft project, the Soyuz-A appeared as a two-place spacecraft. The Soyuz would have been launched on a lunar flyby after successive launches of 11K tanker spacecraft with a 9K translunar injection stage.
Korolev understood very well that financing for a project of this scale would only be forthcoming from the Ministry of Defence. Therefore his draft project proposed two additional modifications of the 7K: the Soyuz-P (Perekhvatchik, Interceptor) space interceptor and the Soyuz-R (Razvedki, intelligence) command-reconnaissance spacecraft. The VVS and the rocket forces supported these improved variants of the Soyuz. But Korolev had no time to work on what he considered a Soyuz Ďside-lineí. Therefore it was decided that OKB-1 would concentrate only on development of the Soyuz-A spacecraft, while the military projects Soyuz-P and Soyuz-R were Ďsubcontractedí to OKB-1 Filial number 3, based in Samara.
To Korolevís frustration, while Filial 3 received budget to develop the military Soyuz versions, his own Soyuz-A did not receive the support of the leadership for inclusion in the space program of the USSR. The 7K-9K-11K plan would have required five successful automatic dockings to succeed. This seemed impossible at the time. Instead Chelomeiís LK-1 single-manned spacecraft, to be placed on a translunar trajectory in a single launch of his UR-500K rocket, was the preferred approach.
Credit: © Mark Wade. 3,949 bytes. 333 x 213 pixels.
The landing capsule could accommodate a crew of up to three. It was 2.16 m long and had a diameter of 2.2 m. On re-entry it produced a hypersonic L/D ratio of 0.2 to 0.3. It was equipped with 14 translation/orientation engines; 16 orientation engines; 6 re-entry orientation engines; 4 small correction engines; and 2 rendezvous and correction engines. The 11A511 launch vehicle designed for the spacecraft had a gross lift-off mass of 308 tonnes, was 45.6 m long, 10.3 m maximum span, and had a total burn time of 538.5 seconds. The design orbit was 205 km circular at 51.68 degrees inclination. The first flight took place on 28 November 1966 and the programme was completed on 31 December 1971. Spacecraft used for space station operations had indexes 7KT.
On 25 October 1965, less than three months before his death, Korolev regained the project for manned circumlunar flight. This would use a derivative of the 7K-OK, the 7K-L1, launched by Chelomeiís UR-500K, but with a Block D translunar injection stage from the N1. Originally Korolev considered that the 7K-L1, for either safety or mass reasons, could not be boosted directly by the UR-500K toward the moon. He envisioned launch of the unmanned 7K-L1 into low earth orbit, followed by launch and docking of a 7K-OK with the 7K-L1. The crew would then transfer to the L1, which would then be boosted toward the moon. This was the reason for the development of the 7K-OK.
|Panel Soyuz 7K-OK - Control panel of the initial earth orbit version of Soyuz.|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 11,752 bytes. 723 x 288 pixels.
In June 1965 Gemini 4 began the first American experiments in military space. In August 1965, the Soviet military ordered that urgent measures be taken to test manned military techniques in orbit at the earliest possible date. Modifications were to be made by Kozlov to the Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft for this purpose. However the first orbital launch of the 7K-OK in November 1966 a large number of failures occurred, indicating many errors in construction. The spacecraft was uncontrollable and was finally destroyed by the on-board APO destruct system.
On the second launch attempt on 14 December, the Soyuz incorrectly detected a failure of the launch vehicle at 27 minutes after an aborted launch attempt. The launch escape system activated while the vehicle was still fuelled on the pad, pulling the capsule away from the vehicle but exploding the launch vehicle and killing and injuring several people. Analysis of the failure indicated numerous problems in the escape system. In order not to inherit the problems of the 7K-OK, Kozlovís 7K-VI was completely redesigned. The final design owed little to the 7K-OK. After many twists and turns the Soyuz VI project was eventually cancelled.
|Soyuz OM interior - Interior view of Soyuz 4 orbital module (through open side hatch)|
Credit: Andy Salmon. 31,169 bytes. 346 x 487 pixels.
Soyuz Guidance and Controls
The re-entry manoeuvre was normally handled automatically by radio command. Spacecraft attitude in relation to the local motion along the orbit was determined by sun sensors, infrared horizon sensors and ion gauges, which could detect the spacecraft's direction of motion by the greater velocity of ions impacting the spacecraft in the direction of motion.
The cosmonaut could however take manual control of the spacecraft and manually re-enter. This was done by using the ingenious Vzor periscope device. This had a central view and eight ports arranged in a circle around the centre. When the spacecraft was perfectly centred in respect to the horizon, all eight of the ports would be lit up. Alignment along the orbit was judged by getting lines on the main scope to be aligned with the landscape flowing by below. In this way, the spacecraft could be oriented correctly for the re-entry manoeuvre.
|Soyuz escape tower - Soyuz launch escape system - air tunnel test model|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 26,778 bytes. 316 x 420 pixels.
This manual system would obviously only be used during daylight portions of the orbit. At night the dark mass of the earth could not have been lined up with the optical Vzor device. The automatic system would work day or night. However problems were found on Soyuz 1 when the ion gauges would not function in ion 'pockets' of low density in the re-entry manoeuvre portion of the orbit.
The Soyuz kept (to this day) the little globe and Vzor system. The Soyuz 7K-OK had no on-board inertial navigation system. To perform an orbital manoeuvre, the parameters for an orbital manoeuvre would be transmitted from the ground. When the time came for a manoeuvre, the spacecraft would align itself to the local vertical and direction of motion by the methods mentioned above (automatic or manual). Then three gyros would be spun up, the spacecraft manoeuvred automatically or manually to the required attitude for the manoeuvre, and the main engine would fire automatically at the prescribed time to make the orbit change. There is a simple delta-v gauge showing the velocity change. Since the Soyuz thrust to weight is so low (around 0.06, or only half a meter per second) this meant the manoeuvres could be handled manually without much error (on re-entry burns the practice was to count to five after the engine was supposed to shut off before overriding it!)
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Craft.Crew Size: 3. Design Life: 10 days. Orbital Storage: 35.00 days. Total Length: 8.0 m. Maximum Diameter: 2.7 m. Total Habitable Volume: 9.00 m3. Total Mass: 6,560 kg. Total Propellants: 500 kg. Primary Engine Thrust: 417 kgf. Main Engine Propellants: Nitric Acid/Hydrazine. Main Engine Isp: 282 sec. Total spacecraft delta v: 390 m/s. Electric system: 0.50 total average kW. Electrical System: Solar panel span: 9.80 m, area: 14.00 sq. m.
|Soyuz 7K-OK Top|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 14,866 bytes. 700 x 700 pixels.
Docking System: Heavy-Duty. Probe: Male/Female. Tunnel: None. Collar Length (m): 0.8. Probe Length (m): 0.54. Base Diameter(m): 1.632. Ring Diameter(m): 1.53. Rendezvous System: Igla. Antenna: Heavy Mounts. Tower: Two-Dish. Orbital Module: Standard. Length (m): 2.11. Windows: Four. OM Separation: After retro.
|Soyuz 7K-OK Side|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 7,187 bytes. 379 x 679 pixels.
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On the Development of the 'Soyuz' Complex for Piloted flight to the Moon--approving the Soyuz program for circumlunar flight' was issued. The Soyuz was to be capable of the following:
Soyuz 'leaves drafting boards'.
|Soyuz 7K-OK Bottom|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 12,341 bytes. 718 x 685 pixels.
The 7K-OK earth-orbit version of Soyuz was developed in accordance with the design made under the prior decree of 16 April 1962. It was to be capable of automatic rendezvous and docking with other spacecraft.
Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) Decree 'On creation of military Voskhod and Soyuz spacecraft' was issued.
Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) Decree 180 'On the Order of Work on the Soyuz Complex--approval of the schedule of work for Soyuz spacecraft' was issued.
|Soyuz OPS - Soyuz escape tower (as used on early Soyuz launches)|
Credit: Andy Salmon. 20,050 bytes. 259 x 424 pixels.
Decree 144 'On assessing preparations for flights of the 7K-OK spacecraft' was issued.
OKB-1 Decree 144 'On preparation of crews ior the 7K-OK Spacecraft and civilian cosmonauts' was issued.
|Soyuz 4 and 5 - Soyuz 4 and 5 in docked configuration|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 13,599 bytes. 539 x 137 pixels.
Second attempted flight of Soyuz 7K-OK (the spacecraft planned for the linkup with Ksomos 133). An analogue to Mercury Redstone's 'day we launched the tower' but with more disastorous consequences. The core stage ignited, but the strap-ons did not. A booster shutdown was commanded. The service towers were brought back around the booster, and ground crew began work to defuel the launch vehicle. At 27 minutes after the original launch attempt, the Soyuz launch escape system, having received the signal that liftoff had occurred, detected that the booster was not on course (either because a tower arm nudged the booster or because the earth's rotation as detected by the gyros had moved the spacecraft out of limits relative to its original inertial position). The launch escape system ignited, pulling the Soyuz away from the booster, igniting the third stage fuel tanks, leading to an explosion that severely damaged the pad and killed at least one person (the Soviet Rocket Forces major supervising the launch team) and injured many others.
|Soyuz 7K-OK probe - Soyuz 7K-OK docking probe|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 41,498 bytes. 387 x 486 pixels.
After the self-destruction of the first Soyuz 7K-OK on re-entry, and the loss of the second one on the pad fire in December, the state commission ruled that the third 7K-OK model would be flown unpiloted on a solo mission. If this was successful then the fourth and fifth Soyuz would be flown on a manned docking mission. Once in orbit Cosmos 140 experienced attitude control problems due to a faulty star sensor resulting in excessive fuel consumption. The spacecraft couldn't keep the required orientation towards the sun to keep the solar panels illuminated, and the batteries discharged. Despite all of these problems the spacecraft remained controllable. An attempted manoeuvre on the 22nd revolution still showed problems with the control system. It malfunctioned yet again during retrofire, leading to a steeper than planned uncontrolled ballistic re-entry. The re-entry capsule itself had depressurised on separation from the service module due to a fault in the base of the capsule. A 300 mm hole burned through in the heat shield during re-entry. Although such events would have been lethal to any human occupants, the capsule's recovery systems operated and the capsule crashed through the ice of the frozen Aral Sea, 3 km from shore and 500 kilometres short of the intended landing zone. The spacecraft finally sank in 10 meters of water and had to be retrieved by divers. Still, the mission was deemed 'good enough' for the next mission to be a manned two-craft docking and crew transfer space spectacular. Mishin and Kamanin felt that a human crew could have sorted out the problems. They were also under intense pressure to achieve a manned circumlunar flight before the 50th Anniversary of the Soviet Revolution in October.
|Soyuz OK panel - Detail of left command panel of Soyuz OK|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 23,713 bytes. 294 x 456 pixels.
Space disaster that put back Soviet lunar program 18 months. Soyuz 1 as active spacecraft was launched first. Soyuz 2, with a 3 man crew would launch the following day, with 2 cosmonauts spacewalking to Soyuz 1. However immediately after orbital insertion Komarov's problems started. One of the solar panels failed to deploy, staying wrapped around the service module. Although only receiving half of the planned solar power, an attempt was made to manoeuvre the spacecraft. This failed because of interference of the reaction control system exhaust with the ion flow sensors that were one of the Soyuz' main methods of orientation. The decision was then made to bring Komarov back. Re-entry was successful and the drag chute deployed. However due to a failure of a pressure sensor, the main parachute would not deploy. Komarov released the reserve chute, but it became tangled with the drag chute. The descent module crashed into a field near Orenburg at 7 am. Additional Details: Soyuz 1.
|Soyuz OM panel - Detail of orbital module command panel of Soyuz OK|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 35,169 bytes. 573 x 391 pixels.
The first manned Soyuz flights were an attempt at an 'all up' manned rendezvous, docking, and crew transfer spectacular (eventually accomplished by Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5). Komarov was the pilot for the Soyuz 1 active spacecraft, which would be launched first. Soyuz 2, with the crew of Bykovsky, Khrunov, and Yeliseyev would launch the following day, with Khrunov and Yeliseyev space-walking to Soyuz 1 and returning to earth with Komarov. Komarov's spacecraft developed serious problems after launch, including the failure of one of the spacecraft's solar panels to deploy. The Soyuz 2 crew were given the order to rendezvous with Soyuz 1 and to try during the planned EVA to unfold the undeployed solar panel. But the launch of Soyuz 2 was cancelled due to heavy rain at the cosmodrome. Low on power and battery reserves, Komarov made an attempt to land the following day. Parachute failure led to the crash of Soyuz 1 and the death of Komarov. After the disaster the Soyuz 2 spacecraft was checked, and the parachute system had the same technical failure. If Soyuz 2 had launched, the docking may have been successful, but then both spacecraft would have crashed on landing, killing four cosmonauts instead of one.
|Gas dynamic tunnel - Gas dynamic tunnel tests|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 32,862 bytes. 568 x 324 pixels.
Docked with Cosmos 188; First automated docking. Recovered October 31, 1967 08:20 GMT. Achieved automatic rendezvous on second attempt. Capture achieved but hard docking and electric connections unsuccessful due to misallignment of spacecraft. Star tracker failed and had to make a high-G ballistic re-entry. Additional Details: Cosmos 186.
Docking target craft for Cosmos 186, which achieved world's first automatic rendezvous on second attempt. Capture achieved but hard docking and electric connections unsuccessful due to misallignment of spacecraft. Ion flow sensor failed and Cosmos 188 had to make a high-G uncontrolled re-entry. When it deviated too far off course, destroyed by the on-board self-destruct system, November 2, 1967 09:10 GMT.
Officially: Investigation of outer space, development of new systems and elements to be used in the construction of space devices. Additional Details: Cosmos 188.
|Soyuz 7K-OK Icon - Soyuz 7K-OK|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 1,114 bytes. 173 x 136 pixels.
20 cosmonauts begin training for lunar landing. Decision after a year of acrimonious argument between Korolev OKB and military. Final slate: Air Force: Bykovsky, Filipchenko, Gorbatko, Khrunov, Kuklin, Leonov, Nikolayev, Shonin, Voloshin, Volonov. OKB: Feoktistov, Grechko, Kubasov, Makarov, Nikitski, Rukavishnikov, Sevastyanov, Volkov, Yazdovski, Yeliseyev.
Docked with Cosmos 213. Recovered April 19, 1968 08:10 GMT. Successful test of Soyuz 7K-OK attitude control, automatic rendezvous and docking systems. Both spacecraft recovered, but one was dragged by heavy wind across the steppes when the parachute line didn't jettison. Additional Details: Cosmos 212.
|Soyuz orbital module - Soyuz 7K-OKS passive docking orbital module|
Credit: Andy Salmon. 29,403 bytes. 340 x 487 pixels.
Recovered September 1, 1968 9:03 GMT. Final test of redesigned Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft for Soyuz 3 manned mission.
Target for Soyuz 3. Joint flight with: Soyuz 3. Recovered October 28, 1968 7:51 GMT. Docking with Soyuz 3 a failure; unmanned.
177km X 196km orbit to 184km X 230km orbit. Delta V: 12 m/s.
Officially: Complex testing of spaceship systems in conditions of space flight.
|Soyuz control panel - Soyuz orbital module control panel|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 41,812 bytes. 501 x 391 pixels.
Second manned Soyuz flight. Rendezvoused with the unmanned Soyuz 2 but failed to dock. Complex testing of spaceship systems; development, in joint flight with space ship Soyuz 2 of processes of space ship manoeuvring and docking in artificial earth satellite orbit; development of elements of celestial navigation; conduct of research under space flight conditions. The failed docking was blamed on manual control of the Soyuz by Beregovoi, who repeatedly put the spacecraft in an orientation that nulled the automatic docking system. Beregovoi used nearly all of his orientation fuel in his first attempt to dock - of 80 kg allocated, only 8 to 10 kg was remaining. Recovered October 30, 1968 7:25 GMT. Additional Details: Soyuz 3.
|Soyuz 7K-OK BO - Soyuz 7K-OK Orbital Module with female docking unit|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 30,068 bytes. 310 x 434 pixels.
Commander Volynov shuttled the EVA crew of Yeliseyev and Khrunov into earth orbit. A day later Soyuz 4 docked with Soyuz 5. The Soyuz 4 active spacecraft was equipped with a long docking probe, designated 'Shtir'. The Soyuz 5 target spacecraft was equipped with the 'Konus' receptacle. The symbology lead Volynov to joke that he 'was being raped' when the hard docking was accomplished. Khrunov and Yeliseyev transferred to and returned in Soyuz 4, the feat they had hoped to accomplish in the cancelled Soyuz 2 flight almost two years earlier. Officially the flight conducted scientific, technical and medico-biological research, checking and testing of onboard systems and design elements of space craft, docking of piloted space craft and construction of an experimental space station, transfer of cosmonauts from one craft to another in orbit.
Volynov remained behind to live through the most unbelievable re-entry in the history of spaceflight. The service module of the Soyuz failed to separate after retrofire. Once the Soyuz started reaching the tendrils of the atmosphere, the combined spacecraft sought the most aerodynamically stable position - nose forward, with the heavy descent module with its light metal entry hatch at the front, the less dense service module with its flared base to the back. Luckily the struts between the descent and service modules broke off or burned through before the hatch melted through and the descent module righted itself, with the heat shield to the rear, before being consumed. Due to a failure of the soft-landing rockets the landing was harder than usual and Volynov broke his teeth. Recovered January 18, 1969 07:58 GMT. Additional Details: Soyuz 5.
Transfer of crew between two docked spacecraft; test of technique needed for Soviet lunar landing.
Tested spacecraft systems and designs, manoeuvring of space craft with respect to each other in orbit, conducted scientific, technical and medico-biological experiments in group flight. Carried Vulkan welding furnace for vacuum welding experiments in depressurized orbital module. Was to have taken spectacular motion pictures of Soyuz 7 - Soyuz 8 docking but failure of rendezvous electronics in all three craft due to new helium pressurization integrity test prior to mission did not permit successful rendezvous and dockings. Recovered October 16, 1969 9:52 GMT. Additional Details: Soyuz 6.
Tested spacecraft systems and designs, manoeuvring of space craft with respect to each other in orbit, conducted scientific, technical and medico-biological experiments in group flight. Was to have docked with Soyuz 8 and transferred crew while Soyuz 6 took film from nearby. However failure of rendezvous electronics in all three craft due to a new helium pressurization integrity test prior to the mission did not permit successful rendezvous and dockings. Recovered October 17, 1969 9:26 GMT. Additional Details: Soyuz 7.
Tested spacecraft systems and designs, manoeuvring of space craft with respect to each other in orbit, conducted scientific, technical and medico-biological experiments in group flight. Was to have docked with Soyuz 7 and transferred crew while Soyuz 6 took film from nearby. However failure of rendezvous electronics in all three craft due to a new helium pressurization integrity test prior to the mission did not permit successful rendezvous and dockings. Recovered October 18, 1969 10:19 GMT. Additional Details: Soyuz 8.
Manned flight endurance test. Medico-biological, scientific and technical studies and experiments in prolonged orbital flight. Inconclusive results due to slow sun-oriented rotation of spacecraft to conserve fuel producing motion sickness in cosmonauts. Recovered June 19, 1970 11:59 GMT. Additional Details: Soyuz 9.
Energia Decree 'On suspension of work on the N1 -L3' was issued.