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astronautix.com Soyuz OB-VI

Soyuz R
Soyuz R
Soyuz R military research laboratory (conceptual drawing based on description).

Credit: © Mark Wade. 32,334 bytes. 614 x 379 pixels.


In December 1967 OKB-1 chief designer Mishin managed to have Kozlov's Soyuz VI project killed. In its place he proposed to build a manned military station based on his own Soyuz 7K-OK design. Mishin's 11F730 Soyuz VI consisted of on orbital block 11F731 OB-VI and a transport spacecraft Soyuz S (11F732 7K-S). The Soyuz OB-VI would be launched for a 30 day mission into a 51.6 degree orbit at 250 x 270 km, and would use solar panels in the place of Kozlov's nuclear power sources. The orbital block of the OB-VI would have 700 to 1,000 kg of specialised and scientific instruments.

Kozlov at Filial 3 of OKB-1 had been entrusted with development of the Soyuz VI militry version of Soyuz. By August 1967 he was predicting first flight of the VI in 1968. At this point, the Chief Designer of OBK-1, Vasiliy Pavlovich Mishin took an interest in the VI. On 13 October 1967 Mishin began his efforts to take over Kozlovís VI program. His staff in Kaliningrad felt that Kozlov had insulted them by redesigning the VI to rectify the Ďdefectsí of their Soyuz 7K-OK design. They were also fundamentally opposed to the use of radio-isotope power sources, and raised interminable objections about the 800 mm hatch cut into the heat shield (as they did later in the case of Chelomeiís VA). Especially after the heat shield failure of a 7K-OK in January 1967 and its subsequent sinking in the Aral Sea, the Podpliki ĎMafiaí relentlessly criticised Kozlov about the heat shield design. Mishin wrote a letter to Afanasyev and Smirnov, urging them to cancel the 7K-VI program.

In the place of Kozlovís 7K-VI Mishin proposed an OIS consisting of a separately-launched orbital block and a transport Soyuz. This was the exact same concept as Kozlovís cancelled Soyuz-R system, but using Kaliningrad spacecraft in the place of Samara spacecraft. In a November 1967 meeting with Kozlov, Mishin demanded the abandonment of Kozlovís 7K-VI project. Kozlov rejected this and subsequently attempted to recruit Kamanin to his cause. It was all for nought; through various complex machinations Mishin seized control of the project on 8 December 1967. Mishinís revised project was reaffirmed in May 1968.

Mishinís 11F730 Soyuz VI consisted of on orbital block 11F731 OB-VI and a transport spacecraft 11F732 7K-S. The Soyuz would have a crew of two, a probe-drogue docking system and an internal transfer tunnel. It was proposed that two versions of the 7K-S could conduct autonomous flights for military projects. These versions were the 11F733 7K-S-I for short-term research and the 11F734 7K-S-II for longer flights. For resupply of the orbital stations a payload transport craft 7K-SG 11F735 was proposed (This was an ancestor of the Progress spacecraft used to resupply Salyut and Mir space stations).

Mishinís Soyuz VI would be launched for a 30 day mission into a 51.6 degree orbit at 250 x 270 km, and would use solar panels in the place of the nuclear power sources. The orbital block of the OB-VI would have 700 to 1,000 kg of specialised and scientific instruments. Chief Designer for the 11F730 was K D Bushuyev, with veteran spaceplane designer P V Tsybin assisting.

Using Kozlovís groundwork, the draft project OIS 11F730, was issued by TsKBEM and Filial 3 jointly on 21 June 1968. Design materials for the 11F732 7K-S spacecraft were issued on 14 October 1968. In 1969 complete drawings were released for the OIS project including those for the spacecraft 7K-S, 7K-S-I, and 7K-S-II.

It is singularly noticeable that relatively little effort was expended on the OIS by Mishin. Despite his desire to take the project from Kozlov, his bureau was too preoccupied with the L1 and N1-L3 lunar programs and improvement of the 7K-OK after the Soyuz 1 disaster. Nevertheless by 1968 the cosmonaut group in training for the OIS included Aleksei Gubarev, Yuri Glazkov, Vyacheslav Zudov, Eduard Stepanov, Gennadiy Sarafanov, Aleksandr Kramarenko, Leonid Kizim, Aleksandr Petrushenko, and Mikhail Lisun.

At the time of the cancellation of Kovlovís 7K-VI project Mishin promised that the first OIS would be launched in 1969. This was based solely on convincing the military that he could beat Kozlovís 1970 date. Yet by May 1969 Kamaninís diary indicates there was no chance of launching an Almaz or Soyuz VI until 1972. At best no more than seven solo military flights of the Soyuz 7K-S could be expected before 1972.

In December 1969 it was decided that Chelomei would hand over unfinished spaceframes of Almaz stations to Mishin for completion as Salyut DOS-7K space stations. The OIS was cancelled in February 1970 in recognition that it would be available no earlier than the more-capable Salyut or Almaz stations. The Soyuz-VI cosmonaut group was incorporated into the Almaz training group.

The Soyuz 7K-S, however continued in two parallel designs - the base variant, which was for special-purpose military solo missions; and a space station transport variant 7K-ST.


Specification


Soyuz OB-VI Chronology


08 December 1967 Mishin kills Kozlov Soyuz-VI project. Program: Almaz.

On 13 October 1967 Mishin began his efforts to kill the VI program. From the point of view of the 'Podpliki Mafia', Kozlov had insulted them by redesigning the Soyuz VI in light of the defects of their 7K-OK design. They were also fundamentally opposed to the use of radio-isotope power sources, and raised doubts about the 800 mm hatch cut into the heat shield (as they did in the case of Chelomeiís VA). Mishin wrote a letter to Afanasyev and Smirnov, urging them to cancel the 7K-VI program. In the place of Kozlov's VI Mishin proposed his own project for an Soyuz-derived OIS orbital station. In a November 1967 meeting between Mishin and Kozlov Mishin demanded the abandonment of Kozlovís 7K-VI project. Kozlov rejected this and subsequently appealed to Kamanin. Through various complex machinations Mishin seized control of the project on 8 December 1967 and promised that the first OIS would be launched in 1969. Mishinís revised project was reaffirmed in May 1968. Having won the battle, Mishin lost interest. OKB-1 would pursue it at a desultory pace until it was finally cancelled in 1969. In the place of Kozlov's VI Mishin proposed his own project for an orbital station 11F730 Soyuz VI. This would consist of on orbital block 11F731 OB-VI and a transport spacecraft 11F732 7K-S. Through various complex machinations Mishin seized control of the project on 8 December 1967. The new Soyuz VI was designated the OIS 11F730. It would be launched into a lower-inclination 51.6 degree orbit at 250 x 270 km, and would use solar panels in the place of the nuclear power sources.


21 June 1968 Soyuz S Project Completed

The draft project OIS 11F730 was issued jointly by TsKBEM and Filial 3 on 21 June 1968.


14 October 1968 Soyuz S drawings released

Design materials for the 11F732 7K-S spacecraft were issued. In 1969 complete drawings were released for the OIS project including those for the spacecraft 7K-S, 7K-S-I, and 7K-S-II.


21 June 1969 Design issued for OIS military space station. Program: Almaz.

Draft project OIS 11F730, was issued by TsKBEM and filial 3 jointly. In the course of 1969 complete drawings were released for the OIS project including modules for the spacecraft 7K-S, 7K-S-I, and 7K-S-II.


01 February 1970 Space station programs rationalized. Program: Almaz. Launch Vehicle: Proton 8K82K.

Brezhnev orders a cooperative crash program to build a civilian space station to beat Skylab into orbit. The civilian station (later named Salyut) will use the Almaz spaceframe fitted out with Soyuz functional equipment. Mishin's OIS military station was cancelled and Chelomei's Almaz would continue, but as second priority to the civilian station. The Soyuz 7K-S station ferry, the 7K-ST, would be revised to be a more conservative modification of the Soyuz 7K-OK. The OIS cosmonaut group was incorporated into the Almaz group.


11 August 1972 Soyuz 7K-S designs completed

The Soyuz 7K-S had two parallel designs - the base variant, which was for special-purpose military solo missions; and a space station transport variant 7K-ST. The Soyuz 7K-S program was to consist of four unmanned, followed by two manned test flights, then two operational launches.


21 June 1974 State Commission formed to oversee Soyuz-S flight tests

Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) Decree 'On establishment of the State Commission for testing the Soyuz-T' was issued. A State Commission was formed to oversee the flight tests of the solo mission 7K-S. The draft design for 7K-ST space station transport version was completed in August 1974.


01 July 1974 Soyuz 7K-S cancelled; Soyuz 7K-ST continued

The 7K-S was cancelled at the same time as the N1 and the reorganisation of the space industry. Experiments planned for the solo flights were transferred to the Salyut program. The first test vehicle was already at Baikonur being prepared for launch. It was decided to launch the first three unmanned as technology tests - Cosmos 670 (7K-S No.1), Cosmos 772 (7K-S No.2), and Cosmos 869 (7K-S No.3). The Soyuz 7K-ST transport project continued, except now being redesigned for a crew of three. The 7K-ST would eventually fly as the Soyuz T and Soyuz TM ferry to the Salyut 7 and Mir space stations.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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