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Other Designations: Transportniy Korabl Snabzheniya. Article Number: 11F72. Manufacturer's Designation: TKS. Class: Manned. Type: Spacecraft. Nation: Russia. Manufacturer: OKB-52.

Chelomei proposed replacement of the 11F72 Soyuz 7K-TK with his own transport-supply spacecraft 11F72 (transportniy korabl snabzheniya - TKS). This would consist of the 11F74 VA landing capsule and a new 11F77 Functional-Cargo Block (funktsionalno-gruzovoy blok, FGB). The TKS was designed to ferry a crew of three and a large load of supplies to the Almaz space station. It matched the Almaz itself in size and had the same mass and used the same Proton launch vehicle. On 16 June 1970 Kozlovís Soyuz-R was finally canceled and replaced by the TKS as the resupply craft for Almaz under Central Party decree 437-160.

TKS Manned FerryTKS Manned Ferry - TKS manned space station ferry.

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Due to development delays, the first two Almaz that reached orbit did not use the planned TKS crew ferry. Manned Almaz flights were canceled, but work on the TKS continued. It finally flew on 3 successful test flights to the Salyut 6 and Salyut 7 space stations. The VA reentry capsule was tested on the Cosmos 929 and 1443 flights, as well on 7 special Proton launches. However they were never used to return a crew to earth. The FGB aft portion of the TKS was also used in the Polyus star wars battle station, and as a tug to deliver the Kvant module to the Mir station. Derivatives of the TKS were used as the Priroda, Kvant-2, Kristall and Spektr modules of Mir, as well as the Zarya first module of the International Space Station.

Kosmos 1267/Salyut 7Kosmos 1267/Salyut 7 - Kosmos 1267 / Salyut 7

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Vladimir Nikolaevich Chelomei headed a competing space design bureau OKB-52 and was Korolevís arch-rival. He had prospered in the early 1960ís when he was backed by Khrushchev. On 12 October 1964, only two days before the overthrow of his patron, Chelomei obtained permission to begin development of a larger military space station, the Almaz. This 20 tonne station would take three cosmonauts to orbit in a single launch of his UR-500K Proton rocket. Therefore in 1965 there were two competing projects in development for the same mission - Chelomeiís Almaz and Korolevís Soyuz-R, being handled by Kozlov at Korolevís Filial 1 in Samara.

TKS modelTKS model - TKS model. From left to right note launch escape system, VA reentry capsule, main body with longitudinal fuel tanks and stowed solar arrays, docking system and EVA hand rails at base.

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In January 1966 Korolev died unexpectedly and OKB-1 was leaderless. Chelomei obtained a decision that Kozlovís Soyuz-R space station would be canceled and the Almaz would take its place. Kozlov was ordered to hand over to Chelomei all of the work completed to that date. However at the same time the leadership directed that Kozlovís Soyuz-R 7K-TK ferry continue in development to transport crews to the Almaz. In Samara, work continued with release of the technical documentation of the 7K-TK. However due to delays in the Almaz all work was suspended on 28 December 1966. In 1967 it was foreseen that the Almaz/Soyuz 7K-TK system would be tested in 1968 and enter service in 1969.

TKS VA interiorTKS VA interior - TKS VA interior - Chelomei School, Leninsk

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Chelomei continued his efforts to eradicate any OKB-1 content from the Almaz project. His draft project of 21 June 1967 showed the 11F71 Almaz station to consist of an 11F75 orbital block and an 11F74 VA landing apparatus (derived from the Apollo-type capsule he had designed for his LK-1 circumlunar spacecraft). The revised Almaz design would eliminate the need for the Soyuz 7K-TK. Finally in 1970 Chelomei proposed and managed to obtain approval for development of the TKS as the ferry spacecraft for Almaz.

TKS modelTKS model - TKS model. Closeup of docking system at base.

Credit: © Dietrich Haeseler. 20,709 bytes. 285 x 322 pixels.

Craft.Crew Size: 3. Design Life: 7 days. Orbital Storage: 200.00 days. Total Length: 17.5 m. Maximum Diameter: 4.2 m. Total Habitable Volume: 45.00 m3. Total Mass: 17,510 kg. Total Payload: 12,600 kg. Total Propellants: 3,822 kg. Primary Engine Thrust: 800 kgf. Main Engine Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. Main Engine Isp: 291 sec. Total spacecraft delta v: 700 m/s. Electric system: 2.40 total average kW. Electrical System: Solar panels 17 m span 40 sq m.

TKS Chronology

16 June 1970 Development of TKS ferry for Almaz authorised. Soyuz 7K-TK cancelled Launch Vehicle: Proton 8K82K.

Decree 437-160 'On creation of the TKS and termination of the 7K-TK' was issued. In 1969 Chelomei proposed replacement of the 11F72 Soyuz 7K-TK with his own transport-supply spacecraft 11F72 (transportnovo korablya snabzheniya - TKS). This would consist of the same 11F74 VA landing capsule used on the Almaz station, together with a new 11F77 functional-cargo block (funktsionalno-gruzovovo blok, FGB). This would transport three crew and sufficient supplies for 90 day operation of the Almaz.

Lunar SpacecraftLunar Spacecraft - Comparison of Chelomei manned spacecraft. Left to right: Chelomei LK-1 circumlunar spacecraft with UR-500K third stage. Chelomei LK-700 lunar landing spacecraft. Chelomei TKS space station resupply tug. Competing Korolev Soyuz 7K-L1 circumlunar spacecraft with Block D translunar injection stage and UR-500K third stage.

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15 June 1972 Almaz / TKS project rescheduled. Launch Vehicle: Proton 8K82K.

Ministry of General Machine Building (MOM) Decree 'On schedule of work for the Almaz and TKS programs' was issued.

19 January 1976 Almaz / TKS flight tests approved.

Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 46-13 'On course of work on Almaz and the TKS' was issued.

17 July 1977 Cosmos 929 Program: Almaz. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Proton 8K82K. Mass: 19,000 kg. Perigee: 226 km. Apogee: 260 km. Inclination: 51.6 deg. Duration: 199.62 days.

TKS capsule exteriorTKS capsule exterior - The landing capsule of the three crew military TKS transport/resupply spacecraft for the Almaz space station. Called Ďour Apolloí by cosmonaut Leonov. After separation of the capsule from the Almaz the retrorocket assembly at top deorbited the capsule. TKS capsules (VA is the Russian acronym) flew 13 times between 1976 and 1983, ten times in capsule tests, three times as part of complete TKS spacecraft which docked with Salyut space stations. They were never flown manned.

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First test of TKS manned shuttle. Maneuvered extensively. TKS-VA capsule returned to earth August 16, 1977. Deorbited February 2, 1978.
Maneuver Summary:
214 km X 261 km orbit to 215 km X 279 km orbit. Delta V: 5 m/s
207 km X 261 km orbit to 208 km X 264 km orbit. Delta V: 1 m/s
208 km X 260 km orbit to 209 km X 267 km orbit. Delta V: 2 m/s
192 km X 222 km orbit to 219 km X 232 km orbit. Delta V: 9 m/s
219 km X 232 km orbit to 303 km X 327 km orbit. Delta V: 51 m/s
303 km X 327 km orbit to 312 km X 318 km orbit. Delta V: 4 m/s
312 km X 319 km orbit to 314 km X 325 km orbit. Delta V: 1 m/s
284 km X 294 km orbit to 290 km X 301 km orbit. Delta V: 3 m/s
288 km X 300 km orbit to 286 km X 305 km orbit. Delta V: 1 m/s
285 km X 303 km orbit to 439 km X 447 km orbit. Delta V: 84 m/s
437 km X 448 km orbit to 335 km X 437 km orbit. Delta V: 31 m/s
335 km X 437 km orbit to 337 km X 438 km orbit. Delta V: 1 m/s
337 km X 438 km orbit to 90 km X 337 km orbit. Delta V: 100 m/s
Total Delta V: 193/293 m/s
Officially: Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space.

TKS capsule detail 1TKS capsule detail 1 - The BSO (Bloka Skhoda s Orbiti - Deorbit Block) mounted on top of the VA capsule weighed 450 kg and allowed the capsule to maneuver and orient itself after separation from the FGB for retrofire and return to the earth.

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01 January 1978 Manned Almaz program terminated Program: Almaz.

Almaz station portion of the project already severely cut back after Marshal Grechko's heart attack in early 1976. Chelomei lost his most active patron and was unable to withstand the slow strangulation of his projects by Ustinov and Glushko. Almaz finally completely scrapped in 1980, but Chelomei hid the completed space stations in a corner of his complex, labelling them as 'radioactive material'. Chelomei finally forced to retire in October 1983. TKS shuttle craft used to dock with Salyut stations but never in manned mode. Following Ustinov's death, Almaz stations finally flown as unmanned radarsats, but Chelomei did not live to see this.

TKS capsule interiorTKS capsule interior - The right control panel of the TKS. The earth globe instrument, also used in Vostok, Salyut, Almaz, and Soyuz, showed the crew at all times their position over the earth. It also allowed them to determine their landing site in the case of a manual re-entry or loss of communications with the ground.

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01 February 1979 Almaz cancelled and consolidated with Mir

Following the decision to cancel Chelomei's manned Almaz military space station programme, a resolution consolidated the programs, with the Mir docking ports to be reinforced to accommodate 20 tonne space station modules based on Chelomei's TKS manned ferry spacecraft. NPO Energia was made responsible for the overall space station, but subcontracted the work to KB Salyut due to the press of in-house work on Energia, Salyut 7, Soyuz-T, and Progress. The subcontractor began work in the summer of 1979.

TKS capsule interiorTKS capsule interior - At the junction of the left and right instrument panels of the TKS was a Vzor optical device, as used in Vostok and Soyuz. The Vzor allowed the crew to line up the spacecraft for retrofire and return to earth even if all other spacecraft systems failed.

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01 January 1981 TKS-1 Program: Almaz. Flight Crew: Berezovoi, Glazkov, Makrushin.

Planned first test manned flight of the TKS large ferry craft. Would have docked with the Almaz OPS 4 military space station. Flight cancelled with the rest of the Almaz program in 1981. The spacecraft was instead flown unmanned to Salyut 6 as Cosmos 1267.

01 April 1981 TKS-2 Program: Almaz. Flight Crew: Kozelsky, Artyukhin, Romanov.

TKS capsule interiorTKS capsule interior - Left control panel of the descent capsule of the TKS spacecraft. The TKS crew instruments were assembled from the same building blocks as those used in the Soyuz series of spacecraft. The standard clock, used since Vostok, is in the top middle of the panel. The large central panel was used to call up sequences of automated spacecraft procedures.

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Second TKS flight that would have docked with the cancelled Almaz OPS 4 military space station. The spacecraft was instead flown unmanned to Salyut 7 as Cosmos 1443.
25 April 1981 Cosmos 1267 Program: Almaz. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Proton 8K82K. Mass: 19,000 kg. Perigee: 192 km. Apogee: 259 km. Inclination: 51.6 deg. Duration: 459.91 days.

TKS space station ferry. Flown unmanned to the Salyut 6 space station after the Almaz military station program was cancelled. Capsule recovered 24 May 1981. Docked with Salyut 6 on June 19 at 10:52 AM MT after 57 days autonomous flight. Deorbited and destroyed with Salyut July 29, 1982. Additional Details: Cosmos 1267.

TKS capsule hatchTKS capsule hatch - The crew of the TKS went from the descent capsule to the main spacecraft cabin through this hatch in the heat shield of the capsule. The central crew couch folded up to give access to the hatch. A similar arrangement was to be used in Gemini B for the USAF MOL (Manned Orbiting Laboratory).

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01 August 1981 TKS-3 Program: Almaz. Flight Crew: Sarafanov, Preobrazhensky, Yuyukov.

Third TKS flight that would have docked with the cancelled Almaz OPS 4 military space station. The spacecraft was instead flown unmanned to Salyut 7 as Cosmos 1686. For that mission the VA reentry capsule was retained but stripped of its heat shield and all recovery equpment. In their place military optical test sensors (infrared telescope and Ozon spectrometer) were installed.

37K Comparison37K Comparison

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02 March 1983 Cosmos 1443 Program: Almaz. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Proton 8K82K. Mass: 20,000 kg. Perigee: 194 km. Apogee: 261 km. Inclination: 51.6 deg. Duration: 200.62 days.

TKS manned ferry spacecraft from the cancelled Almaz OPS-4 mission. Flown unmanned to the Salyut 7 space station. Docked with Salyut 7 on 4 March 1983. Separated from Salyut 7 on 14 August. The VA re-entry capsule separated and the space station deorbited itself on September 19, 1983 at 0:28 GMT. The VA capsule continued in space for four more days, demonstrating autonomous flight, before successfully re-entering on 23 August 1983. Returned 350 kg of material from the station. Additional Details: Cosmos 1443.

Cos1663DCos1663D - TKS - Cosmos 1663 Configuration

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27 September 1985 Cosmos 1686 Program: Almaz. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Proton 8K82K. Mass: 20,000 kg. Perigee: 280 km. Apogee: 284 km. Inclination: 51.6 deg. Duration: 1,958.80 days.

Modification of cancelled TKS manned ferry; docked with Salyut 7. All landing systems were removed from the VA re-entry capsule and replaced with military optical sensor experiments (infrared telescope and Ozon spectrometer). Burned up in the atmosphere and together with the Salyut 7 station over Argentina on February 7, 1991 04:00 GMT. Re-entered with unused 3 m diameter recoverable capsule of 2-3,000 kg mass, solid rocket motors, and cesium sensors.

Maneuver Summary:
172 km X 302 km orbit to 284 km X 319 km orbit. Delta V: 36 m/s
281 km X 315 km orbit to 290 km X 336 km orbit. Delta V: 8 m/s
290 km X 336 km orbit to 335 km X 352 km orbit. Delta V: 16 m/s
Maneuvers after docking with Salyut 7:
336 km X 353 km orbit to 338 km X 358 km orbit. Delta V: 1 m/s
338 km X 358 km orbit to 358 km X 359 km orbit. Delta V: 5 m/s
331 km X 333 km orbit to 333 km X 385 km orbit. Delta V: 14 m/s
333 km X 385 km orbit to 332 km X 468 km orbit. Delta V: 23 m/s
332 km X 468 km orbit to 466 km X 468 km orbit. Delta V: 37 m/s
466 km X 468 km orbit to 470 km X 475 km orbit. Delta V: 2 m/s
470 km X 475 km orbit to 475 km X 475 km orbit. Delta V: 1 m/s
Total Delta V: 143 m/s
Officially: Testing the equipment, assemblies and design components of a satellite in various modes of flight, including joint flight with the Salyut-7 station.


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Last update 12 March 2001.
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