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astronautix.com Kosmoplan


Spacecraft: US-A.

Nuclear powered RORSAT (Radar Ocean Reconnaisance Satellite). Beginning in the late 1950's, Chelomei began studying use of his encapsulated cruise missile technology for spacecraft. A whole family of unmanned spacecraft, dubbed Kosmoplans, would be built using modular elements. One variant of the Kosmoplan would conduct naval radar and signals reconnaissance, launched by the UR-200 rocket.

In 1959, as Chelomei laid out these plans, he knew a tremendous struggle would be required to wrest a piece of the space programme from Chief Designer Korolev. But Chelomei had stacked the deck against Korolev by hiring Khrushchev's son as a lead engineer at his OKB. By 30 May 1960 Korolev presented to the Soviet leadership a plan that now included participation of Chelomei. One project allocated to Chelomei was theme US - Upravlenniye Sputnik - a naval reconnaissance satellite using a P6 nuclear reactor for active tracking and targeting American warships. This was to be developed in 1962 to 1964. Chelomei was authorised by Decree 715-296 of 23 June 1960 'On the Production of Various Launch Vehicles, Satellites, Spacecraft for the Military Space Forces in 1960-1967' to complete a draft project on unpiloted Kosmoplans.


Spacecraft: Polyot-1.

First prototype model of Chelomei's ASAT, used in an interceptor control and propulsion test. Launched by Korolev R-7 because Chelomei's own UR-200 was not yet available. Purpose - elaboration of system providing for the extensive manoeuvring of space apparatuses. Flight was considered a great success. Micro-engine fired 350 times and main stabilizing engine fired 300 times. Polyot was equipped with 6 x 400 kgf engines and 16 x 1 kgf verniers. It consisted of a cylindrical guidance section, the engine section with spherical propellant tanks, and the forward warhead section.


Spacecraft: Polyot-2. Second prototype model of Chelomei's ASAT, used in interceptor control and propulsion test. Differed in unknown ways from Polyot-1. Elaboration of systems providing for the extensive manouevring of space apparatuses.

Spacecraft: I2-BM. ASAT Target. Not known if actually flown; evidently related to I2M.

Spacecraft: I2P. First operational ASAT. Tested in 1967-1971 and deployed through the late 1970's. Design as revised by Yangel and Korolev from Chelomei's original. Launch vehicle R-36.

Spacecraft: I2M. ASAT Target, launched by R-36. Evidently a derivative of the first I2P ASAT itself. Replaced by the cheaper, lighter ASAT target designed by Yangel for launch by Kosmos launch vehicles.

Spacecraft: US-P.

EORSAT (Electronic Ocean Reconnaisance Satellite). Beginning in the late 1950's, Chelomei began studying use of his encapsulated cruise missile technology for spacecraft. One variant of his 'Kosmoplan' satellites would conduct naval radar and signals reconnaissance.

By 30 May 1960 Korolev presented to the Soviet leadership a space plan that allocated to Chelomei theme US - Upravlenniye Sputnik - a naval reconnaissance satellite, to be developed in 1962 to 1964. Chelomei was authorised by Decree 715-296 of 23 June 1960 to complete a draft project.

On October 13, 1964, Khrushchev, Chelomei's patron, was ousted from power. The new leadership decided to assign the US project to NPO Kometa MPP (Chief Constructor A I Savin), to be launched by Yangel's R-36 rocket.

Two separate versions of the spacecraft were to be developed. The solar-powered US-P would provide ELINT for the Soviet Navy. The spacecraft was still by TsKBM MOM (Chelomei), the US-P's radio intercept system by TsNII-108. Flight tests began in 1965 aboard Tsyklon 2 rockets in two phases. Phase 1 was the US-P (entered service in 1971).


Spacecraft: IS-P. The small ASAT Target used in the second series of tests in 1976-1978.

Spacecraft: IS-A. Modernised ASAT. Tested in 1976-1978 and operational through the late 1980's.

Spacecraft: US-AM. RORSAT (Radar Ocean Reconnaisance Satellite) for location and tracking of US Naval Forces. Modernized version of US-A.

Spacecraft: IS-MU.

Improved modernised ASAT/ABM. Reportedly deployed in 1980's without flight test, replacing IS-A. Accepted into military service in 1991. On a visit to LC-92 at Baikonur, Gorbachev was shown a mock-up of Naryad, which had been developed from Chelomei's original UR-100 dual-purpose concept by D A Polyukhin. A few tests of Naryad were sanctioned when the Buran shuttle was delayed. Since the Soviet Union had a large excess of ICBM's compared to the United States, the idea was to take the surplus ICBM's and equip them with anti-satellite/anti-ballistic missile homing vehicles in place of their nuclear warheads. This would have created a 'Space Echelon of Anti-rocket Forces'


Spacecraft: US-PM.

EORSAT (Electronic Ocean Reconnaisance Satellite) proivding ELINT services for Soviet Navy. Second generation systems were be developed in the second half of the 1970's and deployed in the first half of the 1980's. The modernized naval reconnaissance system Idoegramma-Pirs consisting of systems Pirs-1 and Pirs-2. These evidently correspond to the satellites designted US-PM and US-PU, but it is not known which corresponds to which and and which launches represent one or the other type. Modernized version of US-P; stationed at 120 degree intervals on the same orbit with a 0 degree ascending node.


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Last update 28 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .