[FPSPACE] The Mystery of Almaz OPS-4
Kosmos327 at aol.com
Kosmos327 at aol.com
Wed Nov 14 12:26:19 EST 2007
Hello fellow FPSpacers,
I'm sure most of you have experienced the challenge of putting together a
puzzle - whether it be a 500 piece interlocking view of Big Ben, or the clues
left in a murder mystery by Agatha Christie. Likewise, you have also felt the
exhilaration of that moment when it all comes together in your mind, and you
say to yourself, "I'VE GOT IT!"
If you look back through the archives of the FPSpace postings you'll see
that I have presented many questions about the Almaz/TKS/VA program. Most have
been about technical details such as the location of the VA's soft landing
engines, or whether or not the Salyut-5 had a Synthetic Aperture Radar? I've
gotten the answer to most all of these "little things," but there has been one
line of questioning concerning the OPS-4 station that has always alluded me
... until now.
I received an image the other day which intrigued me. It was a cross-section
of an Almaz station which seemed "out of place". It was like finding pieces
in that Big Ben puzzle which did interlock, but were not on the box cover.
Then you realize that it is what it's supposed to be, but seen from a different
perspective. And just like in that Agatha Christie novel, suddenly you
realize that certain characters and events were not who or what you thought they
were... and suddenly, "BAMMM, I GOT IT!!!" Every answer has been there right
in front of me the whole time. Every clue has been sitting right there in the
Exhibition Hall (pronounced "myoo-zee-uhm") at NPO Mash. But, whether it be
the result of misinformation or mistranslation, I've been looking at OPS-4 all
wrong. There's a reason the thermal fabric on forward docking port is a
different color than the rest. There's a reason the forward docking port is
designed for a TKS, and not a Soyuz. There's a reason why TKS docking ports on
the front and back of the station didn't change the classification of the
station from Almaz to Zvezda. And now that I've seen this new image, it all makes
sense. Bare in mind that I have no proof yet, but ...
Ladies and Gentlemen, a shameless self promotion: What started out as a
modeling project has slowly evolved into the decision to write a book honoring
Vladimir N. Chelomei and his Almaz OPS program. You can view a blog I've
started about this at <http://almaz-ops-105.blogspot.com>. Visit me there and, in
due time, I'll post my conclusion to this mystery before the book goes to the
"What! Did, you think I was just going to blurt out the answer? Granted, I
would not have gotten this far without help and assistance from many members
of FPSpace. But, c'mon now... "
Best Regards to All!
David L. Rickman
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