Salyut programme

Salyut [ sa'lʏt ] (Russian Салют for salute, salute, salute) was a Soviet space station type.

After the United States, the Soviet Union had beaten in the race to the moon, the space programs of the two superpowers developed in different directions. While the Americans pushed for the development of new transport systems ( reusable Space Shuttle ), reinforced the USSR the development of space stations for a permanent human presence in space.

Alma and DOS

Since 1964 worked in the Soviet Union in a military space station, which should represent the counterpart to the American MOL program ( Manned Orbiting Laboratory) of the U.S. Air Force. This station was developed by the design bureau OKB -52 under Vladimir Tschelomei and bore the name Almas (Russian Алмаз for "Diamond " ) or OPS ( ОПС, Орбитальная пилотируемая станция, Orbital Well Pilotiruemaja stanzija for " Manned Orbital Station"). As the shuttle also yet to be developed TKS spacecraft was intended.

When in the summer of 1969 turned out that up to the first flight of Alma and TKS would still take a few years, the idea to develop a parallel civilian space station, which should be based on Alma's structure, but Soyuz technology was started. To this end, the already finished housing and equipment elements, including all documents of Tschelomei to that of Mishin headed "Central Construction Office of the experimental mechanical engineering " has been sent. This space station was designated DOS (Russian ДОС, Долговременная орбитальная станция, Dolgovremennaja orbital well stancija for "long-term orbital station") and was developed by the design office ZKBEM, the former OKB -1. You should already be ready for the end of 1971. The final decision to go for DOS was taken in February, 1970, took place in April 1971, the start of the DOS station under the name Salyut 1

In order to conceal the military nature of the Almas stations, both public successfully launched DOS and Almas stations were performed under the name "Salyut ". A total of six stations and five DOS Almas stations were built and launched. Two DOS stations and a Almas station could not be manned, so were four DOS - and two Almas stations used. The two most recently built OPS stations were used as unmanned automatic reconnaissance platforms and launched under the name Kosmos 1870 in July 1987 and as Alma's 1 in March 1991.

The stations of both series contributed significantly to this research on the technologies that are needed for a long -term residence and construction of complex structures in space.

The Almas stations differed significantly from the constructive Salyut stations. They were designed from the beginning for a longer useful life and were therefore equipped with two docking port (which lacked the civilian Salyut Salyut 1 and 4) to accommodate supply freighter can; also they had solar boom for energy ( the Salyut 1 missing). The never- finished Shuttle spaceships for three cosmonauts should bring, among other things, eight return capsules to the space station. In these capsules were 100 kg load are returned to the earth. The Almas stations were equipped with an extensive and high-resolution photography. The films were developed on board. In contrast to the Salyut stations, the Almas decreed at the rear via a transition lock. Through them the access was docked in vans and could return capsules are stocked; Moreover, here was a chance to enter the free space. To this end, led Alma with two space suits, which were originally designed for the canceled Soviet lunar program.

It is largely unknown that the Almas stations were armed. As a defense against U.S. Abfangsatelliten the stations had a constructed by Alexander Emmanuilovich Nudelman and adapted for space originally designed for aircraft rapid-fire cannon NR- 23rd


The Salyut stations Salyut 6 front consisted of a front lock section with coupling socket with a total of 3.3 m length and a diameter of 2 m, followed by the front working space with a cylindrical shape and a length of 3.8 m and a diameter of 3.0 m. Followed by a conical intermediate section of 1.2 m length increases in diameter from 3.0 m to 4.15 m, and the rear working chamber of a cylindrical shape and a length of 4.2 m and a diameter of 4.15 m. The conclusion is a cylindrical tail section of 1.9 m length and a diameter of 2.2 m. The total length of the station is 14.4 m, the total volume of about 100 m³ and the total mass of about 18.5 t. The power supply was at Salyut 1 and 2 by four rigid ( at startup folded ) solar panels of about 10 m span were two of which are attached to the front gate section and the tail section. From Cosmos 557 three rotatably mounted and so directable to the sun solar panels arrived at the front working section, each 6.6 m in length are used.

The last two Salyut stations ( 6 and 7) differed slightly from the previous five. So, these were 18.9 t ewas heavier and also differed slightly in structure. There are built-in and it omitted the path correction engines, so that now had to be used to the coupled Soyuz spaceships, which served not only as a means of transport but also as a recreational room and bedroom on the first stations in the tail section, a second docking port. All had in common that the middle section and the tail section was the spacemen as habitat and for scientific and technical devices. At the tail section also an engine for orbital maneuvers and another docking port were installed. The equipped with a docking port sections were sealed from the rest of the station severable and served so as an airlock. The total length of the stations was about 15 m, the mass of about 20 tons. For their launch a Proton rocket was used.

The individual stations

Salyut 1 (DOS 1)

Salyut 1 was launched on 19 April 1971, was the first space station. Soyuz 10 carried out a docking with the station, but the team could not enter it. The only cosmonaut who stayed on board, was the crew of Soyuz 11, but came because of an open air valve on the return died. Overall, the station was manned at 24 days and burned up after 175 days in orbit on 11 October 1971 in the atmosphere. Salyut 1 consisted essentially of an empty Alma's case and many Soyuz ingredients, including a full service module at the rear.

Salyut 2A ( DOS 2)

The second civilian space station of the Soviet Union should be started on 29 July 1972. Due to an error the launcher used by Proton, there was an explosion that destroyed the space station shortly after the start.

Salyut 2 ( Almas 1)

On April 3, 1973, the prototype of the top-secret military Almas station was started. To conceal the true nature of the station, Salyut also a designation was awarded. The first station reached its intended orbit. After two days of unmanned flight, a sudden loss of pressure aboard the space station has been registered, gradually fell out of all the instruments, until April 29, hired a total loss of control. Salyut 2 then rushed off on 28 May of the same year without a crew had been on board.

Kosmos 557 (DOS 3)

The third civilian space station was launched on 11 May 1973. She was in orbit can not be stabilized, and burnt up on 22 May 1973. Therefore received "only" a designation of the Cosmos series.

Salyut 3 ( Alma 2)

The launch of Salyut 3 was held on 24 June 1974. 16 days, the space station was used by the crew of Soyuz 14. The flight of Soyuz 15 had to be canceled due to problems. On January 24, 1975 Salyut 3 came back into the Earth's atmosphere.

Salyut 4 (DOS 4)

Salyut 4 was launched on 26 December 1974. Until the crash on February 2, 1977 it was used by the crew of Soyuz 17 and Soyuz 18 a total of 93 days. Among other things, laser detection tests were performed.

Salyut 5 ( Alma 3)

Salyut 5 was launched on 22 June 1976, and remained until August 8, 1977 in orbit. The crew of Soyuz 21 and Soyuz 24 were a total of 67 days on board. Another mission, Soyuz 23, failed however. The Almas program was stopped in 1978 and 1980 officially ended.

Salyut 6 (DOS 5)

Salyut 6 was launched on 29 September 1977, was the first wiederauftankbare space station for the first time thanks to the built- second coupling socket at the rear ( thicker ) end of the main module.

Thus, the docking of the cargo spacecraft Progress was possible of the type which also brought both food separate tanks, oxygen and fuel into the station. Waste of cosmonauts living on board was taken and burned up during re-entry of the cargo spacecraft into Earth's atmosphere.

Through the supply and disposal option, the station had a much longer useful life and remained nearly 5 years in orbit, until it burned up on 29 July 1982. Overall, visited 16 teams Salyut 6 with this space station were first invited spaceman from friendly countries under the Intercosmos program, attend Soviet space flights, including the first German in space, Sigmund Jähn, who started for the GDR on 26 August 1978.

With the docked module Kosmos 1267 ( TKS 2) Salyut 6 was the first modular space station. Overall, the station at 685 days was busy.

Salyut 7 ( DOS 6 )

The launch of Salyut 7 was carried out on 19 April 1982. Ten crews were doing between 1982 and 1986 on the service station. The longest stay was 237 days.

With the docked modules Cosmos 1443 and Cosmos 1686 (TKS 3 and 4) was again a modular station Salyut 7. After the start of the central module of the new space station Mir on February 19, 1986 pieces of equipment from Salyut 7 were brought by a visit of Soyuz T-15 to Mir. The flight of Soyuz T-15 from Mir to Salyut 7 and get back to me was the first flight of a spacecraft between two space stations. No further cosmonauts launched to Salyut 7 more

On 7 February 1991, the space station entered the Earth's atmosphere and burned up partially. Fragments of the station went down to Argentina.