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Argos
2009-Aug-18, 07:34 PM
SpaceFlightNow.com (http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0908/18almaz/)


The previously top secret reusable reentry vehicle for the Soviet "Almaz" manned military space station will form the backbone of a major new U.S./Russian commercial venture to carry paying research crews on one week missions into Earth orbit by 2013.

matthewota
2009-Aug-18, 07:47 PM
I guess it is cheaper to revive an older design than to start with a clean sheet spacecraft.

A good study of the Almax can be found on Encyclopedia Astronautica (http://www.astronautix.com/craft/almaz.htm)

The reentry module features a hatch in the heat shield that opens up into the research compartment behind. This is similar to the old USAF Manned Orbital Lab design, which featured a Gemini spacecraft with a heat shield hatch.

It will be interesting to see if a large market opens up for this spacecraft. For the millions of dollars they are investing in it, a large return will be required.

It will also compete with research being done on the ISS and the Chinese space station, whenever it gets into orbit.

JonClarke
2009-Aug-18, 11:16 PM
Excellent. The TKS is a tried and tested design, it is good to see it being revived.

Jon

GeorgeLeRoyTirebiter
2009-Aug-18, 11:51 PM
Very neat. I'm glad that they're designing a lighter service module so that it won't require a Proton to launch them.

Van Rijn
2009-Aug-19, 12:21 AM
Well, this is interesting, I hope it is a commercial success. We need something to get us moving forward. I noticed this:


EA is led by Art Dula founder and CEO of the venture.

I know that name! From here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_M._Dula


Arthur M. ("Art") Dula (born February 6, 1947 in Arlington, Virginia) is a space lawyer, a patent attorney, the literary executor for major science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein, and the CEO of the private spaceflight company, Excalibur Almaz.

For those who don't know, Heinlein was very big on commercial space. This seems very fitting.

JonClarke
2009-Aug-19, 12:33 AM
Very neat. I'm glad that they're designing a lighter service module so that it won't require a Proton to launch them.

It does say what launcher will be used. Lighter may simply mean the structure, leaving more mass for payload and consumables.

The similariities to MOL are rather over done.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2009-Aug-19, 10:59 AM
this actually exists and is man-rated?

samkent
2009-Aug-19, 11:45 AM
It will be interesting to see if the companies with the wallets feels the science is worth the cost, now that they have to pay directly.

Or will most of them say 'We can get by with our ground based labs'?

marsbug
2009-Aug-19, 11:52 AM
We shall have to wait and see. Anyone with specifically microgravity, or in space, interests (over time spans of more than the few minutes provided by suborbital flights) will need something like this or an antigravity machine. As you say the question is will they think it worth the price?

Swift
2009-Aug-19, 01:23 PM
A minor thing, but I've always wondered why the Russians are so fond of this color paint (http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0908/18almaz/almezrrv.jpg). It seems they use it a lot.

NEOWatcher
2009-Aug-19, 01:52 PM
A minor thing, but I've always wondered why the Russians are so fond of this color paint (http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0908/18almaz/almezrrv.jpg). It seems they use it a lot.
It makes the red stand out?

samkent
2009-Aug-19, 03:13 PM
Military green? Cheaper?

Antice
2009-Aug-19, 03:53 PM
Green is in the middle of the spectrum for the human eye and is also the color percieved most easily at night. I for one feel that green is a lot more comfortable as a background color than say. black when you need contrast. both red and yellow contrasts great with green without being painful like black and white/yellow/red is.
Me being Epileptic with photosensitive trigger might be a factor here tho. and may not be even relevant for the choosers of the paint for Russian vehicles.

GeorgeLeRoyTirebiter
2009-Aug-19, 11:03 PM
this actually exists and is man-rated?

It does, and it is. See: TKS (http://www.astronautix.com/craft/tks.htm). It was successfully flown unmanned several times, but the manned operational flights were canceled (because Chelomei got chumped by Ustinov).

matthewota
2009-Aug-20, 12:12 AM
this actually exists and is man-rated?

The Almaz was designed as a manned spacecraft. However, no Proton launch vehicle has ever flown with a live crew onboard. They will have to man-rate the Proton.

GeorgeLeRoyTirebiter
2009-Aug-20, 04:02 AM
The Almaz was designed as a manned spacecraft. However, no Proton launch vehicle has ever flown with a live crew onboard. They will have to man-rate the Proton.

The article linked to in the OP mentioned launching on the Soyuz, not the Proton. Presumably, this will be possible because the new service module that they're designing is much lighter than the gigantic FGB module used by the TKS.

mantiss
2009-Aug-20, 05:01 AM
A minor thing, but I've always wondered why the Russians are so fond of this color paint (http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0908/18almaz/almezrrv.jpg). It seems they use it a lot.

Almaz was mainly a military project, I am not surprised at the use of Camouflage green.

Nicolas
2009-Aug-20, 08:58 AM
Maybe it's just the standard colour of their local Rustoleum.

JonClarke
2009-Aug-20, 10:44 AM
The article linked to in the OP mentioned launching on the Soyuz, not the Proton. Presumably, this will be possible because the new service module that they're designing is much lighter than the gigantic FGB module used by the TKS.

Got it. They talk about the "Soyuz FG" even though no such version exists (there is a Soyuz FB though).

The ISS FGB masses ~20 tonnes. That on TKS only 13.25 tonnes. A smaller version (FSB) was used to dock the Kvant-1 module to Mir. That massed 7.9 tonnes.

The proposed Parom space tug is basically a shortened double ended FGB and masses even less, only 6.8 tonnes.

The TKS VA massed 4.25 tonnes. Maybe with lighter materials this could be brought down to about 4 tonnes.

Combining a lighter VA with a Parom type service module gives a total mass of 10-11 tonnes. This matches well the capacity of the Soyuz 2-3 version (11-12 tonnes).

Jon

JonClarke
2009-Aug-20, 10:46 AM
The Almaz was designed as a manned spacecraft. However, no Proton launch vehicle has ever flown with a live crew onboard. They will have to man-rate the Proton.

The Proton is man rated. It just hasn't been flown manned. It was intended to launch the LK1 circum-lunar missions and also the TKS.

But the proposed launcher is a Soyuz variant, not Proton.

JonClarke
2009-Aug-20, 10:47 AM
Almaz was mainly a military project, I am not surprised at the use of Camouflage green.

Green isn't camouflage in space.

JonClarke
2009-Aug-20, 10:48 AM
Maybe it's just the standard colour of their local Rustoleum.

It's not paint, or not entirely. The thermal bankets are green as well.

Jon

kucharek
2009-Aug-20, 10:48 AM
Almaz was mainly a military project, I am not surprised at the use of Camouflage green.

If you want to set up an Almaz in the forest...

gaetanomarano
2009-Aug-20, 10:54 AM
another "word & photoshop" or "paper & website" project... good to raise funds... :)

JonClarke
2009-Aug-20, 11:10 AM
another "word & photoshop" or "paper & website" project... good to raise funds... :)

You are an expert on those.

mantiss
2009-Aug-21, 05:16 PM
Green isn't camouflage in space.
Missing the point, all I meant is that they have stockpiles, tera-gallons of the green stuff. In the 70's and 80's you wouldn't care what color it was resolution from the ground wouldn't be that good, unless you chromed it or painted it white :)

But all I meant to say was that it's probably just a generic paint that resists well to temp. variations, as would be found in a battlefield, makes sense to use it to a spacecraft's reentry module.

KaiYeves
2009-Aug-21, 09:06 PM
A minor thing, but I've always wondered why the Russians are so fond of this color paint. It seems they use it a lot.
They're envious of something?

The paint is made of money?

GeorgeLeRoyTirebiter
2009-Aug-21, 09:35 PM
The Soviet-era paint I've always wondered about is the turquoise they used in aircraft cockpits (do a Google image search for MiG 21 or 23 cockpit photos). It just looks weird.

Antice
2009-Aug-21, 09:43 PM
I find the green soothing for my eyes. it's contrasty enough with other colors so that it's easy to read markings. but it still manages to avoid being harsh on the eyes.
I wish more companies and governments used these kinds of coloration.

JonClarke
2009-Aug-21, 11:29 PM
Missing the point, all I meant is that they have stockpiles, tera-gallons of the green stuff. In the 70's and 80's you wouldn't care what color it was resolution from the ground wouldn't be that good, unless you chromed it or painted it white :)

But all I meant to say was that it's probably just a generic paint that resists well to temp. variations, as would be found in a battlefield, makes sense to use it to a spacecraft's reentry module.

I do dind the tone rather patronising, as if the best those Russians could do was ruse some suplus paint and hope for the best

I doubt very much it is some generic basic military paint. For starters, as I have already pointed out, thermal blankets are this colour, and they aren't painted.

I doubt know why they use this colour, but since it applies to a wide range of materials and many different sdpacecraft over a very long period of time I am sure there are some very good reasons for it.

Jon

JonClarke
2009-Aug-21, 11:30 PM
The Soviet-era paint I've always wondered about is the turquoise they used in aircraft cockpits (do a Google image search for MiG 21 or 23 cockpit photos). It just looks weird.

And the yellow so beloved by US manufactures as a primer doesn't?

JonClarke
2009-Aug-21, 11:33 PM
They're envious of something?

The paint is made of money?

I suppose you find this witty?

Ilya
2009-Aug-22, 12:05 AM
The Soviet-era paint I've always wondered about is the turquoise they used in aircraft cockpits (do a Google image search for MiG 21 or 23 cockpit photos). It just looks weird.
Here is one (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/62/MiG-21_cockpit.jpg)

You are right, it's not green camo, it's turquoise. It does look weird.

GeorgeLeRoyTirebiter
2009-Aug-22, 12:57 AM
And the yellow so beloved by US manufactures as a primer doesn't?

I haven't seen unpainted yellow zinc chromate in the cockpit of any US-made aircraft since the '40s. Cockpits are usually painted some shade of grey (or tan, in the case of recent Boeing products).

Captain Mike
2009-Aug-22, 01:21 AM
Regarding the launcher, I found this in the Note to Editors in the press release:



EA plans for its spacecraft to be compatible with a number of launch
vehicles and capable of being launched from worldwide sites.

JonClarke
2009-Aug-22, 03:30 AM
I haven't seen unpainted yellow zinc chromate in the cockpit of any US-made aircraft since the '40s. Cockpits are usually painted some shade of grey (or tan, in the case of recent Boeing products).

Sure looks like yellow undercoat on these aircraft. http://www.flyingcoloursaviation.com/jobs.htm http://blog.flightstory.net/1129/boeing-787-dreamliner-for-flight-test-enters-final-assembly/

On the other hand the F-35 has been seen in a virulent turquoise undercoat as well....

Jon

mantiss
2009-Aug-22, 04:12 AM
I do dind the tone rather patronising

Not everyone masters English perfectly, it was a rather tongue in cheek comment but I see that I might just avoid that in the future...

GeorgeLeRoyTirebiter
2009-Aug-22, 04:24 AM
Sure looks like yellow undercoat on these aircraft. http://www.flyingcoloursaviation.com/jobs.htm http://blog.flightstory.net/1129/boeing-787-dreamliner-for-flight-test-enters-final-assembly/

On the other hand the F-35 has been seen in a virulent turquoise undercoat as well....

Jon

You apparently missed where I said unpainted zinc chromate. Sure, it's still in use as a common primer (along with things like lime green epoxy coatings), but US and European builders splash some grey paint over it in the cockpit to cover it up.

The Soviet turquoise isn't a primer, it's a paint—some photos even show places where it's chipped, and zinc chromate is showing through! The turquoise (or the powder blue of the Su-27 cockpit) is a deliberate design choice. They wanted those cockpits to be that color.

JonClarke
2009-Aug-22, 04:48 AM
You apparently missed where I said unpainted zinc chromate. Sure, it's still in use as a common primer (along with things like lime green epoxy coatings), but US and European builders splash some grey paint over it in the cockpit to cover it up.

The Soviet turquoise isn't a primer, it's a paint—some photos even show places where it's chipped, and zinc chromate is showing through! The turquoise (or the powder blue of the Su-27 cockpit) is a deliberate design choice. They wanted those cockpits to be that color.

Ah, now I understand, thanks

Actually, what is wrong with the turquoise? I think it looks restful, just what you need in a cocpit.

Antice
2009-Aug-22, 08:33 AM
It's a matter of taste. I've always found the russian color choices fairly tasteful. nothing garish or eye bleeding contrasty.
There was recently a debate in my own country about the color of signs along roadsides. particularly the use of advertizements.
those generally had lots of contrasting colors and often used red white and black in high contrasts visuals. it's very eye catching and after a couple of years of debating it the government found that the only way to get a stop the abuse of those colors along the roads was to ban roadside adverts.
there were reports of these adverts being accused of causing accidents trough their distracting tendency with those color combinations.
we happen to use red/white/black for our road signs here. so advertisers weren't choosing those colors randomly. but rather to take advantage of the fact that drivers were primed to notice just those combinations as important.

KaiYeves
2009-Aug-22, 04:25 PM
I suppose you find this witty?
I'm not allowed to make jokes?

mugaliens
2009-Aug-23, 12:43 AM
I made a rather extensive and detailed post on this thread, taking about two hours of my time.

Where is it???

JonClarke
2009-Aug-23, 03:14 AM
I'm not allowed to make jokes?

Of course you are! Other people are allowed to not find them funny ;)

mugaliens
2009-Aug-23, 09:15 PM
Actually, what is wrong with the turquoise? I think it looks restful, just what you need in a cocpit.

I think it looks unappetizing, much like the blue-green fridge lights designed to curb your appetie.

Antice
2009-Aug-23, 09:22 PM
Wait. there are fridge lights meant to curb appetite? Never seen one of those.

JonClarke
2009-Aug-23, 09:23 PM
I think it looks unappetizing, much like the blue-green fridge lights designed to curb your appetie.

I don't think you are meant to eat the cockpit interior...

Van Rijn
2009-Aug-23, 11:18 PM
It's a matter of taste. I've always found the russian color choices fairly tasteful. nothing garish or eye bleeding contrasty.


I don't mind the turquoise cockpit interior, but I don't like the green exterior spacecraft color at all. I realize it's a matter of taste, and perhaps it's because I associate it with the cold war/USSR days.

In any case, if they get the cost of putting people into orbit down to something more reasonable (note the "if") I'd be quite willing to live with it.

KaiYeves
2009-Aug-24, 09:02 PM
Of course you are! Other people are allowed to not find them funny
Sorry. Everybody in this sub-forum just seems a little touchy these days, that's all. I thought a joke would help.

marsbug
2009-Aug-25, 11:39 AM
I think there's a lot of angst floating about right now, but hey at least that shows we care about the topic!

JonClarke
2009-Aug-25, 11:47 AM
Sorry. Everybody in this sub-forum just seems a little touchy these days, that's all. I thought a joke would help.

Humour is a funny thing.... :)

KaiYeves
2009-Aug-26, 01:39 AM
I mean, we can't personally do much about the Comission, so let's not be needlessly tense. We're all here because we want to be, so we should have a little fun.

Or at least that's what I think.

JonClarke
2009-Aug-27, 10:29 AM
I mean, we can't personally do much about the Comission, so let's not be needlessly tense. We're all here because we want to be, so we should have a little fun.

Or at least that's what I think.

I agree!

KaiYeves
2009-Aug-27, 05:30 PM
Glad to hear it.

publiusr
2009-Aug-28, 09:24 PM
Official Links --scroll down

http://excaliburalmaz.com/SP1/spacecraft-almaz.php
http://excaliburalmaz.com/SP1/spacecraft-module.php
http://excaliburalmaz.com/SP1/index.php

Your own personal MOL http://excaliburalmaz.com/SP1/spacecraft-mission.php

This capsule is a form of tractor rocket by itself, like this
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/stabilo.htm

With the escape tower and the retros part of a long "stem" at the top.

Other Links

http://www.svengrahn.pp.se/histind/Almprog/tksalm.htm

The capsule by itself is what the new program is focusing on--with a stripped down module behind

The capsule itself
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/tksva.htm
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/tks.htm
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=7053.0
http://www.astronautix.com/articles/almaz.htm

Now there were rumors that Proton had launched two spaceplanes (Kosmos 881 and 882) This was not the case.
http://www.friends-partners.org/oldfriends/jgreen/buran.html
"The misinterpretation of the Kosmos 881/882 type 'dual-kosmos' missions relation to spaceplane development begun by this reviewer is unfortunately continued by the author. They are now accepted to have been tests of the TKS capsule for Chelomei's Almaz projects. While Chelomei was involved in space plane development, this is not mentioned probably due to the recent release of this information" http://home.comcast.net/~rusaerog/RAG/RAG8.html

Proton launched two of the VA capsules one atop the other The "long stem" capsule set one atop the other was about as tall a payload as one capsule atop either the Almaz(Mir, Zvezda) coreblock. The VA was also launched atop the TKS ferry that later was removed of the VA and became Mir/ISS modules plugged into the Almaz/DOS type core blocks.

Interesting discussion here
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/space-modelers/message/75414

"The reason the dual capsule tests were mistaken as spaceplanes was because of their reentry performance.
Having the reaction control system positioned at the top of the capsule (combined with the Argon 12S flight computer) gave the capsules such an incredible reentry steering capability that they appeared to be spaceplanes during reentry."
http://www.bing.com/search?srch=105&FORM=IE7RE&q=Kosmos+881+882


http://www.thespacereview.com/article/604/1


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/space-modelers/message/78869

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=7053.15

http://sr.wikipedia.org/sr-el/%D0%9A%D0%BE%D1%81%D0%BC%D0%BE%D1%81-882