7K-S and MKBS
Soyuz 7K-S was a military version of Soyuz, originally developed as the ferry spacecraft for Mishin's Soyuz OB-VI military orbital station (themselves a replacement for Kozlov's cancelled Soyuz VI). The OB-VI was in turn cancelled in 1969 (after the end of the equivalent US MOL project). However development of the 7K-S continued, up to a series of unmanned test flights in 1974-1976. Thereafter it was abandoned, and after protracted development emerged as the Soyuz T transport to Soviet space stations in the later 1970's.
The MKBS grew out of Korolev studies in the 60's (OS, TKS Heavy Space Station, OP) for N1-launched earth orbit stations. Although details of the MKBS and its MOK core module were disclosed previously, there was no indication of the level of effort being devoted to it. Although with the cancellation of the N1 the MOK station core was abandoned, other elements of the program continued. MKBS-1 was in fact the original designation for the Mir station and its support spacecraft. So the Progress resupply ships, Soyuz T transport, the Aelita free-flyer telescope, and the modules of Mir all began as MKBS docked or free-flying modules.
Mishin's diaries reveal that the 7K-S was being developed as the shuttle-to-orbit portion of the N1-launched MKBS military orbital space base. This work continued full bore heading toward a launch of MKBS-1 in 1977 until the N1 was cancelled in 1974. The diaries also reveal (as hinted at by Chertok) that an ultimate objective of the MKBS was to operate and service a series of beam weapons in earth orbit. This was alleged in leaks to Aviation Week in the 1970's during the Carter administration (and contributed to the pressure for Reagan's Star Wars program). But detailed contemporary evidence has not been available before.
The first mention of MKBS is made in a list of projects DI Kozlov was developing as of 12 March 1966 (1-219):
1. Military research ship (e.g. 7K-VI)
2. Transport ship due to the station "Almaz" (e.g. 7K-S, at that time the transport version of the 7K-VI with a docking tunnel)
3. MKBS multipurpose space base station (preliminary project) - specification requirements.
4. "Procyon" - Draft Project - classified (interesting unidentified military project)
5. Block "D" - (full responsibility) - including experimental work.
On 4 October 1967 Mishin conducts a rather grim review of the cutbacks to his OKB's budget for 1968. Consider the shortfall in his request compared with the challenge of beating the Americans to the moon!
Review with Company Management on Occasion of Tenth Anniversary of Sputnik 1The true purpose of MKBS is first revealed in a notation on 24 January 1969: (2-159) "MKBS - Under the guise of national economic objectives will be used to create a system of special space weapons."
Plan for 1968.
R&D - 7.5 million Rubles. (26 million requested).
including YaRD nuclear rocket engine- 6 million., MKBS - 0.5 million., L-5 - 0.5 mln., Yantar - 0.5 million.
Experimental design work - 266 million. (Requested 333 million).
Funded 3 sets N1-L3 instead of 6 sets.
For 7K-OK - 11, 12, 13, 14 (shortfall 20%).
N1-L3 (3 sets - 207 million., Including 38 million experimental work. Stages A, B, V, G - 22.8 million. Payloads (LOK, LK, Block D, GO) - 9.5 million. Blocks E and I - free of charge. (under direct contract with Isayev).
2. Plan - does not meet the 5-year plan. Not included at all:
- Modernization of the N1-L3.
- In R&D - Modernization of the RT-2M (in full).
- EYaRD (nuclear electric propulsion)- instead of in R&D - to search for funding.
MS Ryazanskiy: Our biggest problem - we think only 2 - 3 years ahead. Are we no longer prepared to create a TOS Heavy orbital station? After 7K-VI need to create a large space stations.And 29 January 1969 (2-162):
VI Scheulov: Creation of a powerful space station on the basis of N1 would offset, to to some extent, the effect of the United States winning the moon race. MKBS would achieve long-duration through rotation of crews. Modification is necessary in parallel with the existing launch vehicle. We must build two new launch facilities allowing simultaneous launches. (It is necessary to assign the task to develop those launch facilities.)
SO Okhapkin: I do not agree with the first part of the speech of VP Mishin. We accepted obligations and have not fulfilled them. We deceived the Central Committee and the government with the second part of the performance agreement. These will have terrible consequences (no communication satellites or MKBS, etc.)
KP Feoktistov: Orientation toward Mars - is correct. We will achieve Mars - and the moon, and the TOS heavy space station. The OKB should complete the ordered spacecraft, all the systems, and ordered launch vehicles... the TMK - for Mars, the Moon and the MKBS (cover for weapons systems development)
Chertok: It is good that the program proposed by the Soviet of Chief Designers was approved unanimously. Big manned spacecraft to Mars (and from that to derive standard modules with automatic options for Earth manned flights.) MKBS - for defense purposes.
VK Bezverby: Use EYaRD nuclear electric propulsion for deep space missions and MKBS (for defense purposes).
Meeting with the DF Ustinov (22.00) on the rocket and space Five Year Plan. N1-L3 - Core package for lunar exploration. Expedition to Mars \ necessary to accelerate MKBS / MV Keldysh - Against OB-VI and against N1M with EYaRD. There are three preliminary designs for an expedition to Mars (TsKBEM (MEK), Chelomei (MK-700), Yangel (interesting reference - no information has surfaced yet on Yangel's Mars expedition design)
"Luch" (evidently a reference to an N1-launched geosynchronous satellite, or a beam weapon, not the later Luch communications satellite) - you need to develop (especially realistic antijamming measures). NA Pilyugin - against the N1M LV.
25. Budget Review - 5 Year Plan (presumed in thousands of rubles)5 March 1970 (2-263): "VK Bezverby - It is necessary to make a proposal for the establishment of heavy MKBS."
Experimental design work - 8734
R&D - 680
Projected over 5 yrs
Experimental Base - 3314
N1-L3 - 2665
DOS (later Salyut)- 170
Almaz - 645
Topaz - 750 (unknown code name).
Apparatus for military use - 825 (Capital investments) 350
National economy. others - 928 (Capital investments)150
Launch Vehicles - 255 (Capital investments)116
Launch complexes - 476 (Capital investments)91
Skh.A. (unknown abbreviation) - 830 (Capital investments)293
EYaRD - 380
Launch work - 780 (Capital investments)760
(There follows a very interesting N1 launch schedule, including Mars 5NM):N1-L3 71 72 73 74 75 S
(11A52) 3 4 4 4 2 17
11A52 for Mars-75 - - - - 2 2
Grand total 19
26. On the draft resolution for the MKBS.
1. Use the same cooperation established in the design and manufacture of DOS.
2. Expand the cooperation of developers in various departments (especially on power, life support systems, equipment for national economic and scientific purposes).
2. Create the necessary experimental and industrial base (with the planned cooperation of developers).
3. Select TsKBEM factory for serial instrument production with MOM.
4. Determine the organization within MOM (former Nikitin) for the development of simulators and control panels.
5. Organize mass production 7K-S at the plant in Omsk (or in the factory "Progress"). (Omsk is chosen - Mishin will regret this later).
6. Hydrogen blocks N1 Block Sr and N1 Block S - TsKBEM factory and plant "Progress."
7. Instruct Affiliate TsKBM (comrade Bugayskiy) development of MKA (shuttle) according to TsKBEM's requirements (an interesting allusion to the very start of development of the LKS space shuttle by Chelomei's organization).
8. Determine the parent organization for the production of "Almaz" - organization of Chelomei (Reutov).
9. Immediately begin design work on the technical positions for MKBS ... see paragraph 21 (to establish a single NTS Scientific and Technical Council)
AM Isaev - about speeding work on the engine 11D56 (RD-56). AM Lyulka - about speeding work on the engine 11D57 (RD-57).
1. S, Sr - LOS (the OS-1 Lunar orbital station?) SNTV satellite for direct TV broadcasting, MAVT (MAVR?), DOS-II (later Mir).
2. S + Sr - L3M, Mavr, MKBS
3. S + S + Sr - L3M, MKBS, Mavr and others.
4. NII - DOS (20t - indecipherable) - this apparently refers to later plans to dump Chelomei's Proton vehicle and go back to the original plan to use the N11 (consisting of the second and third stages of the N1) for this earth orbit payload class.
5. N1S => 110 t (the low earth payload for this version of the improved N1 - this is a previously unidentified designation, perhaps referring to the N1 using the Block S Lox/LH2 upper stage).
On accelerating the work on MKBS: - PowerAnd again on 12 November 1970: (2-299): "12:00 - DF Ustinov (Smirnov, Keldysh Afanasiev, Serbin, Stroganov, Kommissarov, Tsarev, Kerimov and others.) ... 2) MKBS - Accelerate after 1973. It is necessary to accelerate the draft resolution on the MKBS and associated activities - EYaRD, reusable transport spacecraft."
- Life support systems
- Equipment for scientific research
- Equipment for the benefit of the national economy
- Building design and experimental base
- Development of production capacity
- Expansion of cooperation
Bezerby VK and Melnikov MV - Materials on the experimental base for EYaRD. Okhapkin SO - About the acceleration of work on blocks N1 Block R and Sr. Call Karpov AG - On specifications for MKBS-1. The development of the MOK should be in full swing, but testing of individual systems should be conducted on the MKBS-1 (DOS). The main question - how long can a man live in space, and what can he do better than automatic systems?And on 18 May: "Bushuyev KD and Bezverbo VK: Justify the need for the MKBS-1 based in DOS."
Meetings with Mishin's section deputies on 15 and 23 July (2-336) are in preparation to a meeting of the N1-L3 Expert Commission with SA Afanasiev on 25 July. Here the N1-L3 is finally killed, constraints on Mishin's plans are established, and it is stated openly that the Soviet Union could never have landed a cosmonaut on the moon using the N1-L3:
1. Agree that the N1-L3 could not land a cosmonaut.In a follow-up call to Afanasiev on 2 August, Mishin notes: "On conclusion of the expert committee on the N1-L3 (and Comrade Tsarev VPK): 7KS - MKBS-1 - MKBS-2 - Continue; Enlarge the crew to six people for short stays."
2. LOK, LK - cancelled.
3. N-1 to be used for MKBS, Mars 75, 77, etc.
4. Lunar Expedition - proceed. (but the solution is not clear. Machines may be better.)
5. Costs for N1-L3 to 1 January 1971: 2.9 billion rubles. Required to complete - 3.0 billion.
6. Unreliability must be solved through reliability testing.
7. Extend the use of N1 (LKI, Mars-75, Mars-77, MKBS).
8. Identify what you need to alter based on testing.
9. Proceed with development of hydrogen stages, but you need to use the existing stages for now.
Complex number 1A technical meeting on 11 November 1971 considers "the work plan for L3M and the use of the N-1 LV for other tasks of space exploration (MKBS, stationary satellite, Mars-75)." There is a meeting with SA Afanasiev the next day on the draft decision of the VPK on MOK ("MKBS, not MOK", corrects Tyulin!). And on the following day the extent of the work ahead is laid out:
1. Improving N-1 (Increase thrust, increase reliability and survivability, operational testing).
2. Improving upper stages N1 Block G, N1 Block D (performance, reliability and survivability, operational testing).
3. Development of DM (later Proton 11S86) with operational testing.
4. Development of standardized units of Stage S (Sr, Sr-L3M et al.).
5. Development of block N (evidently a reference to a nuclear N1 upper stage - which would eventually be the Interorbital Tug.
Complex number 2
1. DOS 7KT - series production.
4. L3M - (SA (reentry vehicle), LPU (lunar rover, perhaps later the Lunokhod LEK), PAO)
5. SA (reentry vehicle) reusable.
Organize a group for the study of systems specifications for MOK.Detailed work on test stands for block Sr and MKBS is begun on 15 November. As the program goes into 1972, hardware is being developed; but Mishin is losing support for the existing program.
a) For the transport system Earth - Orbit - Earth.
b) For the interorbital tug - stationary orbit and others.
c) For the control systems for MKBS and future systems.
g) For the new reentry vehicle with L/D = 0.6.
d) For the coolant systems.
e) For the SEP (need in stages).
g) For the micrometeorite protection.
h) For the radiation protection.
i) For the pressurization systems, etc.
For study:New propulsion approaches are considered on 20 September 1972: "Controllabe microelectric engines for spacecraft, DOS and MKBS (Ovchinnikov VS)."
1. Increase the payload for the launch vehicle for the 7KST by modernizing Block I by using the 11D58M engine.
2. OB-7KST - New arrangement with the container in front (and for scientific and military research equipment).
3. Work out our technical policy for DOS 7KT in a given situation.
- Spacecraft numbers 34, 33, 35 - maybe defer some of them to DOS-3.
- As was provided for in this case in ZEM plan for 1972
4. Utmost acceleration of 7KS.
5. N1-L3 in this situation - a general solution. All for a successful operation. (But we need to agree with MOM.)
6. Accelerate work on MOK - MKBS 1st step.
Technical Positions for MOK development.On 5 October 1973 (3-104), Mishin presents to the Academic Soviet the high-level justification and purpose of MKBS:
1. MOK - the minimum number of the most standardized rocket and space systems, to solve all problems in the foreseeable future in near-Earth space in the interests of science, the economy and defense.
2.) Space-based MOK systems - the most cost-effective solution to the problem of getting a significant increase in the service life of the missile and space vehicles.
a) ZB -> TS (UMTS) -> MKBS
b) MKBS -> MSA -> SSS
3. The modular structure of MOK's standardized elements, components, systems and assemblies.
- Propulsion systems (DO, DPO, SKD, main engines).
- Life-support systems.
- Power supply systems.
- Control and orientation systems.
- Navigation systems (automatic and manned spacecraft).
The elements of these systems must be maintainable and interchangeable.
4. All satellites modules should be automatically controlled spacecraft providing for the possibility of repair of all their vital elements with special manned spacecraft for on-orbit service, or repair modules from the MKBS delivered orbit-to-orbit by MKBS special spacecraft.
5.) There should be a phased approach to create MOK with maximum use in the initial phase of existing rocket and space vehicles.
Principal basis for the development of the MOKAnd receives the following criticisms:
1. Providing solutions in targeted areas of defense, science and the economy as they may change over 10-20 years. Enabling rapid replacement of legacy systems, devices and components by more sophisticated systems without changing the logic of construction of the MOK as a whole and its constituent satellite systems and basic modules.
2. Solution targets a minimum number of satellite modules using common equipment and apparatus.
3. Complex solution of defense, economic and scientific problems using MKBS - the main base of the MOK, for logistics and maintenance of a long-term operation and cost-effective transport system.
4. The modular structure of the MOK. Wide standardization, harmonization of systems, devices, compartments, aggregates. All elements of these systems, devices, units must be maintainable and interchangeable.
5. Ensuring long-term service life (5-10 years) of the MOK through periodic visits CM astronauts for routine maintenance, based on the MKBS.
6. MOK should provide the most cost-effective creation of rocket-space tools for addressing the full range of targets, most cost-effective organization of logistics, maintenance and management of the complex in comparison with existing systems. The development of the IOC should be considered as the direction of development of rocket and space technology to solve national problems with the least material costs.
7. Stages of creation MOK as the development and creation of the necessary special systems.
1. All elements of MKBS (especially spacecraft based on the 7KS) must have the new layout of systems and equipment, providing repair and replacement.ND Ustinov suggests use of the UR-500 with a fluorine-ammonia upper stage to launch the SNTV direct television broadcasting system
2. GP Melnikov - MKBS is necessary, but give priority to modules SM-1 and SM-2 (these are specialized military free-flyers).
3. You need to rethink the section on handling scientific information.
4. Do we need to upgrade or add all these launch sites (R-7, UR-500 and N-1) for MOK (especially the UR500K launch complex)? VP Barmin offers not to upgrade the old UR-500 launch complexes, and spend those funds on new complexes (in fact these two additional UR-500 complexes would be the only ones built after the N1 / MKBS cancellation).
5. You need a special decision of the Central Committee of the CPSU and special funding for construction.
6. Which launch vehicles to implement the MOK.
9.00 - Departure for meeting at number 33 (with GK Kerimov, Tishkin).And on 11 December we see the planned program in desperate notes from (3-154):
1. The first 2-3 volumes of MOK and other materials.
2. Abstracts of the NTS on MOK.
3. Specifications for the MKBS-1.
4. Materials 7M.
5. Materials L3M.
6. The composition of the payloads number 8 to number 13, inclusive.
7. Materials from VI Petrov (Preliminary budget plan for 1975-1990)
Review materials sent from Moscow.On the first two days of 1974, Mishin catalogues the issues and notes his supporters in almost Shakespearian language (3-167):
1. Long-term program TSKBEM (projected) (See. Ref. 4/4748 dated 10 October 1973 from MOM).
MKBS-1 on UR-500K (this would later be Mir)-
Number 1 - 1977
Number 2 - 1978 - 79
MKBS on N-1 - Number 1 - 1983
Number 2 - 1988
N-11 (this refers to the use of the N-11 to replace the UR-500K for boosting modules to MKBS-1/Mir)
1 - 1978
2 - 1979
MKTS on the basis of the first-stage N1 - 1985 with the augmented engine - 1988-90 (this is a reference to the air-augmented N1-MOK with the spaceplane second stage, as revealed contemporaneously to USAF agent Peter James!)
Performance in accordance with the "additional materials to the plan for experimental work in 1976-1990. See ref. 10414 dated 6.XII.1973.
2. TSKBEM work plan for 1974.
a) The number for transport spacecraft to object "A", S.A. (Afanasiev?)
b) The number of DM (ZEM cannot produce the quantity.)
- No specification from TsNIIMMASH for the heavy launch vehicle (not to mention its scientific and technical justification).
3. Thematic plan for experimental work for TsKBEM in 1974.
All these materials require serious revision. (Focused, real and concrete, etc.) -Need to reduce the subject areas, the scope of work and remove excessive detail.
Call Bezverby VK - For papers on MOK.
Received in response via telegram a runaround (old papers are in the materials of the Academic Council). And I need - new papers. (I do not have - or have not yet found - my copies of these papers)
To do:On 28 February 1974 yet more brainstorming on all issues (3-176):
1. Now, when considering our long-term program and the use of near-earth space (including the Moon) for different purposes, it is necessary to clearly define the sequence of its implementation.
Especially decide - where to start? (Especially in the present situation).
- It is necessary as soon as possible to show the rationality inherent in the program guidelines.
Namely a space-based MOK.
- Optimal location for OAA systems: based on MKBS (DOS) - or visited the MPM for routine maintenance or brought near-MKBS for the same purpose.
- Reusable transport ship based on the 7M, and then a reusable transport system based on the work on the N-1 (but with a new engine system in stage 1).
- Space problems solved by the OAA.
- A great resource. (even after these events)
Where to start?
1. DOS 5 (6?) + 7KT + 7KTT + 7KS-OR
7KS-OR (evidently a reconnaissance version of the 7KS using existing unmanned reconnsat hardware) - view as the embodiment of the most efficient use of the developed equipment (Zenit-Yantar)
Negotiations with DI Kozlov (What does he want?)
2. All that in the first only on the basis of the 7M, to create the MTK and MPM (talks with EV Shabarov)
What will NII-4 (the leading military space research institute) handle?
1. Operative follow-up exploration.
2. Armed struggle in outer space.
3. The defeat of the moving targets.
4. Electronic countermeasures
5. Use of stationary orbit.
6. Use of of sun-synchronous orbits.
NII-4 GUKOS supports (but only at the lower levels): 1. R-7M (this is a reference to an advanced R-7M, not documented elsewhere, perhaps with a Lox/LH2 upper stage, capable of putting an 12t payload into a sun synchronous orbit); 2. N-1?; 3. N-11
Support in the MO (Ministry of Defense) for the N-1 - signed by Alekseyev Nikolai and Tolubko.
Navy is indifferent to MOK (they do not understand the prospects)
It is necessary to establish a relationship with the customer. He is interested in this (Attract DI Kozlov!)
- Write a detailed letter on MOK to Afanasiev (copied to the Central Committee) (With a draft work order)
- Draft a memo to the Central Committee for DF Ustinov. (Long-term planning)
- Achieve color television for the Soyuz-M (NN Detinov - CC)
- TsKBEM review of the level of work on special equipment in related organizations.
- Write a memo about the possibilities of "A" in the operational intelligence. (VK Bezverby together with TsNIIMASH).
- Deal with the radio channel on the "Yantar". Orders: VK Bezverby
- The draft memo on the need of long-term integrated planning by the state. TsKBEM work on MOK - 1st to attempt its development.
21. Form a unit in TsKBEM for special equipment (e.g. classified military) (for some complexes).
22. Develop ideas on the feasibility of developing and creating two-stage rocket for launch into low earth orbit. (Comparison with 3-stage rocket, the advantages and disadvantages).
23. Conduct a study on the feasibility of establishing MKTS based on two-stage rocket.
24. Conduct research on performance 2-stage rocket for launch of payloads to earth orbit using different fuel components (Including solid propellant).
25. Elaborate design for a surveillance module based on MKBS-1 derived from the N-110.
26. Review a 2-stage N-1 for MKBS-II, a 3-stage for moving heavy SM modules to geostationary orbit and lunar orbits.
Questions for SA Afanasiev
1. His attitude to R-7M. Who is going to build it?
2. His attitude towards the N-11. (2-stage for moving spacecraft to sun-synchronous orbit).
3. On the sequence of launches of DOS and "Almaz".
4. On the development work on MOK.
About MOK - based on our promising developments. Basis MOK - space-based, and it should be checked already on the DOS-5 having two connecting nodes.
5. On the shuttle on the basis of R-7M.
MOK-1 stages.Mishin was removed on 2 May 1974. The N1, and the spacecraft it was to launch were cancelled. MKBS-1 continued as the Mir project. Military research was moved to Chelomei's Almaz and TKS spacecraft. But Mishin's convey the ambition and scope of the MKBS project, and make clear that the path of Soviet manned astronautics for the remainder of the century was established in that program.
Booster R-7M - Payload to sun-synchronous ~ 12 tons. It will deliver the following to the MKBS:
1) MTKK Space Shuttle - manned version for delivery and return of the crew of astronauts on the MKBS (perhaps the origin for the later Zarya spacecraft).
2) MTKK Space Shuttle - cargo version.
3) SM Special Module - a non-returnable, autonomous and dockable with the MKBS (all-weather reconnaissance) (perhaps the origin of the later USB spacecraft).
4) MSK - the inter-satellite ship - automatic and manned. Launch vehicle - N-11 Payload = 18 tons (23 tons) (perhaps the origin of the later 37ks spacecraft).
MKBS-1 in sun-synchronous orbit.