Credit: USAF Phillips Laboratory
AKA: TME. Status: Study 1990. Gross mass: 20,000 kg (44,000 lb).
Materials produced by 16 different devices would be returned to earth in small KSI re-entry capsules or in the large main VA capsule at the completion of the mission. The 20 metric ton satellite would have a five year life and was to be launched by 1993. The mission would be a preliminary to a full-scale production TMP Skif-DM 90 metric ton spacecraft. No backers for the concept were forthcoming.
The Salyut Design Bureau Teknologiya materials science spacecraft was based a new satellite bus called the Unified Space Platform (USP). The USP was designed to handle payloads of up to 10 metric tons with stowed dimensions of 4.1 m diameter and 6.7 m length. The USP would supply electrical power up to 12 kW, attitude control with a precision of 10' to 1 degrees, orbital maneuver capability, and other support functions. Mission durations of as long as five years were possible in orbits up to 500 km with inclinations of 51.6 degrees, 65 degrees, or 72 degrees. Launches would be provided by the Proton within 3-4 years of contract agreement.
Under the Teknologiya program, the Salyut Design Bureau already designed a customized microgravity payload unit for the USP. The 20 metric ton vehicle would be capable of carrying 4-5 metric tons of processing equipment for the manufacture of semiconductor materials, optical glasses, and biological preparations in a volume of up to 30 m3. A maximum mission duration of three years at a 400-450 km altitude was possible. Products and processing equipment would be returned to Earth in a large recoverable module. No investors came forward to finance the design.