Dos Is Born

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Although Mishin and Chelomey were united in their opposition to the plan to create a hybrid Long-Duration Orbital Station (DOS) by using Almaz and Soyuz systems, the Kremlin's directive was firm. Chelomey was satisfied to ensure that this project would not further delay Almaz, but Mishin was furious at what he referred to as the ''conspiracy''. In one meeting Mishin threatened: ''If I hear that anybody else apart from these two - Bushuyev and Feoktistov - occupies himself with this DOS, I will send him to hell.'' He opposed the DOS effort not only because his staff had gone behind his back to initiate it, but also out of concern that, despite assurances to the contrary, it would jeopardise the N1-L3 programme. Even once it was underway he never really endorsed the project, and at times he openly criticised it.

Not only were the TsKBEM designers eager to develop the hybrid space station, so too were the engineers in Fili who had spent five years designing the systems for Almaz and wished to find out how well they performed in space. In fact, Chelomey himself was not very popular in Fili. Initially, Fili had been an independent design bureau (OKB-23) headed by the famous Chief Designer Vladimir Myasishchev, and between 1951 and 1960 had created the successful M-4 and 3M strategic bombers. While it was designing the M-50 jet bomber and a manned rocket plane, Chelomey, with the support of Khrushchov, but against the will of the Air Force, had drawn the bureau into his own organisation, naming it Branch No. 1. Myasishchev had gone to the Moscow Aviation Institute. The DOS project provided an opportunity for Fili to regain a degree of autonomy, and Viktor Bugayskiy, who was in charge there, was keen to collaborate with his TsKBEM counterparts.

In fact, the first task was to establish a genuine management structure that would integrate the Kaliningrad and Fili design teams. In December 1969, shortly after the meeting with Ustinov, Okhapkin, Bushuyev and Chertok asked Mishin to nominate Yuriy Semyonov as the Leading Designer for the DOS programme. Semyonov had participated in the design of the Soyuz spacecraft and managed the L1 circumlunar programme, whose cancellation was imminent. Semyonov was also a son-in-law of Andrey Kirilenko, the fourth man in the Kremlin's hierarchy. Although it is only a supposition, it is possible that Ustinov played a role in the nomination; the rationale being that someone with Semyonov's connections ought to be able to counter any attempts by either Mishin or Chelomey to undermine the rapid pace set for the DOS development. On 31 December the basic organisational documents were drawn up. In January 1970 Mishin officially appointed Semyonov and three deputies: Dmitriy Slesarev was responsible for modifying the Soyuz for use as a space station ferry;21 Valeriy Ryumin was responsible for the station's systems; and Viktor Inelaur was responsible for the guidance apparatus. Later, Arvid Pallo was appointed as a fourth deputy. Also, Mishin nominated his own deputies as general managers of the entire programme. Bushuyev, assisted by Feoktistov, was responsible for the development of all aspects of the programme. Under their direct control were Pavel Tsybin, who

21 This was to be the 7K-T ('T' for Transportniy, or 'transporter') version of the Soyuz spacecraft.

Yuriy Semyonov led the development of the DOS space station at the TsKBEM.

managed the development of the Soyuz, and Leonid Gorshkov, the designer of the Orbital Block (i.e. the station itself). In addition, Chertok led the guidance group, with Raushenbakh and Igor Yurasov as deputies; Lev Vilnitskiy was responsible for the docking systems; Vladimir Pravetskiy was responsible for life support systems; Oleg Surgachov was responsible for thermal regulation systems; Yakov Tregub and his deputy, Boris Zelenshchikov, were responsible for the testing of all the systems, cosmonaut training and mission control; Gherman Semyonov was to supervise the preparation of the station for shipment to the cosmodrome; and Aleksey Abramov and Vladimir Karashtin were to manage the launch preparations. In Fili, Bugayskiy nominated Vladimir Pallo as his deputy for the DOS project. This was a wise choice, because when Semyonov added Arvid Pallo to his team the two brothers were well placed to coordinate joint activities. All the leading people of the DOS project have been named here because, by managing the activities of thousands of engineers, technicians and others, they defined the basis for not only the Soviet manned space programme but also, in the long term, the world's manned space programme.

On 9 February 1970 the Central Committee and the Council of Ministers issued decree No. 105-41. It was one of the most important decrees in the history of space station development. One of its directives was that all pertinent documentation and all existing hardware, including Almaz cores, be transferred to the DOS programme.

After studying the design documents, Feoktistov drew up the specifications of the station to maximally exploit the capabilities of the Proton launcher: it was to have a maximum diameter of 4.15 metres, a length of 14 metres and an initial mass of 19 tonnes. With a volume of almost 100 cubic metres, which was almost ten times that of the Soyuz, it would be able to accommodate comfortable facilities for the crew, consumables for a long mission and a wide variety of apparatus. One of the design requirements was that most of the built-in apparatus must be accessible to the crew for maintenance, repairs or replacement. In fact, this requirement became one of the greatest design challenges. The complexity of the DOS station is evident from the fact that it had 980 instruments (according to another source 1,300) connected by in excess of 1,000 cables that had a total length of 350 km and a mass of 1.3 tonnes!

The next big decision was the maximum possible operating life of the first station, designated DOS-1. This would depend on the altitude of the orbit, the available fuel and the power supply. Although the upper atmosphere is exceedingly rarefied, if the station were to start off in the range 200-250 km the drag would cause the orbit to decay at an increasing rate, until the station re-entered and was destroyed. It would be necessary to fire the rocket engine periodically to maintain the desired altitude. It was calculated that it would be necessary to use about 3 tonnes of fuel annually to maintain DOS-1 at an altitude of 300 km, 1 tonne at 350 km, and a mere 200 kg at 400 km. A higher orbit was therefore desirable to maximise the operating life of the station. However, the higher the station's altitude, the more fuel the Soyuz would use to make a rendezvous. Furthermore, a higher altitude would expose the crew to more intense space radiation. The next big issue was the total period of occupancy. This would be dependent on the reserves of air, water and food. Since one man would consume about 10 kg of materials per day, it was decided to load the station with sufficient stores to support three men for three months - a period that would be accumulated by a succession of crews. It was on the basis of such analyses that the documentation for the DOS-1 station was drawn up in February 1970.

The first meeting between the TsKBEM and TsKBM experts was in March 1970. Feoktistov presented the technical specifications to the Fili team. Then Semyonov outlined the structure of the programme, its management, and the responsibilities of not only the TsKBEM and the TsKBM but also their subsidiary factories. The M.V. Khrunichev Machine Building Plant (ZIKh), which the TsKBM managed, was to be responsible for building the DOS stations and the Proton rockets that would launch them. The Plant for Experimental Machine Building (ZEM) had been part of the TsKBEM since 1966, and its role would be to test the station's apparatus. Because each institution had its own structure, work philosophy, methodology and standards, the task of coordination was formidable. If prior experience was anything to go by, designing, developing, testing and launching a space station would take at least five years, but the DOS managers set out to do so in a period of approximately one year!

The first challenge was to arrange the transfer of the Almaz cores to the TsKBEM. Several days after the first meeting between the two engineering teams, Semyonov went to see Chelomey in Reutov. It was a difficult and strained meeting. Although Semyonov was armed with the Kremlin's decree, Chelomey accused the TsKBEM of "stealing" his work. Only after a telephone call to Afanasyev was Semyonov able to persuade Chelomey to transfer four Almaz cores.22

22 It was one of these cores which, some 13 months later, was successfully launched as the world's first space station.

The first DOS space station and a docked Soyuz ferry: (1) rendezvous antennas; (2) solar panels; (3) radio-telemetry antennas; (4) portholes; (5) the Orion astrophysical telescope; (6) the atmospheric regeneration system; (7) a movie camera; (8) a photo camera; (9) biological research equipment; (10) a food refrigeration unit; (11) crew sleeping bags; (12) water tanks; (13) waste collectors; (14) O

attitude control engines; (15) propellant tanks for the KTDU-66 main engine; (16) the sanitary and hygienic systems; (17) ®

micrometeoroid panel; (18) exercise treadmill (not shown, but it was aft of the large conical housing for scientific equipment viewing through the floor); (19) the crew's work table; (20) the main control panel; (21) oxygen tanks; (22) the periscope visor of the Soyuz g"

descent module; (23) the KTDU-35 main engine of the Soyuz spacecraft. The conical housing for the main scientific equipment is not g

The DOS-1 station will be described in detail later, and here it is necessary only to explain how it differed from Almaz. The transfer compartment housing the docking system was at the front of DOS-1, rather than at the rear. Whereas on Almaz there was a hermetic tunnel through the unpressurised propulsion module, in the case of DOS-1 the docking system provided access to a small compartment that had been added to the front of the Almaz structure. On the exterior of this compartment were two solar panels of the type developed for the Soyuz spacecraft. A hatch led to the compartment which combined the Almaz crew and work compartments.23 As in the case of Almaz, the rear of the main compartment was dominated by a large conical housing, but now the apparatus was for scientific rather than military observations. Another change was that the propulsion system developed for Almaz was discarded, and a system based on that of the Soyuz spacecraft was affixed in its place. This unit carried a second pair of solar panels.

The following DOS-1 systems were taken from Soyuz spacecraft:

• guidance and orientation

• Zarya radio-equipment

• RTS-9 telemetry system

• Rubin radio-control system

• command radio lines

• central post and main control panel

• Igla rendezvous and docking, and

• regenerators for oxygen.

In addition, the system for controlling the complex was taken from the Soyuz, but it was modified to take account of the station's greater mass. The thermal regulation system had also to be upgraded. These were in-house systems to the TsKBEM. The

A model of a Soyuz spacecraft (left) about to dock with the first DOS space station. The conical housing for the main scientific equipment has been 'airbrushed out'.

23 On the original Almaz, this forward hatch would have enabled the crew to enter the station from the capsule mounted on the front at launch.

Two engineers work at the main control panel of the DOS station, with the open hatch to the transfer compartment in the background.

Two engineers work at the main control panel of the DOS station, with the open hatch to the transfer compartment in the background.

Sirius system for information analysis was supplied by Sergey Darevskiy's Special Design Bureau. It was based on the Soyuz command display, and on DOS-1 it was on the left-hand side of the main control panel, in front of the commander's seat. It provided the following indicators:

• the pressure in the fuel tanks

• the distance and speed of the station relative to an approaching spacecraft during rendezvous and docking

• the voltage and current in the electrical power system

• the environmental parameters inside the station

• a globe to enable the cosmonauts to readily determine the position of the station in relation to terrestrial geography.

The development of the various scientific and medical apparatus also challenged the designers. Never before had so many scientific instruments been installed in one spacecraft: this apparatus weighed 1.5 tonnes in total. Most of it was designed and developed outside the TsKBEM, in coordination with the Academy of Sciences. For example, the Orion ultraviolet telescope was devised by the Byurakan Observatory and the OST-1 solar telescope by the Crimean Observatory. For each instrument on the station, the mission planners had to develop a programme of experiments for the crew to conduct.

Everyone involved in the project worked without holidays in order to build, test and launch the first space station within a period of one year! The project itself, and all the basic systems, were developed by Kaliningrad. Design schemes and system diagrams were prepared by Fili. The manufacturing process was organised by ZEM, where Ryumin and Pallo, Semyonov's deputies, worked alternate shifts around the clock. The station and its mockups (including wooden ones) were fabricated in the Khrunichev Plant. The final testing of the station was planned and conducted by the TsKBEM.

Even more remarkably, this coordinated effort was conducted without the support - and indeed against the wishes - of the leaders of the two design bureaus: Mishin and Chelomey!

In December 1970, after less than a year, Khrunichev completed the construction of the DOS-1 station. It was transferred to the TsKBEM for further testing, and then delivered to the Baykonur cosmodrome in March 1971.

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