Encyclopedia Astronautica
Global Communications Satellite Using Nuclear Power


Russian military communications satellite. Study 1963. In 1963 Korolev's OKB proposed development of a massive nuclear-powered geosynchronous satellite, which would be launched by the N1 superbooster.

The spacecraft, 25 m long, would have the form of a long cone followed by cylindrical sections. The cone would be the nuclear reactor; the conical section contained the communications equipment, on-board control systems, and cylindrical heat radiators for the reactor.

The orientation system would point the satellite to within 0.5 to 1 degrees accuracy. Three such satellites would provide global coverage. Average operating life was expected to be two to three years. In support of this project research was undertaken on a fast-neutron reactor with beryllium reflectors and a niobium case. Coolant cycle would use liquid lithium Li - Li-7. Thermal output of the reactor would be 6,000 kW and net average electrical output 600 kW. The reactor core had a diameter of 0.75 m, a length of 1.1 m, and a mass of 1,000 kg. The draft project of 1963 foresaw completion of system design in 1965 and flights from 1967. Although work continued throughout the 1960's on development of the reactor, the communications satellite itself was not approved.

Characteristics

Electric System: 600.00 average kW.

Gross mass: 16,000 kg (35,000 lb).
Height: 25.00 m (82.00 ft).
Span: 5.00 m (16.40 ft).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • N1 1969 Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The N1 launch vehicle, developed by Russia in the 1960's, was to be the Soviet Union's counterpart to the Saturn V. The largest of a family of launch vehicles that were to replace the ICBM-derived launchers then in use, the N series was to launch Soviet cosmonauts to the moon, Mars, and huge space stations into orbit. In comparison to Saturn, the project was started late, starved of funds and priority, and dogged by political and technical struggles between the chief designers Korolev, Glushko, and Chelomei. The end result was four launch failures and cancellation of the project five years after Apollo landed on the moon. Not only did a Soviet cosmonaut never land on the moon, but the Soviet Union even denied that the huge project ever existed. More...
  • N1 The N1 launch vehicle, developed by Russia in the 1960's, was to be the Soviet Union's counterpart to the Saturn V. The largest of a family of launch vehicles that were to replace the ICBM-derived launchers then in use, the N series was to launch Soviet cosmonauts to the moon, Mars, and huge space stations into orbit. In comparison to Saturn, the project was started late, starved of funds and priority, and dogged by political and technical struggles between the chief designers Korolev, Glushko, and Chelomei. The end result was four launch failures and cancellation of the project five years after Apollo landed on the moon. Not only did a Soviet cosmonaut never land on the moon, but the Soviet Union even denied that the huge project ever existed. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...

Bibliography
  • Semenov, Yu. P., S P Korolev Space Corporation Energia, RKK Energia, 1994.
  • Vetrov, G S, S. P. Korolev i evo delo, Nauka, Moscow, 1998.

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