Encyclopedia Astronautica
OP


Russian manned space station. Study 1962. Korolev's next attempt to win military support for development of the N-I was his fantastic 'Orbitalniy Poyas' (OP -Orbital Belt) scheme of 20 April 1962.

Anticipating Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative by 25 years, he painted a picture of an invincible Soviet space force patrolling the heavens. Two to three large N-I launched military manned stations would control a constellation of strategic assets. Geosynchronous nuclear-powered satellites would provide secure communications.

Piloted reconnaissance spacecraft would surprise the enemy, observing military preparations without warning. The orbital stations would provide continuous observations of the territory of the imperialist block. They would control combat sputniks, maneuverable anti-satellites that would control the heavens from altitudes of 300 to 2,000 km. Using docking methods, the stations would be remanned, providing fresh crews to control anti-ballistic missile interceptors in 150 to 100 km orbits and to deploy separately targetable warheads at a variety of altitudes.

There was no evidence the military was any more impressed with this justification than those previously put forth.

Characteristics

Crew Size: 3.

AKA: Orbitalnky Poyas - Orbital Belt.
Gross mass: 50,000 kg (110,000 lb).

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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
  • Vetrov, G S, S. P. Korolev i evo delo, Nauka, Moscow, 1998.

OP Chronology


1962 April 20 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • OP -Orbital Belt - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Spacecraft: OP. Korolev’s fantastic ‘Orbitalniy Poyas’ (OP -Orbital Belt) scheme anticipated Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defence Initiative by 25 years. Two to three large N-I launched military manned stations would control a constellation of strategic assets. Geosynchronous nuclear-powered satellites would provide secure communications. Piloted reconnaissance spacecraft would surprise the enemy, observing military preparations without warning. The orbital stations would provide continuous observations of the territory of the imperialist block.

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