Soyuz Kontakt A
Provisional drawing of Soyuz Kontakt A (Active) derivative of Soyuz for earth orbit tests of Kontakt lunar orbit docking system. It is uncertain if the Soyuz included the forward-mounted manoeuvring engines, or just the active docking mechanism of the LOK lunar orbiter. Certainly the LOK's cupola forward viewing port would have to be included in the orbital module.
Credit: © Mark Wade
Soyuz Kontakt P
Provisional drawing of Soyuz Kontakt P (Passive) derivative of Soyuz for earth orbit tests of Kontakt lunar orbit docking system. It is uncertain if the Soyuz included the forward-mounted manoeuvring engines, or just the passive docking mechanism of the LK lunar lander. Certainly the LK's forward viewing port and docking optical device would have to be included in the orbital module. It is not known if the downward-looking viewport and extensive scallop of the LK cabin was a feature.
Credit: © Mark Wade
Kontakt Docking Mech
Kontact docking grappler. The three arms at the bottom faced outward from the docking assembly. MAI, March 1994
Credit: © Dietrich Haeseler
Russian manned spacecraft. Cancelled 1974. Modification of the Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft to test in earth orbit the Kontakt rendezvous and docking system.
Kontakt was developed for the lunar orbit rendezvous of the 7K-OK manned lunar orbiter and LK lunar lander. It utilized a hexagonal grid on the passive craft and a three-pronged grappler on the active spacecraft to allow a soft docking between the two spacecraft. The Kontakt system used manual optical methods for rendezvous and docking rather than the heavier automatic Igla radar system mounted on the 7K-OK. No hard docking was possible and crew transfer was by extravehicular activity.
The 7K-OK adaptation would have involved launch of two Soyuz by 11A511 boosters, with rendezvous and crew transfer in earth orbit. Crews were trained for these tests but due to delays and final cancellation of the N1-L3 lunar orbit rendezvous mission, the spacecraft never flew.
Crew Size: 3. Orbital Storage: 35 days. Habitable Volume: 9.00 m3. Spacecraft delta v: 390 m/s (1,270 ft/sec). Electric System: 0.50 average kW.
More... - Chronology...
Gross mass: 6,560 kg (14,460 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 6,060 kg (13,360 lb).
Height: 7.95 m (26.08 ft).
Span: 9.80 m (32.10 ft).
Thrust: 4.09 kN (919 lbf).
Specific impulse: 282 s.
KTDU-35 Isayev Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 4.09 kN. Out of Production. Isp=280s. Soyuz, Salyut 4 maneuvering engine. KTDU-53 version in L-1 circumlunar spacecraft; KTDU-66 in Salyut 1 space station. Thrusts 4.09 kN main + 4.03 kN secondary. First flight 1966. More...
Soyuz The Russian Soyuz spacecraft has been the longest-lived, most adaptable, and most successful manned spacecraft design. In production for fifty years, more than 240 have been built and flown on a wide range of missions. The design will remain in use with the international space station well into the 21st century, providing the only manned access to the station after the retirement of the shuttle in 2011. More...
Associated Launch Vehicles
Soyuz Russian orbital launch vehicle. The world's first ICBM became the most often used and most reliable launch vehicle in history. The original core+four strap-on booster missile had a small third stage added to produce the Vostok launch vehicle, with a payload of 5 metric tons. Addition of a larger third stage produced the Voskhod/Soyuz vehicle, with a payload over 6 metric tons. Using this with a fourth stage, the resulting Molniya booster placed communications satellites and early lunar and planetary probes in higher energy trajectories. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with an unmatched success rate of 97.5% for production models. Improved models providing commercial launch services for international customers entered service in the new millenium, and a new launch pad at Kourou was to be inaugurated in 2009. It appeared that the R-7 could easily still be in service 70 years after its first launch. More...
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...
Nitric acid/Hydrazine Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Hydrazine (N2H4) found early use as a fuel, but it was quickly replaced by UDMH. It is still used as a monopropellant for satellite station-keeping motors. More...
Siddiqi, Asif A, Soviet Space Web Page, 1999 via Dietrich Haeseler. Web Address when accessed: here.
Kamanin, N P, Skritiy kosmos, Infortext, Moscow, 1995.
Soyuz Kontakt Chronology
1969 April 26 -
1969 November -
- Soyuz n 17 (cancelled) - .
Crew: Khrunov; Yeliseyev. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrunov; Yeliseyev. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz n 17. Spacecraft: Soyuz Kontakt. The Kontakt system designed for the lunar orbit rendezvous and docking of the LOK lunar orbiter and LK lunar lander was to be mounted on two Soyuz spacecraft and tested in earth orbit. These flights were continuously delayed after the success of Apollo 11 and finally cancelled.
1969 November -
1970 February 20 -
- Soyuz 9 schedule; Soyuz Kontakt flights in limbo - .
Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Smirnov; Serbin; Ustinov. Program: Soyuz; Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 9; Soyuz n 17; Soyuz n 18; Soyuz n 19; Soyuz n 20. Spacecraft: Salyut 1; Soyuz Kontakt. It was originally planned to fly two Soyuz spacecraft in August-September 1970, but at the end of December it was ordered that this be changed to a single 20 day flight in April 1970. Kamanin was given only two days to put together a training programme that had to prepare the cosmonauts for flight by 20 March. The State Commission meets and decides to move the Soyuz 9 flight to May, even though Kamanin says he can support the April schedule. It is the scientific institutes who say they cannot finish development of their experiments - even to meet the May schedule. Kamanin blames such chaos on Smirnov, Serbin, and Ustinov.
1970 February 25 -
- Soyuz 9 decision preempts Soyuz Kontakt flights - .
Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Kerimov. Program: Soyuz; Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 9; Soyuz n 17; Soyuz n 18; Soyuz n 19; Soyuz n 20. Spacecraft: Soyuz Kontakt. Meeting with Mishin. It is clear that he wanted to continue with the original plan for a dual Soyuz flight in August. It was Afanasyev and Kerimov who were pushing for a single long-duration flight in May. There is no action by the Ministry of Defence to provide rational decision making in regard to manned spaceflight.
1970 February 27 -
- DOS schedules, Soyuz Kontakt flights still in play - .
Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Bogomolov. Program: Soyuz; Salyut; Lunar L3; Almaz. Flight: Soyuz 10; Soyuz 11; Soyuz n 17; Soyuz n 18; Soyuz n 19; Soyuz n 20. Spacecraft: Soyuz Kontakt; Almaz OPS; Soyuz OB-VI; Soyuz VI. A meeting is held on the DOS project. The Central Committee and Soviet Ministers have directed that two DOS space stations be completed by the end of 1970. TsNIIMASH thinks this is impossible - the task can be accomplished in no less than 18 to 24 months. Mishin insists it can be done in ten months, as directed. Kamanin believes he won't even have it ready by the second half of 1971. It took five to seven years to just bring the Almaz, Soyuz VI, and L1 to flight status. This DOS will stop work on all other projects. Mishin still wants to fly two Soyuz spacecraft to test Bogomolov's Kontakt docking system for the L3.
1970 February-March -
1970 February-March -
1970 September 23 -
- Cosmonaut training plans. - .
Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Bogomolov; Popovich; Bykovsky. Program: Salyut; Almaz; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Spiral OS; Soyuz Kontakt; Almaz OPS. The training plan for DOS#1 is reviewed. The station is to be launched by February 1971. Soyuz 10 and Soyuz 11 will dock with it and crew the station for two to three months, according to Mishin's plan. This however will slow down flight test of Bogomolov's Kontakt docking system for the L3. This was to have been ready by January 1970, but it is still not ready for flight. On the other hand, the completion of the DOS station within four to five months is not possible. There are currently 12 cosmonauts in training for DOS, and ten for Soyuz flights. Popovich heads a group of 22 cosmonauts training for Almaz; and Bykovsky heads a group on lunar issues. The new trainers and simulators are on schedule; the existing ones are being heavily used.
1971 June 15 -
- Soyuz Kontakt and DOS-2 crew assignments made. - .
Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Filipchenko; Grechko; Lazarev; Makarov; Vorobyov; Yazdovsky; Yakovlev; Porvatkin; Kovalyonok; Isakov; Shcheglov; Leonov; Rukavishnikov; Kolodin; Gubarev; Sevastyanov; Voronov; Klimuk; Artyukhin; Bykovsky; Alekseyev, Semyon; Gorbatko. Program: Salyut; Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 11; Soyuz 12 / DOS 1; Soyuz sn 18; Soyuz sn 19; Soyuz sn 20; Soyuz sn 21; Soyuz sn 22; Soyuz sn 23; DOS 2-1; DOS 2-2; DOS 2-3; DOS 2-4. Spacecraft: Soyuz Kontakt; Salyut 1. Crews are formed for six Soyuz (Kontakt?) flights. Soyuz s/n 18 - Filipchenko and Grechko; Soyuz s/n 19 - Lazarev and Makarov; Soyuz s/n 20 - Vorobyov and Yazdovsky; Soyuz s/n 21 - Yakovlelv and Porvatkin; Soyuz s/n 22 - Kovalyonok and Isakov; Soyuz s/n 23 - Shcheglov and [illegible]. Five crews are training for Salyut flights: Crew 1, Leonov, Rukavishnikov, and Kolodin; Crew 2, Gubarev, Sevastyanov, and Voronov. TsKBEM engineer cosmonauts are to be selected will round out the last three crews, but VVS members will be: Crew 3, Klimuk, Artyukhin; Crew 4, Bykovskyy, Alekseyev; Crew 5, Gorbatko. Leonov and Gubarev will have their crews fully ready for Soyuz 12 by 30 June, for a launch date between 15-20 July. Leonov is asking to go to East Germany for two to three days in the first week of July. Kamanin is fully opposed to this - he is thinkng not of his upcoming flight, but the exhibition of his paintings at the Prezdensk Gallery!
1972 Early -
- Soyuz sn 19 (cancelled) - .
Crew: Lazarev; Makarov. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Lazarev; Makarov. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz sn 19. Spacecraft: Soyuz Kontakt. Summary: Soyuz s/n 19 would have been equipped with the passive Kontakt rendezvous/docking system of the LK lunar lander. Would have served as a docking target for Soyuz s/n 18 . A crew transfer using the Krechet spacesuit would presumably have taken place..
1972 Early -
- Soyuz sn 18 (cancelled) - .
Crew: Filipchenko; Grechko. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Filipchenko; Grechko. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz sn 18. Spacecraft: Soyuz Kontakt. Summary: Soyuz s/n 18 would have been the active spacecraft of the first dual launch to test the Kontakt lunar orbit rendezvous system. A crew transfer using the Krechet spacesuit would presumably have taken place..
1972 Early -
- Soyuz sn 21 (cancelled) - .
Crew: Dobrovolsky; Sevastyanov. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Dobrovolsky; Sevastyanov. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz sn 21. Spacecraft: Soyuz Kontakt. Summary: Soyuz s/n 21 equipped with the passive Kontakt rendezvous/docking system of the LK lunar lander. Would have served as a docking target for Soyuz s/n 20 . A crew transfer using the Krechet spacesuit would presumably have taken place..
1972 Early -
- Soyuz sn 20 (cancelled) - .
Crew: Vorobyov; Yazdovsky. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Vorobyov; Yazdovsky. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz sn 20. Spacecraft: Soyuz Kontakt. Summary: Soyuz s/n 20 would have been the active spacecraft of the second dual launch to test the Kontakt lunar orbit rendezvous system. A crew transfer using the Krechet spacesuit would presumably have taken place..
- Soyuz sn 23 (cancelled) - .
Crew: Shcheglov. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Shcheglov. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz sn 23. Spacecraft: Soyuz Kontakt. Summary: Soyuz s/n 23 would have been equipped with the passive Kontakt rendezvous/docking system of the LK lunar lander. The spacecraft would have served as a docking target for Soyuz s/n 22. In Kamanin's diary, the name of the second crewmember is illegible..
1973 Early -
1973 Early -
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