Encyclopedia Astronautica

DOS Laser
Isometric drawing of derivative of Almaz / Mir space station as laser space battle station.
DOS Pebbles
Isometric drawing of derivative of Almaz / Mir space station as 'Brilliant Pebbles' space interceptor launcher.
Russian military anti-satellite system. Study 1978. As platforms for operational versions of space-borne weapons NPO Energia designed a Universal Service Block, based on the DOS-7K space station, in the late 1970's/early 1980's.

The USB was equipped with common service systems and rocket engines. In comparison to the DOS the USB had much larger propellant tanks to allow substantial orbital maneuvering. The USB would be equipped with either a laser payload or a weapons bay consisting of ten miniature rocket homing vehicles.

The Proton launch vehicle would be used to launch a 20 metric ton version of the USB for experimental flight tests. Operational 30 metric ton vehicles would be delivered to orbit by the Buran space shuttle. Buran would also bring crews for on-orbit servicing of the USB. For this purpose the USB had a life support capability of two crew for seven days.

The mass of the military payload depended on the amount of propellant loaded. The laser payload was heavy with a resulting lower fuel fraction and was limited to use against low earth orbit targets. The UBM with the rocket homing vehicles had more propellant and could be used for attack of geostationary orbit targets.

Gross mass: 20,000 kg (44,000 lb).

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Associated Countries
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Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Proton The Proton launch vehicle has been the medium-lift workhorse of the Soviet and Russian space programs for over forty years. Although constantly criticized within Russia for its use of toxic and ecologically-damaging storable liquid propellants, it has out-lasted all challengers, and no replacement is in sight. Development of the Proton began in 1962 as a two-stage vehicle that could be used to launch large military payloads or act as a ballistic missile with a 100 megaton nuclear warhead. The ICBM was cancelled in 1965, but development of a three-stage version for the crash program to send a Soviet man around the moon began in 1964. The hurried development caused severe reliability problems in early production. But these were eventually solved, and from the 1970's the Proton was used to launch all Russian space stations, medium- and geosynchronous orbit satellites, and lunar and planetary probes. More...
  • Energia The Energia-Buran Reusable Space System (MKS) began development in 1976 as a Soviet booster that would exceed the capabilities of the US shuttle system. Following extended development, Energia made two successful flights in 1987-1988. But the Soviet Union was crumbling, and the ambitious plans to build an orbiting defense shield, to renew the ozone layer, dispose of nuclear waste, illuminate polar cities, colonize the moon and Mars, were not to be. Funding dried up and the Energia-Buran program completely disappeared from the government's budget after 1993. More...

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

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