L1 Complex 1961
The earliest Sever project tackled such problems as manoeuvring in orbit, rendezvous and docking, use of manipulators to move station modules, and testing of lifting re-entry vehicles. Sever (left) was 50% larger than Soyuz, which replaced it by late 1961 in OKB-1 studies. The Vostok-Zh manoeuvrable Vostok spacecraft (right) would be used as a manned tug to assemble the stages in low earth orbit.
Status: Study 1962. Gross mass: 13,500 kg (29,700 lb).
The Vostok-Zh could be used on another mission to assemble a 15 metric ton orbital station with the mission of observing the earth. It would consist of three separately-launched blocks: a ZhO living section, BAA scientific apparatus block, and the Soyuz spacecraft itself. This closely resembled Sever, another contemporary study project at OKB-1.
Korolev approved the technical project 'Complex docking of spacecraft in earth orbit - Soyuz'. The Soyuz would first be tested using multiple launches of an R-7 derived rocket. In this concept a large spacecraft was assembled in earth orbit by a Vostok-Zh (or Vostok-7) manoeuvrable manned satellite, piloted by a 'cosmonaut assemblyman'. Following completion of assembly, the Vostok would return to earth. The assembled circumlunar craft would put the L1, with a crew of one to three, on a circumlunar trajectory. The Vostok-Zh could be used on another mission to assemble a 15 tonne OS orbital station with the mission of observing the earth.