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Author thanks Igor Puchkov and Igor Postnikov at NPO Mashinostroenia, in Reutov, Russia, and Alain Chabot from Université Sainte-Anne in Church Point, Nova Scotia, Canada, for their help in preparing this section.




Almaz space station technical overview

As proposed in 1964, the Almaz space station, also designated 11F71 or 11F71B, was designed to have a rotating crew of three people and an operational life of 1-2 years. The station was to be equipped with the Agat optical camera. The film could be developed onboard the station. Every station was to be equipped with a single small capsule, designated 11F74, allowing the quick return to Earth of surveillance film and other payloads with a total mass of up to 100 kilograms.

The habitable module of the station was devided into following main areas:

The propulsion section and solar panels would be also attached at the tail of the station. The Almaz was to be equipped with two RD-0225 (11D24) orbital maneuvering engines and 32 small attitude control thrusters.

For high-accuracy attitude control, the station would be also equipped with gyrodines developed at VNIIEM and under supervision of Nikolai Sheremetievski.

The surveillance equipment onboard Almaz was controlled by the Argon-16 onboard computer developed at VNITsVT institute. (78)

Almaz space station tech specs: (49)

Industrial designation
11F71, 11F71B
Operational life time 1-2 years
Crew size 2-3 people
Launch mass 18,960 kilograms
Mass in orbit 17,800 kilograms
Mass of onboard propellant 1,800 kilograms
Length 11.61 - 14.55 meters
Maximum diameter 4.15 meters
Payload mass 5,000 kilograms
Internal habitable volume 47.5 cubical meters
Solar panel area 52 square meters
Power supply 3,120 Watts

RD-0225 tech specs (145):

KB Khimavtomatiki, KBKhA, Voronezh
Leading designer V. M. Borodin
Thrust 400 kilograms (3.92 kH)
Combustion chamber pressure 0.88 mPa
Engine height 985 millimeters
Engine diameter 470 millimeters
Engine mass 23 kilograms
Fuel Unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine, UDMH
Oxidizer Nitrogen tetroxide, NTO



An artist rendering of the Almaz space station in "full" configuration docked with two TKS spacecraft. Credit: NPO Mash

An artist rendering of the initial version of the Almaz space station docked with Soyuz spacecraft. Credit: NPO Mash

The Almaz station consisted of three main sections: tail section (left), a "main diameter" section housing telescopes, and "small" diameter section (far right), containing living quarters. Copyright © 2002 by Anatoly Zak

The last manned Almaz station (OPS No. 104), equipped with a second docking port in the front section, was scheduled for launch in 1978, before the project was canceled. Copyright © 2002 by Anatoly Zak

A demonstration version of a flight-ready KSI reentry capsule. Copyright © 2002 by Anatoly Zak

The KSI reentry capsule configured for flight (left); a capsule minus its propulsion unit (center) and a heat shield protecting the capsule during the reentry (right). Copyright © 2002 by Anatoly Zak

Testing of the docking between the Almaz station and the TKS spacecraft. Credit: NPO Mash

The RD-0225 main engine (11D24) developed for the Almaz station. Credit: KBKhA