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After many years of work, I completed writing, illustrating and designing a book on the history of the Russian space program. It was published by Apogee Prime (ISBN 978-1926837-25-3).




Get this book! This is an impressive, artfully done and seminal masterpiece...

Leonard David
Space writer and journalist
From a review for Coalition for Space Exploration

I now have my coworker's copy in my grubby little hands.


What I did not realize is that it is large format. For those of you interested in digital, I'd only say that this is a demonstration of the value of books. Large format, high quality illustrations in high resolution. Looks great.

All his work is amazing. As soon as I can get a copy I will.

Got mine today (on the left side of the pond) a week after ordering it. A beautiful piece of work.

My copy just arrived - wow, what a book. I too did not realize it was large format. This is a book to savour. Thank you for this magnificent work Anatoly.

Comments on forum --

My book came yesterday. VERY impressive. What a lot of talent it takes to do that all by yourself.

An e-mail to author

I just got your book and it is amazing! Paging through it, it's easy to see that you put a decade worth of work into it. It's more than I anticipated; I've never seen another book dealing with the Russian space program like it. It's colorful, it's crammed-pack with history and dreams - and it's heavy! This will keep me busy for a long, long time. Well done!

A Facebook note

I just received my copy of your book Russia in Space yesterday. It looks fantastic. Almost 700 footnotes, beautiful pictures, diagrams and photos.

An e-mail to author

I just got my copy of your book Friday - wow!  I was surprised how large and well-illustrated it is. Nice work!

An e-mail to author

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From the back cover:


This large format, illustrated book is a unique attempt to visualize the future of astronautics through the eyes of Russian space engineers and to describe that nation's planning in space during the past several decades. Based on actual documents, it is the first comprehensive illustrated publication dedicated to the Russian vision for the future of manned spaceflight from the 1960s until today.

Lavishly illustrated with images of unparalleled artistic quality and technical accuracy, this edition:

  • puts the development of the Russian manned spacecraft into political and historical context;
  • uniquely describes the future of space exploration through the eyes of Russian space engineers and planners;
  • introduces little-known projects and proposals within the Russian space program;
  • describes past events and future plans in the historical context of the fall and rise of the Russian space program.


Anatoly Zak – writer and illustrator specialized in the history of space exploration. Native of Russia, he attended School of Journalism at Moscow State University. Upon moving to the United States, he earned journalism degree from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications. He is a publisher of, a unique and unmatched online resource for news, historical information, photography and imagery on space program in the former USSR.

Zak also contributed reporting, illustrations and commentary on space to BBC, the Air & Space Smithsonian, CNN and many other mass media organizations around the world. His computer visualizations were used by NASA, European Space Agency and their major contractors including Boeing and Alenia among many others.

Back in Moscow, he worked as a contributing editor for the Astronomy and Cosmonautics series of Moscow Polytech Society and later as an aviation and space reporter for the Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the first independent daily in Russia. He visited all leading Russian space centers including Baikonur Cosmodrome and interviewed many legendary personalities in the Soviet space program, including Boris Chertok and Alexei Leonov.


Chapter I: Collapse and near death - p. 3

  • Industry regroups
  • Creation of the Russian space agency
  • Fate of Buran
  • Baikonur’s urban decay
  • Troubles on Mir
  • International space station
  • A lifeboat for the ISS
  • Russian roots of the ISS
  • Russian ISS segment
  • Zarya FG module
  • Zvezda Service Module
  • Development of the Russian segment
  • The end of Mir

Chapter II: Struggling to survive - p. 45

  • Soyuz TMA spacecraft
  • The redesign of the Russian segment
  • The Enterprise module
  • FGB-2 dilemma
  • MLM replaces USM
  • Mini-Research Module (MIM-1)
  • Mini-Research Module (MIM-2)
  • Bigger Progress cargo ships
  • Challenges for Russian space station science
  • FGB-2 becomes MLM
  • Node module
  • Power and science modules
  • Airlock module
  • OKA-T man-tended platform
  • Tourist space stations
  • Excalibur-Almaz
  • New spacesuits for ISS
  • The ISS gets new lease of life to 2020
  • Soyuz TMA-M
  • Soyuz MS and Progress MS
  • Progress for Soyuz-2 rocket
  • Limitations of Soyuz

Chapter III: Phoenix returns - p. 75

  • Kliper: a Soyuz replacement
  • Kliper: Technical Description
  • Lunar Kliper
  • Parom space tug
  • Enter Europe
  • Federal tender
  • TKS follow-on
  • NPO Molniya’s proposal
  • Kliper changes its shape
  • Afterword to Kliper
  • Back to the Moon
  • Soyuz around the Moon
  • Lunar mission scenarios
  • Lunar tourists
  • New attempt at Russian-ESA cooperation
  • Docking systems
  • Rendezvous system
  • Ground and launch infrastructure
  • Ousting Sevastyanov
  • Industry formulates a multi-level strategy
  • Sharing responsibilities
  • Lander, rocket and a launch site
  • Transformer
  • ACTS becomes an Apollo clone
  • Understanding reached
  • General concept of ACTS
  • Lunar mission possibilities
  • A European version of the lunar spacecraft
  • Landing: parachutes versus rockets
  • Political cracks
  • Europe and Russia go separate ways
  • Way forward
  • Europe’s road map to space
  • The Russian-only PTK-NP
  • Development of PTK-NP
  • Completion of the preliminary design
  • Prospective flavors of PTK-NP spacecraft
  • Starting the Technical Project
  • PTK-Z spacecraft
  • Design changes
  • Work during 2011 and 2012
  • Under new management
  • Future big rockets
  • The players
  • RKK Energia concepts
  • TsSKB Progress concepts
  • KB Machinostroenia concepts
  • Khrunichev’s Angara-5
  • A final concept emerges
  • Design requirements
  • Tender
  • Rus-M family of rockets
  • Rus-M development
  • Cancellation of Rus-M

Chapter IV: Vision into the future - p. 185

  • Roskosmos’ informational policy
  • The Highway to Space
  • Why manned space flight?
  • Mars ahead of the Moon?
  • International cooperation
  • Mars infrastructure
  • Russian successor to the ISS

Chapter V: Forward to Mars! - p. 197

  • OKB-1 Mars studies in the 1960s
  • TsNIIMash Mars studies
  • Chelomei’s plans
  • Martian plans in the 1980s
  • Soviet nuclear rocket engine
  • Switching to electric engines
  • Introducing solar power
  • US-Russian contacts on Mars plans
  • A road to Mars via Modul-M
  • Alternative power solutions
  • New hope for nuclear engine
  • Nuclear-electric space tug
  • The architecture of the Martian spacecraft
  • Mars mission scenarios
  • Preparing the human body for Mars
  • Life-support systems and spacesuits
  • After Mars

Chapter VI: Going to the Moon... to stay - p. 255

  • Korolev’s studies
  • Soviet lunar hardware heritage
  • KBOM Moon bases
  • New plans: N1M and L3M
  • Glushko takes over
  • Lunar mission scenarios after 2000
  • Current spacecraft proposals for the Moon
  • Choosing the site for a lunar base
  • An embryonic lunar base
  • Expansion of the base
  • Lunar city
  • Lunar orbital station
  • Progress-Centaur
  • Kosmoport
  • Lunny poligon
  • Moon beacons

Afterword - p. 296

References - p. 298

Picture credits - p. 315

Chronology - p. 318

Subject index - p. 332

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Text, illustrations, photography, book cover design and page layouts by Anatoly Zak

All rights reserved



The author with the third printing of the book. Click to enlarge.


In addition to writing and illustrating this book, I personally designed and laid out each of its 300 plus pages. And I promise, you've never seen anything like that! All chapter pages are color-coded for Earth-orbiting spacecraft (blue), Moon-bound vehicles (gray) and Mars expeditionary hardware (sandy). All illustrations are strictly based on Soviet and Russian blueprints, which are shown alongside the artwork. Here are just a few examples:

p. 2-3

Page 2-3 spread. An introduction describing seemingly imminent collapse of the Russian space program in the first post-Soviet decade.

p. 2-3

Page 18-19 spread. Little known Soviet and Russian designs for the "big" Soyuz.

p. 2-3

Page 262-263 spread. Previously unknown (and unseen) designs of the Soviet lunar city from the 1960s in historic blueprints and present-day visualizations.


Page 196-197 spread. Opening of the Mars chapter.

p. 2-3

Page 202-203 spread. Visualizations of the earliest and little-known Soviet proposal for an interplanetary spacecraft.


Page 210-211 spread. Visualizations of Vladimir Chelomei's UR-700 and UR-900 rockets and his plans for exploration of Mars.

p. 2-3

Page 242-243 spread. Visualizations and descriptions of the latest Russian plans for the manned expedition to Mars.

Text, illustrations, photography, front cover design and page layouts by Anatoly Zak. All rights reserved.