The first Salyut space station
The Salyut space station, identified in the industrial documentation as 17K, structurally consisted of a transfer compartment with a diameter of 2.1 meters, followed by the main work section, in turn containing a science instrument compartment, and closed up with an instrument section.
The work section, borrowed from the Almaz project was subdivided into two cylinders 4.1 and 2.9 meters in diameter, with a conical ring in between. The instrument module (also 2.1 meters in diameter) contained an orbit correction engine, borrowed from the Soyuz spacecraft. Soyuz also became a donor of many critical “internal organs” for its larger counterpart, including the manual and automated flight control system, computing avionics and measuring sensors, the power storage and distribution system, the telemetry, radio and life-support systems. To fit all this heritage hardware into the alien body of Almaz, a whole new structural skeleton had to be designed.
Also, a network of small thrusters responsible for maintaining the attitude of the station in space was developed from scratch, along with a scientific package, which was fitted into a special niche, which was originally intended by Almaz engineers to accommodate a high-power spy camera. Due to the much longer missions planned for Salyut in comparison to Soyuz flights, the station’s thermal control system had to be developed largely anew, with only some hardware recycled from Soyuz.
The station’s scientific instruments with a total mass of 1.5 tons included, the OST-1 Sun-watching telescope, the RT-4 X-ray detector, the ITSK infra-red spectrometer and the OD-4 telescope with 60-power magnification, among other payloads.
The station was expected to accommodate two or three consecutive crews with a total time onboard of around three months. However, its life span was limited by non-replenishable consumable resources, such as propellant and oxygen supplies.
Known specifications of the DOS-7K complex:
Interior view of the DOS-7K space station looking toward the fornt docking port and over the control console.
The flight control console inside the DOS-7K space station.
Flight engineer work site inside the DOS-7K space station.
Propulsion module of the DOS-7K space station.
The Orion telescope