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- Type: VAB
- Class: station
- Part Count: 85
- Mods: 6
- Bluedog DB
- New Tantares
- New TantaresLV
- Squad (stock)
- Tantares LV
The Almaz program was developed and promoted as a Soviet response to the USAF’s Manned Orbital Laboratory. It had similar goals including being launched with a re-entry capsule, the TKS, and would be adapted to a number of military situations including anti-satellite weaponry, spacecraft defense, and surveillance. The station design was changed a number of things throughout the 1960s and eventually adapted into a series of phases where each would incorporate another feature. The program was highly classified with its features not revealed until decades later and it resulted in three functional space stations – two of which were eventually crewed.
Almaz OPS-1 was launched in May 1973 and was officially classified as a civilian station, Salyut 2, although foreign observers knew it was, in some capacity, a military station given its increased secrecy and planned use of military personnel for missions. However several malfunctions caused it to eventually de-orbit and burn up in the atmosphere. Almaz OPS-2, an exact copy of the first, was launched in June 1974 and was similarly classified as a civilian station, Salyut 3. This station was successful and was visited by the crews of Soyuz 14 and 15. The first was able to successfully crew the station for 15 days and tested out a number of systems – possibly testing an anti-satellite gun in the process. Almaz OPS-3 was even more successful when it launched in June 1976 as Salyut 5 with the crew of Soyuz 21 manning it for 49 days and the crew of Soyuz 24 manned it for about 14 days. Unfortunately due to some technical problems and low fuel supplies it was deorbited six months later which effectively ended the manned portion of the Almaz program.
The Pravitel PV-1 is an approximation of the Almaz station but incorporates aspects not flown such as the TKS-derived re-entry capsule. It can either be launched with a crew of up to 3 initially, much in a manner similar to the Gemini MOL, or uncrewed like most stations. The attached re-entry capsule, the Alnair, either allows for the initial crew to return safely or can be used as in an emergency if the crew’s primary spacecraft has been lost or disabled. The station can technically support up to 10 Kerbonauts although the intended crew size is 3.
The station’s docking port can be used by any craft with the correct docking port although it’s intended to be by the Sangh 7K-T (Soyuz 7K-T) and derived craft. The rather large solar panels make up for the somewhat smaller electric capacity, in comparison to the Baruti DOS-1, with additional antenna acting as mock ups for various classified surveillance equipment. The station’s engines and fuel capacity are much smaller than the Baruti stations and only meant to handle de-orbiting the station after its mission has been completed.
The station is still quite functional once the Alnair capsule has been ejected and in fact will more resemble the actual stations, Salyut 3 and 5, once it has been decoupled. The station engines provide about 30 dV with the capsule attached and about 120-150 dV once it has been ejected. The Alnair capsule has its small engines in a tower forward of the descent capsule which should have just enough dV for re-entry. Once you have begun to re-enter the atmosphere it can be safely ejected with parachute deployment somewhere in the atmosphere.
The lifter is an approximation of the Proton-K and can be a difficult rocket to fly with a fairly vertical ascent profile. A series of ahistorical stabilizer fins have been added although its still recommended that your angle-of-attack doesn’t exceed 4 degrees during your pitch program. There is an excess of fuel in both the second and third stages to allow for liberal orbital parameters and for rocket balance. The first stage should be decoupled in the upper atmosphere when you have reached your desired projected apogee. The second stage can take care of any ascent corrections and handled orbital circularization. The third stage is somewhat optional but can be used to correct mistakes in your orbital parameters or make last-minute boosts.
Built in the VAB in KSP version 1.3.0.
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