Page 3 of 8 FirstFirst 12345678 LastLast
Results 31 to 45 of 117

Thread: Soviet Space Battle Station Skif and its prototype Polus.

  1. #31
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    3

    Default Energia reactivation?

    Raistlin, I would be very interested to hear what you and your father think of the possibility of refurbishing/reactiving the Energia booster and its launch facility to participate in launches to the Moon or Mars.

    Here in the US there is a some controversy about whether NASA should use part of its meager "Vision for Space Exploration" budget to develop a new heavy-lift launcher, or whether to size payloads for existing medium-lift launchers like Atlas V/Delta IV or (hopefully) SpaceX Falcon V.

    But with a Saturn-class launcher having been developed by your father's company not long ago, it seems like it could be useful to reactivate it, perhaps with funds provided by international partners.

    Guys, I'm sure you want to jump on me and explain to me why this is a bad idea--but I'd like to hear what Raistlin has to say.

    Patrick

  2. #32
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    3

    Default I meant Abbyy

    Duh, I'm new here, not used to handles, shoulda been more careful. I mean, I want to hear what ABBYY has to say.

  3. #33
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    7

    Default

    On the subject of the Polyus station depicted in those great photos, this was supposedly an experimental unmanned space station equipped with lasers and missile interceptors. It was launched into orbit but failed to orbit properly and reentered.

    It would have fired the lasers in space at ICBMs. It was probably intended to fire at the ICBMs while they were still in boost phase (i.e. rocket firing) and therefore the laser would have to fire through the atmosphere.

    It is highly doubtful the Russians could have made this thing work. Even if they did, the orbit was so low that they would have had to launch a lot of them to keep some within range at all times. Very expensive to do.

    However, Polyus remains an enigma. Much about it is secret, so we do not know any details.

    The rocket that launched it was the Energia which also launched the Buran. The Energia is long gone. That capability no longer exists. At least one of the shots shows the vehicle during assembly inside a large building. This was known as Site 110 at the Tyura-Tam launch facility (this was the same building where they assembled their N-1 moon rocket during the 1960s). A couple of years ago the roof of that building collapsed, destroying the Buran that flew once in space along with another Energia rocket. So that facility is destroyed, although the building next to it is still in use.

  4. #34
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    7

    Default

    punder wrote:
    But with a Saturn-class launcher having been developed by your father's company not long ago, it seems like it could be useful to reactivate it, perhaps with funds provided by international partners.
    The Energia was launched twice, in October and November 1988. That's 16 years ago, making this an old vehicle. People have retired and tooling has been destroyed. So that's one reason.

    A second reason is that the building where the Energia was assembled collapsed a few years ago, destroying an extra vehicle and a lot of spare equipment, along with much of the construction equipment. The capability to build the Energia no longer exists. It would have to be recreated.

  5. #35
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,512

    Default

    Kind of wonder how many space fans are visiting Military photos site

    Yes it is great challenge for modern Russia to restart production of many things made in Soviet Union.

  6. #36
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1

    Default Abbyy - Energia's Mars Mission

    Abbyy,

    You say that Energia corporation is making hardware for a Mars trip and that financing is difficult.

    Anyway that Energia can cut a deal with the Chinese? A JV (joint venture) deal where the Chinese put up some of the money and get to send some of their astronauts on the mission might work.

    Has anyone discussed this?

    Kurt

  7. #37
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,512

    Default Re: Abbyy - Energia's Mars Mission

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt9
    Abbyy,

    Has anyone discussed this?

    Kurt
    I don't know. I'm not a boss. Actually i suppose this is more political question rather then economical.

  8. #38
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    55

    Default

    I see news of this thread and the Polyus photos got posted to sci.space.history overnight (my time)...alot of the 'grey beard' space experts will be visiting I think

  9. #39
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    3

    Default

    [quote="DDAY
    The Energia was launched twice, in October and November 1988. That's 16 years ago, making this an old vehicle. People have retired and tooling has been destroyed. So that's one reason.

    A second reason is that the building where the Energia was assembled collapsed a few years ago, destroying an extra vehicle and a lot of spare equipment, along with much of the construction equipment. The capability to build the Energia no longer exists. It would have to be recreated.[/quote]

    Actually much of the Energia still most certainly exists--the strap-on boosters are still in production as the Zenit first stage. The RD-170 is in production as the RD-180, which is all RD-170 parts except for the turbopump.

    There are other mitigating factors that go beyond a simple yes/no. A collapsed roof, for example, does not equal complete destruction of the building. We build bigger roofs for football stadiums. Building and repairing large buildings is not that hard, especially in the context of an international effort to explore the Moon and Mars. Much of the building is still in use for ongoing Progress and St****m launches. Much of the rest of the infrastructure still exists, rusty perhaps... And even if tooling is all gone (is it really? I wonder), blueprints certainly exist.

    Looking around a little, I found a statement from Aleksandr Derechin, Head of International Division, RSC Energia, indicating that while cost of restarting production would be considerable, it would probably be cheaper than creating a whole new vehicle. I found that at

    http://chapters.marssociety.org/winnipeg/russian.html

    As for the Energia being "old" technology: Lockheed certainly wouldn't say that, using as they are the RD-180. Engines developed for Energia are still among the best in the business. NASA studied the RD-0120 for improvements to the SSME.

    You may be right, it would cost too much. I just think that if we DO go with a heavy-lift, we should examine this option closely and not dismiss it out of hand.

    Patrick

  10. #40
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Australia
    Age
    33
    Posts
    3,337

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stateofequilibrium
    It would probably be safe to assume that the Russians are trying to do everything the Americans are doing, and the Americans are trying to do everything the Russians are doing.
    Such a shame that they dont just start working together.

    Excellent post Abbyy, thankyou for sharing these pictures.

  11. #41
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    7

    Default

    punder wrote:
    Actually much of the Energia still most certainly exists--the strap-on boosters are still in production as the Zenit first stage. The RD-170 is in production as the RD-180, which is all RD-170 parts except for the turbopump.
    The core vehicle has been out of production for over 15 years. That qualifies as "old."


    There are other mitigating factors that go beyond a simple yes/no. A collapsed roof, for example, does not equal complete destruction of the building. We build bigger roofs for football stadiums. Building and repairing large buildings is not that hard
    I used to have a picture of the building. It is destroyed. I know someone who was there in the mid-1990s and said that it was clearly structurally unsound at that time--cracks in the walls, water inside, etc. It would essentially have to be torn down and rebuilt.


    especially in the context of an international effort to explore the Moon and Mars.
    There is no international effort to explore the Moon and Mars. There is an American effort to explore the Moon with robots and eventually humans, and Mars with robots. No other countries have signed on to this plan or even been formally asked to participate. The Russians are short on money and would want to be paid to build their contribution to any exploration plan.


    And even if tooling is all gone (is it really? I wonder), blueprints certainly exist.
    The point is not that it is impossible but that it would be expensive. It is not simply a case of restarting a dormant production line.


    I just think that if we DO go with a heavy-lift, we should examine this option closely and not dismiss it out of hand.
    Suppose the Russians estimate that it will cost $6 billion. Do you think it is realistic to convince the US Congress to spend $6 billion in Russia as opposed to the United States?



    DDAY

  12. #42
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    7

    Default

    kurt9 wrote:
    You say that Energia corporation is making hardware for a Mars trip and that financing is difficult.

    Anyway that Energia can cut a deal with the Chinese? A JV (joint venture) deal where the Chinese put up some of the money and get to send some of their astronauts on the mission might work.

    Has anyone discussed this?

    Actually, he never said that it was a human Mars mission. I think he is referring to the Phobos-Soil robotic mission.

    As for cutting a deal with the Chinese, it is not likely. China has a very slow and deliberate human spaceflight program, averaging only one launch about every 12-18 months. They do not want to spend the money on a fast-paced exploration program. And they are only spending the money so that they can create the spaceflight capability for themselves. They do not want to pay others to do it for them.

    The Energia is a historical vehicle. It has not flown for 16 years.

  13. #43
    Senior Member joka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    European Union
    Age
    28
    Posts
    2,237

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by joka
    So if it would have reached operational status, the Sovjet Union would have had a laserbeam pointing at earth from space?

    What kind of laserbeam are we talking about here? "Independence day City destroyer" or.. ?
    I just re-read my post and noticed that I may have come across sarcastic, which wasen't my intention. Which is maybe why there has been no replies to my question.. .?

    Anyway, I'm really curious about this "Laser space battle station". To my knowledge, even to this day humans have been unable to build a laserbeam powerful enough to be used as somesort of weapon ?? yes? no? And this space station was being developed in the 80's.. .

    What was it's purpose cause it obviously couldn't have taken out cities like I speculated

  14. #44
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    7

    Default

    joka wrote:
    Anyway, I'm really curious about this "Laser space battle station". To my knowledge, even to this day humans have been unable to build a laserbeam powerful enough to be used as somesort of weapon ?? yes? no? And this space station was being developed in the 80's.. .

    What was it's purpose cause it obviously couldn't have taken out cities like I speculated
    Reread the other posts on this. I already noted that it was intended to shoot down missiles, probably in boost phase. In other words, most of the firing would have been through space and thin atmosphere. It also carried missiles.

    You are right to be skeptical. I doubt that this would have worked. And keep in mind that it was only a test vehicle, not an operational one.

  15. #45

    Default

    Suppose the Russians estimate that it will cost $6 billion. Do you think it is realistic to convince the US Congress to spend $6 billion in Russia as opposed to the United States?
    that would depend on the technology transfers going into US companies. A good argument can be made that while the up front cost of $6 billion might seem high the backend profits would be considerably more.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •