May 17

Space Rocket History #439 – Salyut 3 – Soyuz 14 Part 1

Salyut 3 featured a “self-defense” gun purportedly designed by Alexander Nudelman for station use. Some reports suggest it was outfitted with a Nudelman-Rikhter “Vulkan” gun, a modified version of the 23mm Nudelman aircraft cannon, or conceivably a Nudelman NR-30 30mm gun. Subsequent Russian accounts propose the gun was the relatively obscure Rikhter R-23, not widely recognized in Western sources. Allegedly, Pavel Popovich has corroborated these assertions.

Almaz Military Salyut Station Configuration

Pavel Popovich

Yuri Artyukhin

Mar 15

Space Rocket History #435 – Soyuz 12 & 13

This second generation of the Soyuz spacecraft, the Soyuz 7k-T was flown on Soyuz 12 through Soyuz 40 missions from 1973–1981. The new 7K-T spacecraft was designed to accommodate only two cosmonauts who would wear pressure suits at all times during launch, docking, undocking, and reentry.

Soyuz 12 Crew with Pressure Suits

Soyuz 13 Crew with Pressure Suits

Soyuz 13 Crew with Pressure Suits


Orion-2 Observatory

Mar 01

Space Rocket History #434 – Salyut 2, Mars 4, 5, 6, 7 & Tang Ceremony

At this point in 1973, the Soviets were attempting to fly 2 types of space station, the long duration orbital station scientific version called DOS.  The other station was a military spy space station equipped with a machine gun, called Almaz or OPS which stood for orbital piloted station.

Salyut-2, OPS-1, Almaz

Mars 4 or 5

Mars 6 or 7

May 04

Space Rocket History #159 – Zond 6

Trouble began on the sixth day of the flight, November 17. The capsule developed an atmospheric  leak, the pressure first dropping from 760 to 380 mm of Mercury.  With the drop in cabin pressure all the animal test subjects died.  It would have killed any Cosmonaut not wearing a spacesuit.

Proton-K with 7K-L1

Proton-K with 7K-L1

Zone 6 mission profile

Zone 6 mission profile

Zond 6 Double-dip reentry

Zond 6 Double-dip reentry