Soyuz 7K-OK(A) spacecraft with an active docking unit
|Country of origin||Soviet Union|
|Operator||Soviet space program|
|Applications||Carry three cosmonauts to orbit and back|
|Regime||Low Earth orbit|
|Status||No longer in service|
|First launch||Kosmos 133, 1966|
|Last launch||Soyuz 9, 1970|
|Derived from||Soyuz-A (concept only)|
|Derivatives||Soyuz 7K-T (successor)|
Soyuz 7K-OK was the first generation of Soyuz spacecraft in use from 1967 to 1971. This first generation was used for the first ferry flights to in the Salyut space station program; Soyuz spacecraft in their current generation are still in use to ferry crew to and from the ISS.
This generation is notable for the only fatalities of the Soyuz programme as of 2014, with Soyuz 1 in 1967 (sole crew-member killed by parachute failure) and Soyuz 11 in 1971 (crew killed by depressurisation during reentry).
The first unmanned automated docking in the history of spaceflight, between Kosmos 186 and Kosmos 188 in 1967, was achieved with this generation of Soyuz spacecraft. The generation encompasses furthermore the first docking between two manned spacecraft (Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5), the longest manned flight involving only one spacecraft (the 18-day flight of Soyuz 9 in 1970) and the first successful manning of the first space station in the history of space flight (Soyuz 11 and Salyut 1 in 1971).
The Soyuz 7K-OK vehicles carried a crew of up to three without spacesuits. The craft can be distinguished from those following by their bent solar panels and their use of the Igla automatic docking navigation system, which required special radar antennas.
The 7K-OK was primarily intended as a variant of the 7K-LOK (the lunar mission Soyuz) for Earth orbital testing. Mostly the same vehicle, it lacked the larger antenna needed to communicate at lunar distance. The early Soyuz models also sported an external toroidal fuel tank surrounding the engines and meant to store extra propellant for lunar flights, but it was left empty on Soyuz 1-9. After the spacecraft was converted to a space station ferry, the tank was removed.
Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft had an docking mechanism of the original Soyuz "probe and drogue" type to dock to other spacecraft, in order to gather engineering data as an preparation for the Soviet space station program. There were two variants of Soyuz 7K-OK: Soyuz 7K-OK(A) featuring an active "probe" docking port, and Soyuz 7K-OK(P) featuring an passive "drogue" docking target. For unknown reasons, both the 7K-OK and 7K-LOK did not have docking mechanisms that opened or allowed internal transfer (this did not arrive until the 7K-OKS), thus cosmonauts had to spacewalk for this. The procedure was done successfully on the joint Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 missions, where Aleksei Yeliseyev and Yevgeny Khrunov transferred from their Soyuz 5 to the Soyuz 4 craft.
The first unmanned test of this version was Cosmos-133, launched on Nov. 28, 1966.
- Soyuz 7K-OKS 1
- Unmanned and test missions 2
- Manned missions 3
- External links 4
- References 5
The last two Soyuz space craft of this series were of the designation Soyuz 7K-OKS. In contrast to Soyuz 7K-OK, which docking mechanism lacked an hatch for internal crew transfer, the Soyuz 7K-OKS spacecraft were modified to utilize the new Soyuz "probe and drogue" docking mechanism that allowed internal crew transfer – this was done successfully with the manning of the Salyut 1 space station by Soyuz 11. This probe and drogue docking adapter is in use until today at the ISS.
Unmanned and test missions
- Kosmos 133
- Kosmos 140
- Kosmos 186 and Kosmos 188, the first unmanned automated docking in the history of spaceflight
- Kosmos 212 and Kosmos 213, unmanned automated docking mission
- Kosmos 238
- Soyuz 2, intended docking target for the manned Soyuz 3
- Soyuz 1, the first manned Soyuz flight, commander and sole crew-member killed on re-entry
- Soyuz 3
- Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5, the first manned docking and first crew transfer in the history of spaceflight
- Soyuz 6
- Soyuz 7 and Soyuz 8: Intended docking, to be filmed by Soyuz 6 crew – docking failed due to malfunction
- Soyuz 9
- Soyuz 10 (Soyuz 7K-OKS), Salyut 1 ferry, the first docking to a space station in the history of spaceflight
- Soyuz 11 (Soyuz 7K-OKS), Salyut 1 ferry, the first manning of a space station in the history of spaceflight – crew killed on re-entry
- Russia New Russian spaceship will be able to fly to Moon - space corp
- RSC Energia: Concept Of Russian Manned Space Navigation Development
Mir Hardware Heritage
- David S.F. Portree, Mir Hardware Heritage, NASA RP-1357, 1995
- Mir Hardware Heritage (wikisource)
- Information on Soyuz spacecraft
- OMWorld's ASTP Docking Trainer Page
- NASA - Russian Soyuz TMA Spacecraft Details
- Space Adventures circum-lunar mission - details