Archives for 'Polyus'
Today we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first Energia‘s flight on May 15, 1987.
It is at 21h30 (Moscow time) that the rocket was launched for the first time with the Polious space combat station as a payload. The launch went fine, despite a trouble during take off, but a malfunction in the orientation system didn’t allowed it to reach it’s orbit.
The second and last launch of Energia took place one year later with Buran on November 15, 1988.
Even if Energia was a versatile, adjustable, very powerful (100t in low earth orbit) and reliable (2 launch and 2 success) rocket, the lack of large scale projects and the collapse of the USSR buried it. Only its boosters made from Zenit launcher are still used today.
Some days ago TV Roscomos published a reporting about the Buran-Energia program named Последний « Буран » Империи (The last Snowstorm of the Empire).
It was the most expensive space program of the USSR, but after one successful flight, in automatic regime, the project was grounded and then stopped.
This reporting explains why the Soviets choose to build a shuttle and why it was done this way.
From: TV Roscosmos.
Pictures on Polyus are difficult to find, mostly because it was part of the Soviet military defense program.
Here are 3 new pictures of the Polyus on the launch pad 250 with the Energia launch vehicle.
Other pictures on Polyus here.
An exposition about the Buran-Energia project took place at Tushino from October 31 to November 23, 2008, it was about the 20th anniversary of the first flight of Buran.
Triumph and tragedy of « Energia » is a book about the most powerful launcher in the world: Energia. Written by Boris Ivanovich Gubanov, project manager, he tells the tragic history and the anecdotes of the elaboration of the launcher, as well as the vision of the Soviet’s space in the 2000s.
On May 15th, 1957 (50 years ago), the USSR proceeded to its first rocket fire, R7 (it exploded some minutes later). It is only October 4th of the same year that R7 put into orbit successfully the Sputnik, first artificial satellite of the Earth. This historic launch was going to open the gates of the space conquest. Conquest won at first by the tremendous leadership of the Soviets (first satellite, first man in the space, first woman in the space, first pedestrian spatial), but these last ones were overtake by the Americans and lost the race to the Moon.
At the end of the 70s the Soviets decided to come back on the front scene after the bitter echec of N1, they launch the Buran-Energia project, the heavy thrower Energia of which allows to put on low orbit 100 t of payload.
It is the May 15th, 1987 (20 years ago) the first launch of Energia took place. Initially planned with a fictitious payload (placed on the side of the thrower), the launch will be made finally with the Polyus system. But after a breakdown of the Polyus‘s propulsion system it was not able to reach its working orbit and crashed in the Pacific Ocean.
In spite of this failure the Energia thrower carries out his mission (2 launches at all since this date) with success.
Regrettably, Energia was give up after the fall of the USSR by the Russian authorities, because the thrower is partially Ukrainian.