An artificial cosmic body that allows people to stay in outer space can be divided into two basic types. One of them is a spaceship, which is primarily used to transport astronauts (astronauts) from the Earth’s surface to the desired city. This city was the most frequent orbit around the Earth, two of which were flights to Msci.

These ships are designed to fly through the Earth’s atmosphere, for some time moving beyond its imaginary boundaries and sweat pistols on the Earth’s surface. They are usually relatively small, space for astronauts is tight, and the amount of time they can move in inhospitable space is limited. The longest space flight, during which the spacecraft did not join the day of the next body, lasted 17 days, 16 hours and 59 minutes. It happened in 1970 and was carried out by a two-member crew aboard the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 9.

Do you think the second type is a space shuttle? No, a space shuttle is just a special kind of spaceship. Although the American Space Shuttle aircraft offered much more comfort than other types of spacecraft, apart from the astronauts, they could withstand large and large costs, but they had a number of limitations similar to other ships. For example, a single shuttle flight lasted only 17 days, 15 hours and 53 minutes. The mission was designated STS-80, took place in 1996 and aboard crew was on board the Columbia. It seems like a long time during which a number of different experiments can be performed. What can we do when we need to stay in outer space for a long time?

What m umt orbitln station

For such el, it is necessary to design a space body of a different type, not a spacecraft. Such an object will orbit the Earth in the long run (in the future and around other cosmic bodies) in a so-called orbit or rescue. Therefore, he approached the orbitln station. So we can meet the labeled space and space stations.

Because they are used for a ship other than a spacecraft, there are different requirements for such a station. There are a number of them, let’s briefly change at least some of them. It should provide, if mono, a comfortable stay for several astronauts and ensure their needs for a long time. Related to this, it must be able to operate on a sustainable basis for at least a few months, but over a year or decade. It must allow the connection of spaceships, which will be brewed at the station by both astronauts and peoples. So there is a need for at least one person to suffer if there is a supply failure.

On the contrary, you don’t need the thermal protection that a spaceship has to handle the atmosphere during a gunfire. Unlike them, this station will never compete on the face of the earth.

First ideas

Especially the first surviving mention of it, which could be called an orbital station with a significant number of fantasies, can be found in 1869. At that time, the short story The Brick Moon (MSc from bricks) was published in The Atlantic Monthly magazine. A year later, the same magazine was published in the same magazine, called Life on the Brick Moon. The author was the American writer Edward Everett Hale. It was a hollow sphere with a diameter of 200 feet (less than 61 meters), built of bricks.

Inside, there were 13 smaller Dutch brick balls, but there was still plenty of free space. This was used by several families working on the construction site, and in the winter it grew into the crumbs of a young sword. It was warmer in them than in their wooden huts. One day, an unexplored evacuation of the moon occurs by an accident, when about 40 people are hidden inside. At first it seems that they perished, but later it turns out that thanks to the amount of air, food and water, they can stay on the surface of the brick wall for a long time. For some unknown reason, development here is much faster than on Earth, which is so helpful in this artificial village.

The first hunter to deal with the idea of ​​a space station was a Russian (Soviet) scientist, Konstantin Eduard Ciolkovsky. He is considered one of the fathers of contemporary astronautics and a pioneer of rocket flight. In 1895 he published his work The Grease of the Earth and the Heaven (Dreams of the Earth and the Sky), where he considers, for example, artificial satellites, space columns, interplanes and did not forget about orbital stations.

A number of other authors have also dealt with orbital stations, but let’s leave them out, let’s make an imaginary time jump to the 1960s, and move from theoretical proposals to practice.

Piloted orbital laboratory

In December 1963, an American manned space program called The Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) was introduced to the public. His goal was to build and send an orbital station to the orbit, where a two-member crew could stay. The program was created by the United States Air Force (USAF).

The original station was to serve primarily for the test effect of long-term stay in outer space on the human body, but relatively often its main part turned into a pioneering activity. We must not forget that it was similar to the cold wolves and the obvious information about the opponent was very given. There have been suggestions that the station will have a radar, a very sensitive television set, or even a telescope with a diameter of 1.8 meters. The height of the station should be 21.92 meters, an average of 3.05 meters and its living space to reach a volume of 11.3 cubic meters. The total weight was 14,476 kilograms and she had to work hard for 40 days.

The first launch of the MOL program took place on November 3, 1966 from the Eastern Test Range (East Testing Range) storage facility at Cape Canaveral. The Titan IIIC launch vehicle brought several bodies to the orbit. Among them were two test telecommunications satellites, one scientific satellite, but mainly one object weighing 9,680 kilograms. It was actually modified fuel tank of the intercontinental ballistic missile Titan I, which in this case served as a model of the orbital station. It was the first time that at least a model of this type of zazen came to the game.

There is one interesting thing about this flight. Along with the listed cargo, the Gemini spacecraft flew, according to which the astronaut was to procure transport later. It would always start together with the orbital station and after reaching the two lanes, the two-member crew should move it to the station, where it would fill the wheels. At the end of the mission, the astronauts would return to the ship, detach from the station and gun to Earth, while the MOL station itself would remain in orbit.

The first piloting of the mission was not to take place, it had to be tested during the day. The Gemini ships had two unmanned and nine manned flights at the time, but they had to be adjusted for the MOL program first. In particular, the manhole was created by which the astronauts were to get to the station. He was placed in the heat and it was necessary to test whether these rights did not disturb him and he would be able to return safely.

Therefore, at the very top of the group, which started on November 3, 1966, was the Gemini cabin. It was not entirely new, but it was once used by an example, which on January 19, 1965 under the name Gemini 2 (sometimes t Gemini-Titan 2, abbreviated GT-2) made suborbital flights and reached a maximum height of 171 kilometers. The flight time was 18 minutes, 16 seconds and the cabin of the pistol was not more than 3,400 kilometers from the city of takeoff.

During the flight with the model of the MOL station, Gemini separated from the launch vehicle at a height of 159.5 kilometers and after a few minutes the pistol into the waves of the Atlantic near the protection ship USS La Salla. The inspection showed that the heat worked without any problems and could protect the crew.

Thanks to these two years, the Gemini cabin became the first spacecraft to repeatedly cover 100 kilometers above sea level, which is considered to be beyond outer space. This is not the first hunter made by the device that succeeded. In 1963, on July 19 and August 22, the North American X-15 experimental missile aircraft changed age. In both cases, it was piloted by Joseph Albert Walker.

But we return to the MOL program. There have been several experiments on mock-ups called OV4-3, OPS 0855 or MOL Canister. For example, a prototype of a vodka fuel line, fluid dynamics in a microgravity environment, heat transfer in space or a pair of micrometeorite detectors were tested here. These experiments had a life expectancy of 75 days, but stopped working after 30 days. The model itself disappeared into the Earth’s atmosphere after less than 67 days, on January 9, 1967.

As the MOL program developed, it turned out that ensuring suitable living conditions for the hunter’s long-term stay in outer space would be more difficult than originally expected. The program had no financial resources, and over time it became clear that the required pioneering activities could be performed cheaper and more efficiently by automatic satellites. Therefore, the project was officially terminated on June 10, 1969. The launch of the model on November 3, 1966 thus became the first and at the same time the last space flight of the entire program.

The end of the first debt. In the second we will focus on the first orbiting station Salyut.