Orbital space station
Although the history of space exploration has only a few decades, it has gone already through a number of important steps. Beginning exploration of near-Earth space put short (lasted, as a rule, for several days) in the expedition of typical spacecraft. Piloted their cosmonauts have made many important observations and discoveries. But at some point these brief shuttle flights beyond the atmosphere ceased to satisfy the science. The spacecraft has a small size and have a lot of specific features, which are not allowed to use them for long-term serious scientific research. To become a firm foothold in space, the astronauts were to stay here at least with minimal facilities and have on hand a lot of diverse scientific equipment. Thus the cosmic house and at the same time became the first space laboratory orbiting station. Their appearance was an important milestone in the history of manned space flight: with them to replace the heroic era of the pioneers was time everyday and work hard everyday.
What is the space station? In a sense it can be considered a big spaceship. For its reliability must meet the same stringent requirements. Here function the same support systems as described in the section on spacecraft. But there is a station and its own characteristics. It is not designed to return to Earth. As a rule, it does not even have its propulsion system, since the correction of its orbit produced by a motor transport vehicle. But her much more scientific equipment, it is more spacious and more comfortable than the ship. Astronauts arrive here for a long time - weeks or even months. At this time, the station is their home space, and to maintain during the flight a good performance, they need to feel comfortable and happy there.
The first in the history of the orbital space station was the Soviet "Salyut", put into orbit April 19, 1971. 30 June of the same year, the station docked ship "Soyuz-11" with cosmonauts Dobrovolsky, Volkov and Patsaeva. The first (and only) watch lasted 24 days. Then some time "Salute" was in automatic unmanned until November 11 the station has not finished its existence, burned up in the atmosphere.
During the first "Salute" followed by a second, then a third and so on. For ten years in space one after another has fulfilled the whole family of orbital stations. Dozens of crews spent on them a number of scientific experiments. All "Fireworks" were a multipurpose space research laboratories for extensive research with interchangeable crew. In the absence of the astronauts all the stations of the system is controlled from Earth. For this purpose small-sized computers, in memory of which were laid by the standard operation of the control program of the flight. Total plant length was 20 m, and the volume - 100 cubic meters. Weight "Salute" without transport ship - 18900 kg.
Inside the station is divided into three compartments, two of which - the transition and work - were hermetically sealed, and the third - aggregate - hermetically. Both compartments were hermetically sealed apartment. Transitional cell was made in the shape of a cylinder with a diameter of 2 m and had a length of 3 meters. It is composed of the docking station. Bulkhead hatch with a transition-manhole separated it from the working chamber, which is a comfortable lab, adapted for recreation and long-term research. Here are the main part of the research equipment, as well as the device, and station control units, life support system, power supply devices and radio communications. Compartment 15 has portholes and consisted of two cylindrical zones connected by a conical portion. Small cylinder had a diameter of 2 to 9 m with a length of 3, 8 m, and a large cylinder - diameter of 4 to 15 m and a length of 4, 1 m width of the conical portion was 1 to 2 m in the operating section of the astronauts spent much of his time.:. worked, performed exercise, ate and rested.
The small-diameter area was located a table for receiving food. Here it was fixed scuttlebutt. (The water in the tanks was preserved by by adding silver ions, each astronaut used for drinking Individual mouthpiece attached to the hose.) Next was the food heater. In this zone, stored items needed for astronauts leisure: Library, sketch pad, tape recorder and tapes to him. In the area of large diameter on the port and starboard were positioned beds. They have devices to fix the body in any position. There is also a refrigerator with food stocks and water tanks. At the rear bottom of the zone placed toilet. It was separated from the rest of the working chamber and had a forced ventilation. To remove liquid and solid waste Cesspool served as a special device. Washbasin and shower on the first "Salute" was not. Toilet consisted of wiping the face and body with special sanitary napkins and towels. In the conical portion was located a set of tools to perform the exercise and medical research, in particular - the treadmill. During the exercise, the astronauts wore special suits to prevent the spread of sweat smell.
manual controls and control systems and basic research station equipment were located in seven positions. The small-diameter zone was four posts. One of them - the central post station control. It was designed for the simultaneous operation of two people. There were two chairs in front of which was located the remote control. It can be controlled motors and system orientation of the station. In the remaining six positions could make observations and research. The station puts a lot of variety of equipment, including a large telescope "Orion" and gamma-ray telescope "Anna-III» (for the study of cosmic gamma radiation).
During the working compartment was a non-working aggregate. It housed the propulsion systems, antenna radio systems, thermal control system, camera. Radio communication with the Earth on the first "Salute" was supported mainly by telephone. TV system was too, but it required a lot of energy. The power system includes solar and rechargeable battery. The former were rigidly secured to the casing station and to the sun's rays are perpendicular to their plane, they require special orientation to the sun. Cadmium-nickel battery worked with solar panels in the "charge-discharge", since about 40% of the time at each stage of the station was in the shadow of the Earth. In addition, the "Salute" was a backup battery in case of powerful and large in length recoil energy.
thermal control system consisted of independent liquid cooling and heating circuits, had the inner and outer pipe. Excessive heat is radiated into space, cooling the radiator, if necessary. If the station, on the contrary, required to take the heat, then it is removed from the heater radiator on the sunny side. Thus, the temperature was maintained in the range of 15-25 degrees in the living quarters. life support system supports the required gas composition, absorbs odors and dust, the crew provided food, water, remove wastes. Feeding of carbon dioxide and oxygen uptake occurred in the regenerator units. At the same time the air passes through a highly reactive chemical enriched with oxygen and carbon dioxide released from, and runs through the fan filters, cleaned of dust and rubbish. In various places the station gas analyzers have been placed, which are constantly monitored by the gas composition.
After the Soviet Union launched its space station in the United States space. May 14, 1973 of station "Skylab" ( "Sky Lab") was launched into orbit. The basis of the third stage has served for her rocket "Saturn-5", which was used in previous lunar missions to break up the "Apollo" spacecraft to escape velocity. Large hydrogen tank was converted while in domestic premises and a laboratory, and a smaller oxygen tank turned into container for waste collection.
"Skylab" includes its own station unit, the lock chamber, mooring structure with two docking ports, two solar panels and a separate set of astronomical instruments (its members included eight different devices and digital computer). The total length of the station reached 25 meters, weight - 83 tons, the internal free volume of 360 cubic meters. For its launch into orbit, a powerful carrier rocket "Saturn-5", able to lift into orbit up to 130 tons of payload. Own engines to correct the orbit "Skeyleb" had. It was carried out with the help of the spaceship "Apollo" engines. Orientation station changed with the help of three power gyroscopes and micro motors, runs on compressed gas. During operation "Skylab," the three crew were on it.
Compared to the "Salute" "Skylab" was much more spacious. The length of the sluice chamber 5 was 2 m, and its diameter -. 3, 2 m Here, the high-pressure gas cylinders stored on-board supplies (oxygen and nitrogen). Power station had a length of 14, 6 meters with a diameter of 6, 6 meters. It was divided into laboratory and habitation module. Household compartment, in turn, divided into four rooms for sleeping, personal care, for training and experiments, for leisure, for cooking and eating. Their height is 2 m. For sleeping room was divided into three sleeping cabins in the number of astronauts. Each of them had six small lockers and a sleeping bag. Log into each cubicle was hung with curtains.
Hygiene The room was equipped with a sink and a waste receiver. Wash basin is a closed sphere, which had two holes for the arms provided with rubber dampers. There is also a shower, separated from the rest of the room by a curtain. water droplets sprayed through the atomizer into the manifold and then sucked into the air flow. Each astronaut has his own individual locker for toiletries. The room is for relaxing, cooking and eating was a table with burners for reheating food, stove, cupboards and cabinets, refrigerators. (Astronauts have a wide range of frozen food, including cold cereal, potato salads, dishes of beef.) The table was on three sides equipped with three individual valves for drinking water. Each astronaut was a tray with compartments for heating food. Magnets tray supporting a knife and fork. In the same room there were three chairs, a tape recorder and books. The room for training and experiments housed ergometer. Laboratory compartment was twice everyday. Its internal diameter was 6, 4 m.