[FPSPACE] Excalibur - which Almaz?

Mark Wade astronautix at gmail.com
Sat Mar 26 03:35:50 EDT 2011

A piece on RT News on Almaz Excalibur on the Isle of Man walked
through the two Almaz stations delivered there with cosmonaut Tokarev.
Which Almaz are these? One appears to be the unlaunched OPS-4 (solar
exterior cladding but stripped of all but ECS and electrical systems
on the interior). The other looks like a structural test article (bare
metal), like the one FPSPACErs saw at the Khrunichev Proton assembly
hall in 1997.

Picture here:


The mission profile described in the piece is a bit different. The
Almaz station, outfitted for two space tourists or researchers, would
be launched. Crews would be carried up in a TKS, but with an
abbreviated service module compared to that featured on the Excalibur
web site. Reusability was emphasized, so it looks like it will all
depend on updated surplus hardware. First unmanned launch in 2013 and
manned launch in 2014 was mentioned. Seats were said to have been
booked already.

Of course, location of the company on the Isle of Man, would also make
it ideal for other purposes having nothing to do with space

Regards -

Mark Wade

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