[FPSPACE] Excalibur - which Almaz?

davidlrickman at aol.com davidlrickman at aol.com
Sat Mar 26 15:17:01 EDT 2011


No, the Almaz pictured is NOT OPS-4. I have been holding onto photos of this station for a few years. They were sent to me by Art Dula, and I promised not to share them.

This Almaz has been in the "bowels" of NPOMash. A glimpse of it can be seen in a photo from the NPOMash 60th anniversary book. What is not visible in this photo is the two "nozzles?" that are up front with those four spherical tanks, one points to starboard and the other port. I don't know the index number of this station, but the back is identical to the Almaz satellite configuration. I have three photos of the interior, but all taken from the same general area (looking in from the KSI capsule opening). It is complete with wiring harnesses and thermal plumbing, but the major electronics are missing.

It appears OPS-4 has survived the purchase.


David L. Rickman

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Wade <astronautix at gmail.com>
To: fpspace <fpspace at friends-partners.org>
Sent: Fri, Mar 25, 2011 10:36 pm
Subject: [FPSPACE] Excalibur - which Almaz?

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
FPSPACE mailing list
FPSPACE at friends-partners.org

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