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  Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: Soyuz spacecraft

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Author Topic:   Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: Soyuz spacecraft

Posts: 92
From: London England
Registered: Jan 2008

posted 09-13-2012 07:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tetrox   Click Here to Email tetrox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am always at a bit of a loss when it comes to the intricacies of Soyuz spacecraft variants. Currently I am looking for accurate details of the vehicle as used during the Apollo-Soyuz rendezvous.

I have found this page, which is a walk around of the display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and would be very grateful if anyone could help me as to whether this is an accurate representation of the Soyuz vehicle beneath the thermal blankets as in flight, or whether there is a better resource which to look.


Posts: 507
From: Louisville CO US
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 09-14-2012 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Soyuz used for ASTP was of the 7K-TM variety (also flew on the Soyuz-16 and Sotuz 22 missions). The main differences between this version and the others in use at the time (7K-T and 7K-T/A9) are the addition of solar panels and a modifed environmental system (for matching atmospheric pressures closer to that of Apollo. There were also instrumentation changes from the modifications to these systems.

As for the pictures linked to, this is a mockup without any of the external fabric blankets or heat sheilding.

A simple search of Apollo Soyuz or ASTP will show many pictures taken from Apollo of the green fabric covered Soyuz 7K-TM in flight.


Posts: 92
From: London England
Registered: Jan 2008

posted 09-14-2012 11:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tetrox   Click Here to Email tetrox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for your kind reply and information.

I have photographs of the blanketed craft, but wanted to know if the Soyuz on display at the National Air and Space Museum accurately depicts the actual Apollo Soyuz Test Project flight article beneath its green blankets.

The main features I am trying to verify are the external wiring connectors and projections from the craft.

I would also like to try and ascertain the colours or finish of the Soyuz beneath the blankets,they usually seem to be displayed with the blue exterior.

Again thank you for your help.


Posts: 19
From: Washington, DC USA
Registered: May 2005

posted 10-02-2012 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kocmoc   Click Here to Email Kocmoc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is a very good question. Please let me know what you find out. I have been asking Energia that question for quite some time. And have received no response.

Cathleen S. Lewis

Jay Chladek

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 10-02-2012 04:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In my experience, full size spacecraft mockups should be taken with a grain of salt when it comes to Soviet craft. Reason being is they aren't flight articles since the Soviets had a habit of flying their backup craft on later missions.

Photo resources for Soyuz tend to be few and far between, but a good book worth getting is the Springer Praxis book "Soyuz, A Universal Spacecraft" by Rex Hall and David Shayler. It goes pretty in depth into the history of the Soyuz and helps to explain elements of its evolution, so you can understand the idiosyncrasies of the craft more. While it has a few photos, it does have a nice set of diagrams on the Soyuz, but realize they are more for familiarization of Soyuz systems rather than pointing out external differences from a model building standpoint. Generally though, except for the docking model and Solar arrays on Soyuz 19, it really wasn't all that different from the other Soyuz craft being used at the time in the Salyut program.

Other thing to keep in mind is since the Soyuz for ASTP underwent a certification program to help with NASA's mission criteria, not a lot would be all that different under the blankets since the idea was to not make the craft used on both sides to be too much of a one off as radical changes required more extensive certification and testing. So, going by that criteria, the National Air and Space Museum ASTP display "might" be pretty close, if you stripped the blankets away. I don't think it was painted green like that though, although that coloring is similar to what one tended to see on Soviet fighter aircraft. So it "could" have indeed been that color under the blankets.

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