TMK

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For other uses, see TMK (disambiguation).
Artist's depiction of TMK-MAVR on a Venus flyby

TMK (Russian: Тяжелый Межпланетный Корабль - Tyazhely Mezhplanetny Korabl for Heavy Interplanetary Spacecraft) was the designation of a Soviet space exploration project to send a manned flight to Mars and Venus (TMK-MAVR design) without landing.

The TMK-1 spacecraft was due to be launched in 1971 and make a three-year-long flight including a Mars flyby, at which time probes would have been dropped. Expanded project variations, such as the TMK-E, Mavr or KK, including a Venus flyby, electric propulsion or a manned Mars landing were also proposed.

The TMK project was planned as an answer from the Soviet Union to the United States' manned Moon landings. A previous Martian Piloted Complex mission was proposed in 1956. The project was never completed because the required N1 rocket never flew successfully.

TMK-1[edit]

TMK-1
Mission type Manned interplanetary
Mission duration 1095 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type RP-1/LOX
Dimensions
  • Length: 39 feet (12 m)
  • Diameter: 19.60 feet (5.97 m)
  • Volume: 4,555.6 cubic feet (129.00 m3)
Crew
Crew size 3
Members Soviet cosmonauts
Start of mission
Launch date June 8, 1971 (1971-06-08) (planned)
Rocket N1
End of mission
Landing date July 10, 1974 (1974-07-10) (planned)
Flyby of Mars
Closest approach April 1972 (planned)

The first flight to Mars of the TMK-1 was planned to begin on June 8, 1971.

The 75 metric ton TMK-1 spacecraft would take a crew of three on a Mars flyby mission. After a 10½ month flight the crew would race past Mars, dropping remote-controlled landers, and then be flung into an Earth-return trajectory. Earth return would happen on July 10, 1974, after a voyage of three years, one month, and two days.

Spacecraft configuration:

  • A habitation or pilot compartment, with an internal volume of 25 cubic meters
  • A work or equipment section, including the hatch for extra-vehicular activities and a solar storm shelter should solar flares increase radiation to dangerous levels. Total volume of the section would be 25 cubic meters.
  • A biological systems compartment, with the SOZh closed-cycle environmental control system, with a total volume of 75 cubic meters
  • An aggregate section, with the Mars probe capsules, the KDU midcourse correction engine, the SOZh solar concentrator and solar panels, and radio antennas
  • The SA crew Earth reentry capsule, about 4 m in diameter

TMK-E[edit]

TMK-E
Mission type Manned interplanetary
Mission duration 1096 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type Nuclear electric (Xenon) Thrust: 74 newtons (17 lbf)
Dimensions
  • Length: 574 feet (175 m)
  • Diameter: 19.60 feet (5.97 m)
Crew
Crew size 6
Members Soviet cosmonauts
Start of mission
Rocket N1
Mars lander

This variation was proposed in 1960, and consisted of a complete Mars landing expedition to be assembled in Earth orbit using several N1 launches. The spacecraft would be powered by nuclear electric engines and five landers would deliver a nuclear-powered Mars Train on the surface for a one-year mission.

The TMK-E would be capable of a three-year flight to Mars and return, of which one year was powered flight. It would measure 175 m in length and house a crew of six. Six landing craft were included, two for the crew and four for the Mars Train vehicles.

Mavr (MArs - VeneRa)[edit]

MAVR
Mission type Manned interplanetary
Mission duration 680 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type RP-1/LOX
Dimensions
  • Length: 82 feet (25 m)
  • Diameter: 19.60 feet (5.97 m)
  • Volume: 45.0 cubic metres (1,590 cu ft)
Crew
Crew size 3
Members Soviet cosmonauts
Start of mission
Rocket N1
Flyby of Mars
Flyby of Venus

A variation of the TMK mission planning involved a flyby of Venus on the return voyage, and was given the code name "Mavr" (MArs - VeneRa), meaning Mars - Venus.

KK - Space Complex for Delivering a Piloted Expedition to Mars[edit]

KK - Space Complex for Delivering a Piloted Expedition to Mars
Description
Role: Mars Expedition
Crew: three
Rocket engines
Main Engine (Xenon) : 14 lbf ea 61 N
Performance
Endurance: 630 days 30 days Mars stay

In 1966, a final version of the TMK studies was known as KK - Space Complex for Delivering a Piloted Expedition to Mars. Nuclear electric propulsion was to be used for the 630 day mission. The craft structure consisted of:

  • EK - Expeditionary spacecraft: command center for piloting in interplanetary space
  • OK - Orbital Complex: living and work compartments and the life support systems
  • SA - The Landing Module, AV - The Ascent Module and RV - The Ascent Rocket stage
  • PS - The Planetary Station: used by the expedition on the Martian surface for life support and scientific research

The launch was planned for 1980, with a crew of three cosmonauts. Mars stay duration would be 30 days.

Mission data:

  • Total Payload Required in Low Earth Orbit-metric tons: 150
  • Total Propellant Required-metric tons: 24
  • Number of Launches Required to Assemble Payload in Low Earth Orbit: 2
  • Launch Vehicle: N1

See also[edit]

External links[edit]