Zarya (spacecraft)

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Zarya (spacecraft)
Country of origin USSR
Operator Soviet space program
Applications Carry passengers and supplies to low Earth orbit and back
Regime Low Earth orbit
Status Canceled, 1989
Launched None
Related spacecraft
Derived from Soyuz

The Zarya spacecraft was a secret Soviet project of the late 1980s aiming to design and build a large manned vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing (VTVL) reusable space capsule,[1] a much larger replacement for the Soyuz (spacecraft). The project was shelved in 1989, "on the eve of the Soviet Union's collapse".[1]

After the project was shelved in January 1989, for financial reasons, the name was reused for Zarya, the first of the components of the International Space Station.


The Zarya spacecraft would have differed from all previous spacecraft by having an array of a dozen rockets engines for making a soft landing upon return to Earth, without using a parachute.[1]


Zarya spacecraft would have brought crew and supplies to Mir, or supplies only in automated mode.[2] It would have had a normal crew of one or two, and offered the possibility of carrying a maximum of eight to twelve if used as a Mir lifeboat.[3][4]


1985 January 27
  • Preliminary design work began on Zarya "Super Soyuz". Concept was reusable spacecraft, launched by Zenit launch vehicle, with all possible systems recovered in landing module, together with significant payload delivered to and returned from orbit. Carriage in payload bay of Buran shuttle was also a requirement.
1986 December 22
  • Zarya "Super Soyuz" briefed to the Military-Industrial Commission.[5]
During 1989
  • Zarya "Super Soyuz" cancelled on financial grounds. [5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Zak, Anatoly (2009-04-29). "Russia mulls rocket power 'first'". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-10-11. RKK Energia, ... in the 1980s ... worked on a highly classified project to develop a large manned capsule, called Zarya ("Dawn"), for a wide range of civilian and military missions. 
  2. ^ The Continuing Story of The International Space Station, By Peter Bond
  3. ^ Soyuz: A Universal Spacecraft, Pages displayed by permission of Springer. Copyright. By Rex Hall, David Shayler
  4. ^ Zarya Archived 2009-04-13 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ a b "USSR". Retrieved 2015-07-20.