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In the 1980s In the Soviet Union decided to change the approach to space launches. The essence was here. The fact is that the start of the rocket from the surface of the Earth requires, firstly, a large amount of fuel to tear up a multi-torrent Machina from the surface; Secondly, a binding to the spacecraft is required for launches, whether it is ground or floating.
So, it was necessary to make it so that it was possible to launch a space shuttle without binding to a spacecraft and without using the first stage of the rocket. In fact, it was a breakthrough idea for his time, which began to make the first steps in our time, but unfortunately among American private aerospace companies.
But still, it was in our country that the development of such a system began, which was named Max, namely, a multi-purpose aircraft system. Developed a project in the NGO «Zipper» under the guidance of the geniral designer G.E. Lozino Lozinsky.
The project was so ambitious and far-reaching that they had every chance that he could have become a long-lived project to survive, even the program «Space Shuttle». Of course, it is in perspective, but still. The most important distinguishing feature of the program was that there was no first step as such. Instead, it would be used the an-225 super heavy aircraft, and in perspective — An-325.
There is a question of how this program could be promising and self-sufficient. Everything is explained very simple here. The fact is that the plane would rise to a large height, above the flight routes of passenger aircraft. From this height, the start of the An-225 or An-325 orbital aircraft was fixed on the aircraft. It was assumed that there will be three versions of the second stage:
Max-OS-P — a piloted orbital aircraft (rocket photlane), which would have a disposable fuel tank. It would not be «Buran», as it would seem, and the smaller reusable rocket plane from the Soviet developments of the Spiral program. This ship would perform manned flights to space stations with various purposes, both for the delivery of astronauts and in their rescue from the stations in the case of an abnormal situation. By the way, «Buran» was not planned to run from the An-225 aircraft. These aircraft were needed only for the transportation of «Burana» from the site of assembly to the start of the start. Single truck.
Max-M is a unmanned vehicle with a reusable orbital aircraft (rocketoplane). He would not have an outdoor fuel tank. It looks like a futuristic and very stylish for his time. We would perform unmanned flights to a low near-earth orbit to space stations for cargo delivery to both stations and back to Earth. It would be a reusable cosmic cargo rocket plane and the most important, reusable.
Max-T is a unmanned vehicle with a one-time rocket second step. It would be intended to launch satellites into orbit and for the delivery of goods to space stations in the Earth orbit. As you understood, after the conclusions of the satellite or other cargo at the estimated orbit, the fuel tank itself and the stage of removal — it would be burned in the atmosphere. This unmanned second step could be delivered to NOO loads, weighing up to 18 tons. It is a lot in scale, even the near space.
Looking at this project from our time — it is noticeable that the project was ahead of his time and what to hide, it has a more breakthrough idea before the Spacex project with its reusable missiles, as an innovative and clean from the point of view of ecology is used — start from a height of more than 10 km over the ground surface. In addition, less rocket fuel is used than if the start occurred from the surface itself. After all, you need to understand that a lot of fuel leaves exactly to break away from the ground.
If you look into the future of the rocket-space industry of Russia, that is, all the chances of reviving this project, but optimizing it under the modern needs of cosmonautics and using modern advances in electronics, rocket articles, aerodynamics and aircraft construction.
Naturally, it is not necessary to recreate the An-225 plane itself or «An-325», since the technical documentation remained in Ukraine. But you can create a cargo superheavy aircraft repeating «An-225» in its approximate layout, but with modern achievements of aerodynamics and modern vision of the Russian aircraft construction.
In addition, it was possible not to recycle under modern requirements and projects of RocketOplan «Max-Os-P», «Max-M» and «Max-T». Surely, our designers would have to create a good cargo car, which could also carry cargo, and start rakequetoplans from a height of 15-20 km.
Of course, everything rests on money. But when it is clear that this project is breakthrough, and about reusable missiles, there are still more questions, more than answers, the start of this program would be the most logical for the further development of Russian cosmonautics in terms of mastering low near-earth orbits.
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