The initial draft of the Soviet reusable spacecraft was different.


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After folding the lunar program, the Americans switched to the active phase of creating a fundamentally new spacecraft. It turned out to be a reusable spacecraft-rocket card Space Shuttle. The project turned out to be so ambitious, promising that the Soviet Union urgently needed a symmetric quick response to this threat. It is clear, because this ship could hypothetically reset the atomic weapon right above the head of the enemy. Theoretically, the shuttle could move to the sector in the orbit of the Earth over Moscow and reset.

This is also disturbed by the Soviet leadership. In addition, the car performed in its characteristics could also steal the Soviet military military or civilian satellite from the orbit, thereby causing irreparable damage and put the defense perimeter of the USSR at risk and helplessness before the US military power and their military superiority in the space sphere. All these threats led to the fact that a forced creation of a response to the Space Shuttle program began.

In the 1970s The design bureau of the experimental engineering plant under the leadership of V.M. attracted Meatishchev. According to the results of the design surveys, the creation of a space aircraft was scheduled, which will take off and get along with a horizontal way. He got the name M-19. A distinctive side of this aircraft could be the fact that it was planned to establish a nuclear power plant.

The presence of such an installation would make a durable station from such a space aircraft, which is unless that it would return to the land to replenish reserves, fuel and crew shift. M-19 could establish various weapons, military and civilian, scientific equipment. In addition, the aircraft would have a large cargo compartment for the delivery of equipment and people into orbit. Of course, all this required what would have to achieve the special strength of the design and thermal protection of the external and inner housing.

The glider aircraft was supposed to be constructed from aluminum alloys, external trim — from heat-resistant ceramics or carbon. The plane was supposed to be with a flat bottom and a triangular shape wing with a big sweatshirt. In the tail part there would be two keel. In the housing of the fuselage cabin of the crew and cargo compartment. Under the bottom of the aircraft, a large broad gondola was installed for ten turbojet aircraft engines. In addition, there were still as many direct-flow motors and a nuclear jet engine. Naturally, liquid maneuverable engines would be installed for taxiing in space.

The warsh nuclear rocket engine would allow heating the hydrogen before emissions through the nozzle. As a result, the traction would have enough to enter the orbit around the Earth. And turbojet engines would allow to raise the aircraft to a height of up to 50 km. After that, the tail fairing should be reset and turn on the march nuclear missile engine to deliver the aircraft into orbit. The M-19 spacecraft would have a length of 69 meters, and the wingspan of 50 meters. Load capacity was up to 40 tons in the cargo compartment. The takeoff mass would be about 500 tons. For take-off and landing, a strip was required, 4 km long.

Another feature of the aircraft would be that he could accommodate a whole spacecraft in his cargo compartment, in which his own crew would be. This is in addition to the crew of the aircraft itself, in the number of three people. The reference orbit of the aircraft would be at an altitude of 185 km. This would just be enough for solving all sorts of tasks. The first prototype of the M-19 aircraft was to be built by 1985.

Nevertheless, this project was never implemented and the preference was given to the program of the Multi-Energy-Buran system. This project was given to the development of NPO «Lightning» and KB Mezishchev lost their priority in the development of a reusable ship. After the accurate appearance of the Space Shuttle, the ship «Buran» was also known, began to design according to its likeness, with several other, superior technical characteristics.

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