Orbital module

Now I was asked to create a habitation module as soon as possible. I found this task highly interesting - an actual genuine spacecraft! If I remember correctly, I only needed one weekend to produce a design for a habitation module. I converted the compartment left of the entry hatch into a servant - i.e. into a cabinet with equipment, a desk and storage space for books and other items. The word servant has its origins in French and is an old-fashioned term for furniture.

LOK - Lunar Orbital Craft

Initially I assumed that - in light of the weightlessness - defining the ceiling and floor of the room was irrelevant. But then it became clear that cosmonauts could be better oriented if they had a notion of above and below, even in space. I also designed ceilings and floors which could be differentiated on the basis of their col- our schemes. Nevertheless, I tried to maintain the basic structure and avoided significantly changing this. The following considera- tions had to be taken into account: where would the cosmonauts sleep? Where and how were they going to eat? Where was the toilet to be positioned?


…what most pleased me was a comment made by Alexey Arkhipovich Leonov, our Soviet Commander of the Apollo-Soyuz mission. He informed me after the flight in 1975 that, “although I very much liked the Apollo it is not as well structured and wonderfully thought-out as the Soyuz”.


The habitation module of this spacecraft was protected from the outside world by a thick layer of equipment and apparatus. Furthermore, a number of electronic systems had to be integrated. I wanted to make the station as comfortable as possible for the cosmonauts. Not only was access to the windows to be permitted, but nice cabins with cosy interiors were also to be provided. This required a vertical structure. For a long time I was preoccupied with the plans for this construction. I personally would have much preferred to design Mir differently. In my opinion, a vertical construction would have been better so that the cosmonauts would have the option of looking at space through windows on all sides of the spacecraft. Moreover, a vertical structure would have been much more comfortable for the cosmonauts: one storey to provide a workspace, one storey for living quarters. However, it was decided in the end to use a horizontal structure. There had been concern about the practical implementation of this concept. First, the area had to be reliably protected from radiation in space; second, the assembly of the space station on earth would be problematic since the station would then lie on one side.

  • research/galina_balashova.txt
  • Last modified: 2020/08/26 06:22
  • by rob