Zarya (spacecraft)


Zarya (spacecraft)
Country of originUSSR
OperatorSoviet space program
ApplicationsCarry passengers and supplies to low Earth orbit and back
RegimeLow Earth orbit
StatusCanceled, 1989
Related spacecraft
Derived fromSoyuz

The Zarya spacecraft (Russian: Заря, lit.'Dawn') was a secret Soviet project of the late 1980s aiming to design and build a large crewed vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing (VTVL) reusable space capsule,[1] a much larger replacement for the Soyuz (spacecraft). The project was developed during 1985–1989 years by Energia corporation until it was shelved in 1989, "on the eve of the Soviet Union's collapse" due to lack of funding.[1] The name of the project was later reused by the Zarya space station module which served as the first component of International Space Station in 1998.


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


  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 by Rex Hall, David Shayler.
  4. ^ "Zarya". Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  5. ^ a b "USSR". Retrieved 2015-07-20.