How to pilot a Soyuz spess wessel

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Zelenyj, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. Zelenyj

    Zelenyj Ensign Red Shirt

    Oct 26, 2013
    Greetings from Russian trekker, this is my first post here.
    In case anyone notices, and in order to prevent plagiary suspicions: this is my post from another star trek forums where I registered at the first time. Unfortunately, that community turned up to be not very alive (a single reply, lol). So I copy-pasted my post here to find out, if you trekkers are interested in real, common spaceflights.
    Most of the information about Soyuz-TMA spacecraft can easily be found on the Wikipedia, here is just some interesting and 'practical' information for armchair helm officers.

    "Soyuz -TMA" spacecraft consists of Orbital Module, Descent Module and Instrumentation/Propultion Module, and the descent module occupies the central part of the ship.[​IMG]
    1. The docking unit.
    2. Descend Module.
    3. Transitional compartment.
    4. Instrument compartment.
    5. Propulsion compartment.
    6. Orbital Module.
    7. Exit hatch.
    8. Optical/Visual device.

    And here is how the cabin looks like (notice that there are more buttons here than on the TOS Enterprise helm console)
    Full size (Not translated, but picture is big)
    1. The integrated control panel (ICP). There are two of them on board - one is operated by Commander, other one - by first Flight Engineer.
    2. Numeric keypad for inputing codes (To navigate by ICP)
    3. Marker control block (To navigate by ICP)
    4. Current state of systems indication panel.
    5. Hand rotary valves. They are responsible for the oxygen supply.
    6. Electro-pneumo-valve of oxygen supply during landing.
    7. Special cosmonaut visor. During the docking, commander looks at the docking target. The visor works pretty much like a periscope on submarines.
    8. Throttle control. With its help, commander gives "Soyuz- TMA" linear (positive or negative) acceleration.
    9. Orientation control. With its help, commander sets the rotation of the "Soyuz- TMA" around the center of mass.
    10. Refrigeration and drying unit removes heat and moisture from the ship that inevitably accumulate in the air due to the people presence on board.
    11. Toggle switch space suits ventilation during landing.
    12. Voltmeter.
    13. Fuse box.
    14. Button for conservating ship after docking. "Soyuz-TMA" is operable only for 4 days on independent flight, so the ship should be preserved. After docking power supply and ventilation are provided by ISS systems.

    Looks easier than you expected, isn't it?:techman:
    The information was took and translated from russian "Popular Mechanics" magazine site.
  2. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 15, 2012
    That's what I wish Trek would do more of.... control panels that look freaking scary! If I push this button I just vented our entire oxygen supply, oops! ;)
  3. Robert D. Robot

    Robert D. Robot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 20, 2009
    Pre-Warp Civilization of Alaska
    Very Cool! After seeing the movie "Gravity" this past weekend, I am anxious to check this out more carefully after work today. Thank you for sharing, Zelenyj, and welcome to the forum!
  4. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 23, 2013
    Welcome, Zelenyj. There are many detailed books on various space hardware, if one digs around a little. Part of the reason sci-fi control panels in old TV shows are so sparse is because lights and buttons had to be big enough to show up on old TVs. Extreme detail also costs more.

    Ultimately, futuristic controls will probably look cleaner and simpler, rather than more congested. An interface should never become an inyerface, to coin a term. (There are lots of books on the psychology and ergonomics of good interface design, too.)

    The Thermians in GALAXY QUEST had no trouble fitting the necessary controls into the designs seen in the "historical documents."
  5. Zelenyj

    Zelenyj Ensign Red Shirt

    Oct 26, 2013
    Metryq, agreed, that idea about 60's TV sets didn't come to my mind.
    I was just comparing number of buttons, because Soyuz-TMA is 8 meters long spacecraft, travelling to LEO for two days, and USS Enterprise, you know, 300 meters starship with warp capacity, regardless it's fictional.

    Our Federal Space Agency is currently working up a design to replace Soyuz ships - Prospective Piloted Transport System, and I suppose we've seen it in the recent 'Gravity' film (as it is about nearest future - there is also Chinese staton which is not built yet)
    If you are interested, I could post some other interesting/boring tecnical staff about Soviet/Russian spacecrafts and probes.
  6. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 23, 2013
    ^ Zelenyj, any links would be great. I remember seeing an exhibit on "Russian Space" at the science museum. The hardware came from a totally different mindset than the American stuff I had seen previously. I had to keep reminding myself that they were not sci-fi models, but real space hardware (or at least models of real space hardware).

    Your forum name—perhaps it is your real name—reminded me of a Polish guy I worked with. I taught Maciej how to be a wiseguy in the US. If someone filling out a form asked him how to spell his name, I told him to say, "With a 'j.'"
  7. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 22, 2010
    If I were a billionare I would dgo making a bridge of as many real and different consoles of spacecraft, airplanes and power plants I could find...
  8. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    No wonder they hired a Russian navigator. Straight to the source, eh?
  9. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 22, 2010
  10. Zelenyj

    Zelenyj Ensign Red Shirt

    Oct 26, 2013
    Publiusr, I haven't heard anything about this project, thank you.
    But if they've defenced this project just a couple of weeks ago, then we'll have to wait for a long time before actual working design will be created, and probe constructed.
    There were talks that NASA is planning a mission like this too, is this true?
  11. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Sep 30, 2011
    At star's end.
  12. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 7, 2004
    Mannheim, Germany
    Top left screen looks like someone's playing the first version of Elite :lol:

    Awesome pictures and explanation and a bit scary that in the days of smartphones, touchscreens and everything digital people are still going into space in this.
  13. Collingwood Nick

    Collingwood Nick Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 28, 2002
    True. You'd think that space agencies would be on the cutting edge of IT wouldn't you? We probably have the computing power to send cosmonaut-less vehicles into space .. so ...
  14. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 2, 2009
    We already do, and there is no reason to have overpowered computers in spacecraft. It's just a waste of energy. Your smartphone's battery runs out after a day.

    Just because it's new and cool doesn't mean you actually need it in a spacecraft.
  15. Zelenyj

    Zelenyj Ensign Red Shirt

    Oct 26, 2013
    That's true, the major design of Soyuz (structual composition, 'appearance' of the ship) was developed in USSR, and maybe in 10-15 years it will be completely obsolete. That's why our space agency develops new one to replace Soyuz. But do you really think it is the same ship that was docking with Apollo in 1975? Computers, engines, construction materials, docking systems, even parachute - the ship had been constantly improved, and I can assure you, it's not the electronic tubes and perforated tapes that run the ship's computer :)
    Regarding touchscreens, it seems the central screen on a photo is a pretty much digital display. But I guess, the main systems are controlled by push-buttons instead of touchscreens because they're more reliable and easier to use when you are in spacesuite. If you take a closer look, you can also see that some of the buttons are partitioned (not sure if word is correct) to avoid inputing wrong commands into the computer while ascent/descent, when the ship is shaking.
  16. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 22, 2010
    The best thing to do is for you to advocate for heavy-lift

    proton isn't enough for anything but a circumlunar mission:

    Now I might suggest a different take. Right now, Russia is having to pay Kazakhs to use Baikonur. That is quite a drain, and Russia wants to relocate its launch facilities to Russia proper.

    There was a concept called Sea Dragon--a monster rocket that was to use very simple shipyard construction so as to keep costs down, as compared to the aviation model:

    This is perfect for Russia in that every Ruble spent on space also helps shipyard workers, lowers costs, and increases throw-weight to orbit.

    The initial scheme involved using an aircraft carriers nuclear power plant to split sea water into hydrogen and oxygen--but in Russia, the might dual reactor icebreakers like Arktika would serve nicely, and the command and control ship for Sea Launch would be used here.

    I can see Putin supporting this venture in that it would help sailors and cosmonauts--and Sea Dragon's 550 tons to LEO would put N-1 and Saturn V to shame.