Sunday, 30 June 2013

Space station... with guns!

The cold war saw a few funky projects in space. The Salyut 3 space station was among the funkiest. In fact it definitely qualifies as funk-ay in my book

Image above: A (civilian) Salyut class space station.

Not much information has been released on the space station. But some things have leaked out: It was loaded with cameras designed to observe targets on the Earth as it passed overhead - a military operation codenamed Almeraz.

Only one crew ever manned the space station: They activated the station's cameras, and took photographs of several targets, including some in central Asia. Then they placed some film in the stations automated return to Earth capsule - it would later land with the film aboard.

You can imagine that America would have liked one of it's own ships to pay a little visit to this space station.

But that wasn't too likely to happen.

Firstly: That would have been hard to hide (space being quite easy to see through and all), and would have caused a diplomatic 'incident'.

Secondly: The space station had a 23 mm Nudelman aircraft cannon, under remote control from the ground.

Image above: A cannon of the same type the Salyut 3 space station had.

A cannon which was fired during the stations life. Depending who you ask it was either fired three times, or  it was fired until it ran out of ammunition.

Either the Soviets were really bad shots, or there's something floating out there with a lot of holes.......