Soviet Space Stations  -  1/125

Following its failure to send a man on the Moon the Soviet Union engaged in an impressive plan to implement space stations around the Earth. This started in 1971 with the launch of the first space station Salyut 1 and is still continuing within the current International Space station (although Russia has replaced the Soviet Union). Serge Gracieux has produced a complete set of models using several boxes of the Heller 1/125 ISS and Mir models while scratch-building many parts for these models.
Soyuz A Original Soyuz A manned spacecraft design as approved in 1963. The Soyuz 7K-LOK that would fly three years later was very similar, except the forward living module was changed from cylindrical to spherical in shape. (quote from Encyclopedia Astronautica)
Almaz The initial Almaz program of 1965 consisted of two phases. In the first phase, 20 tonne Almaz APOS space stations, complete with crew and re-entry capsule, would be put in orbit by a single launch of a Proton rocket. In phase two, sustained operations would be conducted with Almaz OPS stations serviced by 20 tonne TKS manned resupply vehicles. 

In 1966 this plan was revised. The first phase would now consist of the Almaz OPS stations, visited by crews launched separately aboard 6.5 tonne Soyuz transport vehicles. In this phase the value of manned space reconnaissance and targeting would be evaluated. In the second phase sustained operations would be conducted with Almaz dual-docking port stations serviced by TKS manned resupply vehicles. 

Almaz flights were delayed in 1970 when resources were diverted to a crash program to upstage the American Skylab. Partially completed Almaz stations were outfitted as civilian Salyut space station. Almaz first phase flights finally took place in 1973-1977. Three Soyuz crews successfully visited two Almaz stations. Second phase flights of Almaz-2 stations and TKS were to be flown in 1981-1982. Unmanned flight tests of the TKS, its VA re-entry capsule, and construction of dual-port Almaz stations were completed, but Phase 2 was cancelled in 1979. The three TKS already built were instead flown unmanned to civilian Salyut space stations in 1981-1985. (quote from Encyclopedia Astronautica)

Zond L1 The Soyuz 7K-L1, a modification of the Soyuz 7K-OK, was designed for manned circumlunar missions. With a complex genesis, the spacecraft was flown as a replacement for Chelomei's LK-1. The forward living module was deleted, as was the reserve parachute (in order to add an exit hatch in the side of the re-entry capsule). Special on-board systems were added for interplanetary navigation. The SAS launch escape system, more powerful than that for the earth orbital verison of Soyuz, could pull the spacecraft away from a failing Proton booster up to the point of second stage ignition. A Spacecraft Support Cone (OK) was mounted on the forward hatch of the Soyuz capsule to provide a point of attachment for the SAS. This was jettisoned before Block D ignition for translunar injection. The 7K-L1 never actually demonstrated that it could safely take a cosmonaut around the moon and return him to earth until August 1969, a month after the successful American Apollo 11 landing on the moon. By then any thoughts of a manned flight had been abandoned as too little and too late. The Soviet disinformation organs began disseminating the myth that the USSR had never been in the moon race at all. The project was cancelled in 1970. (quote from Encyclopedia Astronautica)
N1 - L3 The N-1 rocket was the Soviet counterpart of the American Saturn-V, both having almost the same size. With this rocket, the Soviets tried to beat the U.S. in the Moon race first, and then put huge space stations into orbit. There were four launches, two in 1969, and other two in 1972: all of them failed.

The main causes for these failure were development delays, few tests, lack of funds, internal struggles between Korolyov (main designer)and his rivals (Chelomei and Glushko), the sudden death of Korolyov and general coordination problems. Chelomei wanted to build its own super booster (the UR 700) using Glushko's RD 270 engines, which made use of storable propelants, whereas Korolyov advocated for Kerosene/Lox engines. 

For many years its existence was top secret: the USSR claimed they never tried to put a man on the Moon, and many people in the west even denied it was ever built. After the fourth and final failure, Glushko took control of the program and terminated it. He decided to build a new rocket: the Vulkan, later it became the Energiya super-booster, which only flew twice in the eighties.

The model depicts the upper part of the launcher, the L3 complex which included the lunar orbital spacecraft (LOK) the Lunar spacecraft (LK) and the two blocks used to trnsfer the vehicle to the moon and assist the LK during the landing phase  (quote from Daniel Marin's Cosmonautics Page)

Soyuz 4 / Soyuz 5 The world's first space mission involving the transfer of a crew between two spacecraft began with the launch of Commander Shatalov aboard Soyuz 4. A day later Commander Volynov shuttled the EVA crew of Yeliseyev and Khrunov into earth orbit aboard Soyuz 5. A day after that Soyuz 4 docked with Soyuz 5. Khrunov and Yeliseyev transferred to and returned in Soyuz 4, the feat they had hoped to accomplish in the cancelled Soyuz 2 flight almost two years earlier. Officially the flight conducted scientific, technical and medico-biological research, checking and testing of onboard systems and design elements of space craft, docking of piloted space craft and construction of an experimental space station, transfer of cosmonauts from one craft to another in orbit. (quote from Encyclopedia Astronautica)
Salyut 1 / Soyuz 11 Salyut 1 was the first DOS – long duration orbital station. The civilian DOS station was built on basis of the military Almaz stations with the mission of beating the American Skylab in the space station race and to determine the usefulness of manned observation of the earth. DOS-1 was launched as Salyut 1 on 19 April 1971. The triumph turned to tragedy when the Soyuz-11 crew died due to de-pressurisation of their re-entry capsule during return to the earth. (quote from Encyclopedia Astronautica)
Salyut 3 / Salyut 5 Salyut 3 was the first Soviet Almaz military space station and the first station to be inhabited by a crew who safely returned to Earth. Salyut 5 was the second successful Soviet Almaz military space station and the last Almaz station launched into orbit. It was structurally similar to Salyut 3 and shared the same official objectives -- test spacecraft systems, design and equipment and conduct scientific and technological research and experiments. Salyut 3 and 5 were designed in the Central Design Bureau of Machine Building, headed by Vladimir Chelomei, under the Almaz program. It was 11.61 meters long and had a maximum diameter of 4.15 meters. Its useful volume totaled 47 cubic meters. Two solar panels were laterally mounted to the center of the station. Cosmonauts visiting the station were primarily assigned to perform photo reconnaissance work. (quote from the astronaut connection)
Salyut 4 / Soyuz 18 Salyut 4 represented the second phase of DOS civilian space station. It had 2,000 kg of scientific equipment and two sets of 3 solar panels. It was equipped with the Delta navigation system. Experiments: - Solar telescope OST-1 with main mirror of 25 cm diameter, 2.5 m focal length, built by Crimean Astrophysical Observatory with spectrograph shortwave diffraction spectrometer for far ultraviolet emissions, oriented by maneuvering entire station - two X-ray telescopes - swivel chair for vestibular function tests - lower body negative pressure gear for cardiovascular studies - bicycle ergometer integrated physical trainer (electrically driven running track 1 m X .3 m with elastic cords providing 50 kg load) - penguin suits and alternate athletic suit - 15 medical experiments total - sensors for temperature and characteristics of upper atmosphere ITS-K infrared telescope spectrometer and ultraviolet spectrometer for study of earth's infrared radiation - multispectral earth resources camera - cosmic ray detector - embryological studies - new engineering instruments tested for orientation of station by celestial objects and in darkness - New autonomous navigation system calculates orbital elements without assistance from ground - teletypewriter - two spherical airlocks near main camera to ejects body wastes. Interior floor area: 34.8 sq. m. (quote from Encyclopedia Astronautica
Salyut 6 / KRT 10 The Salyut 6 space station was the most successful of the DOS series prior to Mir. It was aloft for four years and ten months, completing 27,785 orbits of the earth. Five main expeditions and 11 short duration expeditions visited the station, of which nine had international crews. A total of 676 days of piloted operations were conducted by 27 cosmonauts with steadily increasing flight duration: 18, 75, 96, 140, and 185 days. 35 automatic dockings were conducted with the station by 20 Soyuz, 12 Progress, and 1 TKS spacecraft. In 1979 Progress 7 was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome by a Soyuz rocket, part of its cargo was the 10 m diameter KRT-10 radio telescope. As Progress 7 undocked, the 10 metre diameter parabolic dish aerial of the KRT-10 unfurled as it was released from the docking tunnel between Progress 7 and Salyut 6, where it was installed by the Salyut 6 crew. (quote from Encyclopedia Astronautica and Zarya)
Salyut 7 / Cosmos 1686 Second Soviet replenishable long-duration ‘civilian’ space station. Although of the same design as Salyut 6, technical breakdowns throughout its life made Salyut 7 a much less productive station. Replaced finally by Mir. Two different TKS resupply craft, originally designed for the Almaz military station, docked with Salyut 7 to provide a larger complex (TKS Kosmos 1443 on 4 March 1983, TKS Kosmos 1686 on 2 October 1985). With the cancellation of Almaz, a large proportion of the experiments carried out on board had military objectives. (quote from Encyclopedia Astronautica)
Mir The Mir core module was the backbone of the Mir space station. Derived from the prior Salyut 6 and 7 space stations, it acted as the principal space station control element and contained the main computers, communications equipment, kitchen and hygiene facilities, and primary living quarters. The module provided 90 cubic meters of habitable volume. The core module included six docking ports used as permanent attachment points for the other station modules and for temporary docking of manned and unmanned resupply ships. (quote from Encyclopedia Astronautica)
Kvant 1 / TKS The Kvant ('Quantum') 1 module was the first addition to the Mir core and contained a suite of scientific instruments for astrophysical observations and materials science experiments. The purpose of Kvant 1 was to provide data and observations for research into the physics of active galaxies, quasars and neutron stars. The module also supported biotechnology experiments in the areas of anti-viral preparations and fractions. Kvant 1 docked with the Mir station on April 12, 1987 at the Mir core module aft axial port. The module was divided into a pressurised laboratory compartment (40 cubic meters total pressurised volume) and a non-pressurised equipment compartment. The laboratory compartment is further divided into an instrumentation area and a living area, which are separated by an interior partition. A pressurised transfer chamber connected the core module with the laboratory chamber. The unpressurised equipment contained power stabilisers.  (quote from Encyclopedia Astronautica)
Progress M Progress M (maiden flight in August, 1989) is a "modernized" version of the original Progress cargo freighter (1978-1990) which flew 43 times (including Kosmos 1669) without a docking failure. Derived from Soyuz TM, Progress M has a launch mass of approximately 7.3 metric tons and a length of 8.2 m. Whereas the service module is essentially the same as the one used by Soyuz TM, the central module is designed for carrying propellants, air, and water, while dry cargo is stored in the forward, nearly spherical compartment. Progress M was originally rated for 30 days independent flight and up to 180 days attached to Mir. During 1993-1994 Progress M17 established new records with a 131-day stay at Mir and a total flight time of 337 days. Although Progress M spacecraft are destroyed during reentry, beginning in 1990 (Progress M5) a small Raduga recoverable capsule (payload capacity of 150 kg) has been used on about every other mission. (quote from Space Policy Project
Kristall Kristall was the third addition to the Mir core vehicle and was primarily designed to investigate materials processing technologies in the space environment. The module also supported biological, Earth observation and astrophysical research. The module originally docked with the station on June 10, 1990 at the Mir forward axial port. After that it was moved several times by the small manipulator arm on Mir to accommodate the addition of the Spektr module to the station and to allow rendezvous with the US Shuttle at Kristall's main docking port. The module was transferred to its final location at the Mir transfer compartment's starboard radial port on July 17, 1995.  (quote from Encyclopedia Astronautica)
ISS The International Space Station represents the last step in the design of space station regrouping elements from various nations (Russia, USA, Europe and Japan). In this configuration dating from 2000 one can see the Progress cargo spacecraft docked to the Zvezda module, docked itself to the Zarya (mostly based on the Mir core module) and the Unity modules. This completed the 1R phase of the construction progress.
Shenzhou vs Soyuz It is very clear that the Chinese Shenzhou spacecraft is based on the Soyuz concept with a service module, a reentry module and an orbital module. However there are some notable differences. The chinese spacecraft is larger than its Soviet/Russian counterpart, the orbital module is cylindrical and not spherical and has got solar panels which allow it to be used as an independant orbital station after the reentry module is back on Earth. The cylindrical aspect of the orbital module was in the original design of the Soyuz A. Serge Gracieux has depicted Soyuz and Shenzhou side by side to have a better view of these differences. In october 2003 when the first manned chinese spaceflight happened the model was used in a special display at the Cité de l'Espace here in Toulouse.