S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia embarked on the activities under the project of spacecraft OKA-T serviced on the International Space Station (ISS). Works are underway on development effort "OKA-T-ISS" in the Preliminary Design stage in accordance with the Federal Space Agency contract. Works completion date for in the Preliminary Design stage is November 2013.
Spacecraft (SC) OKA-T is intended to conduct scientific research in low near-earth orbit using the advantages of free-flying SC. These advantages lie in the fact that a lower-level microgravity is ensured as compared with orbital stations, as well as an opportunity to create zones of open space with a high vacuum.
Conduct of OKA-T-based scientific experiments is scheduled in the cycles of its free flight, between the periods of SC staying docked to the station.
In the docked operation phase of flight, crew performs maintenance operations for OKA-T, including servicing of experimental equipment, as well as repair/maintenance operations for its onboard systems; carries out preparation of SC and its experimental equipment for the next cycle of free flight.
In order to satisfy the conditions required for free flight, special measures are foreseen to build OKA-T onboard systems (motion control, power supply) and reduce vibrations caused by onboard devices, as well as create zones of high vacuum via special protective shield and airlock which makes it possible to move experimental equipment with samples in this zone and, subsequently, to remove the equipment with samples from it.