Excalibur Almaz

Excalibur Almaz

Excalibur Almaz is a private spaceflight company which plans to orbit manned spacecraft, by using modernized "TKS" space capsules and "Almaz" space stations, derived from the formerly secret Soviet space program. Missions will support orbital space tourism, and provide test beds for experiments in a microgravity environment.


The "TKS"-derived space capsules resemble American "Gemini" capsules, but unlike the two-person "Gemini", they are reusable, and can carry three passengers or operate autonomously. They can launch atop any of several rockets of various spacefaring countries, and they possess a Launch Escape System to ensure the safety of their passengers. They use parachutes and retrorockets to return to Earth, touching down on land or on water.

The "Almaz"-derived space stations are closely related to modules used on the International Space Station, and on the Soviet and Russian "Salyut" and "Mir" space stations. This is because the design of the original Almaz (Salyut 2,3, and 5) stations was used as a basis for capsules on Mir and ISS. Excalibur Almaz’s space stations will feature the largest windows ever on spacecraft.


Excalibur Almaz is based in Douglas, Isle of Man, with offices in Houston and Moscow. The company owns its spacecraft but contracts expert services, including refurbishment, launch, control, and recovery.

Company founders include: CEO and space law expert Art Dula, CFO and space commercialization veteran Buckner Hightower, and Sales & Marketing Vice President Chris Stott. Stott is also CEO of ManSat and on the board of the International Space University. Chief of spacecraft operations is Leroy Chiao, formerly a NASA astronaut and Commander of the International Space Station.

Advisory Board members include: former Johnson Space Center Director, George Abbey; former Kennedy Space Center Director and former President of Lockheed Martin Space Operations, Jay Honeycutt; former space shuttle astronaut and VASIMR plasma rocket engine inventor, Franklin Chang-Diaz; former European Space Agency astronaut Jean-Loup Chrétien, and former Russian cosmonauts, Vladimir Titov and Yuri Glazkov.


Siddiqi, Asif A., "The Almaz Space Station Complex: A History". 1964-1992, part 1, JBIS, Vol 54, No 11/12, November/December 2001.

External links

* [http://www.svengrahn.pp.se/histind/Almprog/almprog.htm Grahn, Sven. ‘’The Almaz Space Station Complex’’ ]
* [http://www.astronautix.com/craft/almaz.htm Wade, Mark. ‘’Almaz’’ ]
* [http://www.russianspaceweb.com/almaz.html Russian Space Web. ‘’The Almaz Program’’ ]
* [http://excaliburalmazobserver.blogspot.com/ Excalibur Almaz Observer Blog]

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