Bahrain company plays role in auction of historic Soviet space capsule
A Bahrain company will be playing a part in space history when the historic Soviet space capsule “Vozvraschaemyi Apparat (VA)” goes to auction in Brussels on May 7.
A9C Capital based in Manama is the business consultant and technology advisor of Excalibur Almaz which owns the space capsule to be auctioned and additional heritage space hardware. Excalibur Almaz plans to develop commercial manned and unmanned space transportation to earth orbit and the lunar region and A9C Capital is maintaining Excalibur Almaz` business interests in the Middle East.
The Manama company is organising the sale of the capsule for Excalibur. This will be the first time ever that a space capsule is to be auctioned in Europe.
VA space capsules have been integral part of various Soviet space programmes including the “Race to the Moon” and the “Almaz” programme during the so called “Cold War” between the USA and the former Soviet Union.
The VA space capsule with the serial number 1–11 Φ71B-0320-0 No. 060 has flown to space twice in 1977 (Cosmos 929) and in 1978 (Cosmos 998) and seems to be the first type of spacecraft to be reusable and has actually flown twice into the low earth orbit. The space capsule which was foreseen to host three cosmonauts during the launch of the space missions and during the re-entry into the earth atmosphere weighs 1.9 metric tons, has a diameter of 2.8 metre and a height of 2.2 metres. The estimated price tag for the auction is between one and two million US Dollars.
Alongside with the VA space capsule two Russian Sukol KV2 space suits are on auction which were worn by Russian cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri on his flight to the MIR space station (1996) and British-American astronaut Michael Foale on his flight to the International Space Station, ISS (2003). “This historically unique reusable re-entry vehicle is a masterpiece of contemporary space history which has been displayed in exhibitions around the world e.g. in the museum of its designer, JSC MIC NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM), during the renowned Moscow Airshow (MAKS), at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Center in Westminster in connection with a conference of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) in London and last but not least at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in Riyadh 2013, just to name a few” said Prof. Dr. Bernd J. Hoefer the chairman and CEO of A9C Capital and former Vice Chairman of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). “The capsule has been viewed by many thousands of people and has generated great interest wherever it has been displayed”.
The space capsule will be auctioned by Kunsthaus Lempertz S.A. in Brussels on 7th May and is currently displayed in Berlin, Germany until end of April.