How much would an Energia payload canister weigh?

Well, I’ve got a question that not only involves rocket science, but possibly requires the ability to read Russian. Technical Russian.

That is; does anyone here happen to know how much a payload canister used on a unmanned Energia rocket booster would have weighed? Not the payload itself, just the shroud covering it.

I’ve found what may be a site with the information, but unfortunately, it’s all in cyrilic. And babelfish doesn’t seem to want to translate it.

So, can…anyone help me out? Please?

I used to follow Russian space launch vehicles closely for a former employer, so I might be able to help. Are you looking for the shroud mass of the Energia? Specifically, which of the payload canisters/shrouds in this picture are you looking for the mass of? Or are you thinking about the Vulkan?

My difficulty is that Energia only flew twice: once with the Polyus payload (pictured all the way left), and once with Buran (right). Any other shroud wouldn’t have a known (or at least a very well known) mass.

The reason I’m asking is that I can transliterate Cyrillic, but it’s painfully slow. If I can get an idea of which part you’re looking for, I can search the page for “масса” (mass) and see if any of the nearby terms seem to match that part name.

A tactic that might bear more fruit would be to look at the shroud masses of several differently-sized boosters made around the same time frame, and compare their dimensions to their masses. Once you have enough samples, you can get a good engineering estimate of how much any given shroud would weigh – assuming your dimensions are accurate.

It’s the second canister/shroud from the left, in that picture. (And definitely not anything from the Vulkan.)

And thank you for your offer to help! It helps a lot, though I understand that it might be for naught. [ :smack: :frowning: ] But, if that’s the case, thank you again for the suggestion on how to estimate the mass of the shroud.

Alrighty, here we go:

First, the big page of Cyrillic doesn’t look like it’s going to be much help. All of the measurements in kilograms that are reasonably close to such a shroud mass are actually throw weights of smaller U.S. boosters. That is, there is no number on that page that might be the shroud mass in kilograms, and you don’t measure shroud mass in “tonnes” unless you’re very bad at building shrouds.

Secondly, I don’t think the payload canister you’re searching for was ever built. I’ve been reading the development history, and I don’t think it even has a name! “Polyus” numbers - if you can find them - might come closest to having what you want.

I’m going to weed through the mass breakdowns that are out there and see if I can derive a “missing piece” mass. Quite often you’ll see fueled masses for all stages, a payload mass, and then a total fueled mass which is slightly larger than the sum – this miscellaneous mystery mass is not all shroud (some of it is interstage hardware and so on) but gives you a very good first-order hack at the mass.

Failing that, I may try my hand at the size/mass comparison I suggested above, but that’s a fool’s errand unless you understand the engineering details of the shroud designs. It’s hard to know, for example, if a particular shroud used steel ribs instead of titanium ribs for budgetary reasons. Still, it might be worth a try.