TIL that the Soyuz 3 & 5 space stations were not scientific missions but were a cover for the Soviet military’s Almaz program, with both space stations acting as platforms to spy on NATO forces from space. The space stations were also armed with 23mm cannons adapted from a bomber’s tail gun.

Read more: https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a18187/here-is-the-soviet-unions-secret-space-cannon/

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  1. Wouldn’t the cannons produce thrust if fired and majorly screw up their orbit?

    Edit, sounds like they planned to use the station thrusters to counteract the thrust from the gun. This seems like a terrible idea because it would need to be exactly the same or it would result in deviation. I suspect that it turned out to be just as bad an idea as it sounds since they only used it once and never released the results.

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