L1 Complex 1962
The first 1961 draft of the Soyuz project was used a modernisation of the Vostok 3KA series (Vostok-Zh). Three rocket stages would be assembled in low earth orbit using a manned Vostok tug. They would then launch a Soyuz capsule on a lunar flyby and return to earth.
Russian manned lunar flyby spacecraft. Study 1962. Early design that would lead to Soyuz. A Vostok-Zh manned tug would assemble rocket stages in orbit. It would then return, and a Soyuz L1 would dock with the rocket stack and be propelled toward the moon.
The highest Soviet priority after the N1 large booster was a reliable spacecraft that allowed the crew to make re-entries at hyperbolic speeds - when returning from expeditions from earth orbit, the moon, or Mars. On 10 March 1962 Korolev approved the technical project "Complex docking of spacecraft in earth orbit - Soyuz". The Soyuz would first be tested using multiple launches of an R-7 derived rocket. In this concept a large spacecraft was assembled in earth orbit by a Vostok-Zh (or Vostok-7) maneuverable manned satellite, piloted by a 'cosmonaut assemblyman'. The pilot would rendezvous and dock with each component as it reached orbit, then maneuver the component to the in-assembly spacecraft. Following completion of assembly, the Vostok would retrofire and the assemblyman would return to earth. The assembled circumlunar craft consisted of three rocket blocks (RB) and the L1 Soyuz spacecraft itself. The rocket blocks would fire in sequence to put the L1, with a crew of one to three, on a circumlunar trajectory.
The original L1 had both main and back-up engines. It consisted of the ZhO living section, the SA re-entry capsule, AO aggregate (equipment/propulsion) section, followed by the three rocket blocks.
The Vostok-Zh could be used on another mission to assemble a 15 metric ton orbital station with the mission of observing the earth. It would consist of three separately-launched blocks: a ZhO living section, BAA scientific apparatus block, and the Soyuz spacecraft itself. This closely resembled Sever, another contemporary study project at OKB-1.
Crew Size: 3.
Gross mass: 16,500 kg (36,300 lb).
More... - Chronology...
Manned Circumlunar Boosting a manned spacecraft on a loop around the moon, without entering lunar orbit, allows a trip to be made near the moon with a total low earth orbit mass of as little as 20 tonnes. This was attractive during the space race as a manned mission that could be accomplished early with limited booster power. Gemini, Apollo, and Soyuz were all supposed to have made circumlunar flights. Only Soyuz reached the circumlunar flight-test stage under the L1 program. Any L1 manned missions were cancelled after the Americans reached lunar orbit with Apollo 8. The idea was resurrected in 2005 when a $100 million commercial flight around the moon was proposed, again using Soyuz. More...
Soyuz The Russian Soyuz spacecraft has been the longest-lived, most adaptable, and most successful manned spacecraft design. In production for fifty years, more than 240 have been built and flown on a wide range of missions. The design will remain in use with the international space station well into the 21st century, providing the only manned access to the station after the retirement of the shuttle in 2011. More...
Associated Launch Vehicles
Soyuz Russian orbital launch vehicle. The world's first ICBM became the most often used and most reliable launch vehicle in history. The original core+four strap-on booster missile had a small third stage added to produce the Vostok launch vehicle, with a payload of 5 metric tons. Addition of a larger third stage produced the Voskhod/Soyuz vehicle, with a payload over 6 metric tons. Using this with a fourth stage, the resulting Molniya booster placed communications satellites and early lunar and planetary probes in higher energy trajectories. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with an unmatched success rate of 97.5% for production models. Improved models providing commercial launch services for international customers entered service in the new millenium, and a new launch pad at Kourou was to be inaugurated in 2009. It appeared that the R-7 could easily still be in service 70 years after its first launch. More...
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...
Afanasyev, I B, Neizvestnie korabli, Kosmonavtika, Astronomiya, Znanie, 12-91..
1962 March 10 -
- Soyuz Technical Project approved. - .
Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Spacecraft: L1-1962; Vostok-Zh; OS-1962. Korolev approved the technical project 'Complex docking of spacecraft in earth orbit - Soyuz'. The Soyuz would first be tested using multiple launches of an R-7 derived rocket. In this concept a large spacecraft was assembled in earth orbit by a Vostok-Zh (or Vostok-7) manoeuvrable manned satellite, piloted by a 'cosmonaut assemblyman'. Following completion of assembly, the Vostok would return to earth. The assembled circumlunar craft would put the L1, with a crew of one to three, on a circumlunar trajectory. The Vostok-Zh could be used on another mission to assemble a 15 tonne OS orbital station with the mission of observing the earth.
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