Encyclopedia Astronautica
Soyuz 7K-L1A



l1sinrig.jpg
L1S in Shop
Soyuz 7K-L1S systems test spacecraft in shop at Baikonur, in preparation for installation on N1 launch vehicle.
lokrcsdm.jpg
LOK reaction control
The upper half of this item is the ODOP (Orientation and docking engine section) of the LOK, mounted at the top of the orbital module. The cone at top was had grapples for snagging the hexagonal grid of the large disk on top of the LK. Propellants for the orientation and manoeuvring engines were in the tanks in this section. The bottom half of this item is similar to a test installation used on the Soyuz 7K-L1S destroyed in the several N1 launches.
Credit: © Mark Wade
Russian manned lunar orbiter. 2 launches, 1969.02.21 (N-1 3L) to 1969.07.03 (N-1 5L). Hybrid spacecraft used in N1 launch tests.

The L1A consisted of a modified Soyuz L1 service module attached to an LOK-sized flange, with a circumlunar Soyuz descent module, topped by an odd hybrid propulsion module derived from that to be used on the LOK and LK lunar lander.

Each L1A differed somewhat from the other, using available surplus components or systems ready for test in space. Some carried dummy re-entry capsules.

AKA: Soyuz 7K-L1S; 7K-L1S; 7K-L1T; 11F92.
Gross mass: 6,900 kg (15,200 lb).
First Launch: 1969.02.21.
Last Launch: 1969.07.03.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • KTDU-53 Isayev Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 4.089 kN. Zond 4-7 maneuvering engine. Out of Production. Spacecraft maneuvering engine, derivative of KTDU-35 without back-up engine. Isp=280s. More...

See also
  • Lunar Orbiters Manned lunar orbiters and orbiting stations were rarely designed for this purpose alone, but usually used in a lunar-orbit rendezvous lunar landing scenario together with a separate lunar lander. They were more powerful than circumlunar manned spacecraft in that they required substantial propellant to brake into and get out of lunar orbit. More...
  • N1 The N1 launch vehicle, developed by Russia in the 1960's, was to be the Soviet Union's counterpart to the Saturn V. The largest of a family of launch vehicles that were to replace the ICBM-derived launchers then in use, the N series was to launch Soviet cosmonauts to the moon, Mars, and huge space stations into orbit. In comparison to Saturn, the project was started late, starved of funds and priority, and dogged by political and technical struggles between the chief designers Korolev, Glushko, and Chelomei. The end result was four launch failures and cancellation of the project five years after Apollo landed on the moon. Not only did a Soviet cosmonaut never land on the moon, but the Soviet Union even denied that the huge project ever existed. 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
  • N1 1969 Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The N1 launch vehicle, developed by Russia in the 1960's, was to be the Soviet Union's counterpart to the Saturn V. The largest of a family of launch vehicles that were to replace the ICBM-derived launchers then in use, the N series was to launch Soviet cosmonauts to the moon, Mars, and huge space stations into orbit. In comparison to Saturn, the project was started late, starved of funds and priority, and dogged by political and technical struggles between the chief designers Korolev, Glushko, and Chelomei. The end result was four launch failures and cancellation of the project five years after Apollo landed on the moon. Not only did a Soviet cosmonaut never land on the moon, but the Soviet Union even denied that the huge project ever existed. More...
  • N1 The N1 launch vehicle, developed by Russia in the 1960's, was to be the Soviet Union's counterpart to the Saturn V. The largest of a family of launch vehicles that were to replace the ICBM-derived launchers then in use, the N series was to launch Soviet cosmonauts to the moon, Mars, and huge space stations into orbit. In comparison to Saturn, the project was started late, starved of funds and priority, and dogged by political and technical struggles between the chief designers Korolev, Glushko, and Chelomei. The end result was four launch failures and cancellation of the project five years after Apollo landed on the moon. Not only did a Soviet cosmonaut never land on the moon, but the Soviet Union even denied that the huge project ever existed. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...

Associated Programs
  • Lunar L3 The Soviet program to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth. More...

Bibliography
  • Semenov, Yuri P Editor, Raketno-kosmicheskaya korporatsiya 'Energia' imeni S P Koroleva, Moscow, Russia, 1996.
  • Voevodin, Sergey A, "Sergey A. Voevodin's Reports", VSA072 - Space Apparatus, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Chertok, Boris Yevseyevich, Raketi i lyudi, Mashinostroenie, Moscow, 1994-1999.. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Kamanin, N P, Skritiy kosmos, Infortext, Moscow, 1995.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...

Soyuz 7K-L1A Chronology


1967 March 14 - . LV Family: N1; Proton.
  • Lunar flyby/landing program plan reviewed - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Soyuz 7K-L1A; LK. UR-500K/L1 project will consist of three phases. Phase I will be dedicated to development of the Block D translunar stage, using prototype, incomplete L1 spacecraft. Phase II will conduct lunar flybys with complete but unmanned L1 spacecraft. Phase III will fly Soviet cosmonauts around the moon. The N1/L3 project will consist of five phases. Phase I will use the N1 and the 7K-L1A spacecraft. This will be used primarily to test out the Block G translunar and Block D lunar orbit insertion stages, but will also conduct lunar flybys, returning photographs of the lunar surface to the earth. Phase II will use N1's to fly L3 spacecraft with an unpiloted LOK lunar orbiter and an unpiloted LK lunar lander. Phase III, the first manned missions, will use N1's to fly L3 spacecraft with a piloted LOK lunar orbiter and an unpiloted LK lunar lander. Phase IV will fly a piloted LOK lunar orbiter and an unpiloted LK lunar lander, that will be landed on the lunar surface. In Phase V N1-L3 number 10L is to launch the first manned landing on the moon in September 1968. N1-L3 numbers 11L and 12L were back-ups, in the event any of the planned earlier missions failed. Additional Details: here....

1969 January 9 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • State Commission for the first N1 launch - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei; Kurushin. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1A. The State Commission for the first N1 launch, headed by Afanasyev, convenes at Area 12 of Baikonur. All of the Chief Designers and top generals of the VVS are in attendance. Many defects are identified in the review, but there seem to be no show-stoppers. Payload integration with the booster is to begin 13 January and launch by 18 February. Then Baikonur commander General Kurushin drops a bombshell - he declares he is not prepared to attempt to launch this 'unready' rocket. Much argument and discussion ensues. Finally Afanasyev asks that the issues raised be reviewed, in preparation for the next commission meeting on 11 January.

1969 January 11 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 state commission meeting. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1A. Summary: The issues raised with the N1 have been cleared up and settled. Afanasyev approves the schedule leading to an 18 February first launch of the N1..

1969 February 21 - . 09:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110R. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1. LV Configuration: N-1 11A52 3L. FAILURE: First stage failure.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • N1 3L launch - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-L1S s/n 3. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kirillov; Dorofeyev; Afanasyev, Sergei; Mishin. Agency: RVSN. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1A. Decay Date: 1969-02-21 . COSPAR: F690221A. Apogee: 30 km (18 mi). N-1 serial number 3L was the first N-1 launched. The vehicle ran into trouble immediately at lift-off. A fire developed in the tail compartment. The engine monitoring system detected the fire, but then gave an incorrect signal, shutting down all engines at 68.7 seconds into the flight. British intelligence detected the launch attempt, but the CIA's technical means for some reason missed it and they denied for years that it had ever occurred. In retrospect the launch team at Baikonur pointed to a grave mistake - at the christening of the first N1, the champagne bottle broke against the crawler-transporter rather than the hull of the rocket. After the 3L failure everyone knew there was no chance at all of beating the Americans to the moon. Additional Details: here....

1969 May 29 - . LV Family: MR-UR-100; N1; Proton; UR-100N; UR-700.
  • N1 State Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Barmin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Smirnov; Tyulin; Bushuyev; Pashkov; Okhapkin; Yangel; Chelomei; Nadiradze; Keldysh. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-L1A; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Aelita. Over two days a State Commission reviewed all of the conclusions of the N1 3L failure investigation and the readiness of N1 5L for flight. All of the fixes identified to remedy the 3L failure had been incorporated into 5L. It was felt that the behaviour of the systems in fire conditions were understood and appropriate measures had been taken. The wiring had been rerouted and insulated. Barmin wanted the system not to shut down any engines under any conditions during the first 15-20 seconds of flight, so that the booster would clear the pad and there would be no risk of the pad's destruction. But there was no time to develop such measures before the 5L launch; it could only be added in vehicle 6L. Additional Details: here....

1969 June 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviet lunar plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-L1A. Despite having no stand testing of the N1 first stage, Mishin still expected the first Soviet lunar landing to take place by the end of 1970. He began pushing Kamanin to assign L3 flight crews for the missions. Mishin's staff did not believe he had the necessary discipline to pull it off, but supported him out of solidarity. Mishin accepted the resolution to use 5L to conduct a lunar flyby. The payload consisted of the L3-S. This spacecraft used the new unified guidance system developed for the LOK by NIIAP, replacing the 7K-L1 guidance system, and functional rocket stages G and D, plus the payload bay of the LK. The only functional spacecraft system was the SAS abort tower. Although unthinkable in Korolev's time, lunar launch window constraints meant the launch had to be made at precisely 23:18 on 3 June 1969.

1969 July 3 - . 20:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110R. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1. LV Configuration: N-1 11A52 5L. FAILURE: First stage failure.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • N1 5L launch - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-L1S s/n 5 / Dummy LK. Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Apollo 11. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1A. Decay Date: 1969-07-03 . COSPAR: F690703A. N-1 serial number 5L began to fail at 0.25 second after liftoff when the oxidizer pump of engine number 8 ingested a slag fragment and exploded. A fire ensued as the vehicle climbed past the top of the tower. Engines were shutdown until the acceleration dropped below 1 G; then the vehicle began to fall back to the pad at a 45 degree angle. The escape tower fired at the top of the brief trajectory, taking the L1S dummy descent module away from the pad. Upon impact of the base of the N1 with the pad, the vehicle exploded, destroying launch pad 110 east, which would take over 18 months to repair. This was the end of a slight Soviet hope of upstaging the US Apollo 11. Additional Details: here....

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