Encyclopedia Astronautica
N1



n119642.jpg
N1-L3 - 1964
N1-L3 as per advanced project, 1964
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.

Data is for the N1 launch vehicle as flown. These test vehicles did not exceed 2735 tonnes liftoff mass and 70 tonne earth orbit payload capability. Four flight tests, all failures.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • Soyuz 7K-L1A 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. More...
  • Soyuz 7K-LOK Russian manned lunar orbiter. 2 launches, 1971.06.26 (N-1 6L) to 1972.11.23 (LOK). The two-crew LOK lunar orbiting spacecraft was the largest derivative of Soyuz developed. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Superraket Russian nuclear orbital launch vehicle. The ancestor of the N1 lunar launch vehicle, this was the first heavy lift launch vehicle actively considered in the USSR. The 2,000 tonne liftoff mass was similar to the later N1 design, but the first stage would use a staggering cluster of around 66 Kuznetsov NK-9 engines (as opposed to the modest 24 NK-15's of the first N1 configuration). The real difference was in the second stage, which used the nuclear YaRD engine, giving the launch vehicle nearly double the later N1's payload capacity. More...
  • N11 Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. It was originally planned the N1 would form the basis of a family of launch vehicles that could replace existing ICBM-derived boosters. The N11 would use the second, third, and fourth stages of the N1. This would give it a lift-off mass of 700 tonnes and a 20 tonne payload into low earth orbit. It could replace Chelomei's Proton launch vehicle in the medium-lift role. More...
  • N111 Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. It was originally planned the N1 would form the basis of a family of launch vehicles that could replace existing ICBM-derived boosters. The N111 would use the third and fourth stages of the N1, and the second stage of Korolev's R-9 ICBM. This would result in a lift-off mass of 200 tonnes and a five tonne payload. It could replace the R-7 derived boosters (Vostok and Soyuz) in this payload category. More...
  • N11GR Russian orbital missile. This 1962 project was designed by Korolev's OKB as a competitor to Chelomei's UR-500 against the military GR-2 (Global Rocket 2) requirement. The N-11GR was an adaptation of the basic N-11, derived from the second and third stages of the N1 heavy booster. The GR-2 was to be a kind of enormous multiple-warhead FOBS (fractional orbit bombing system). Surrounding the top of the second stage of the rocket, like bullets in an enormous revolver, were six final stages derived from the 8K713 GR-1 last stage. Each stage had a 1,500 kg nuclear warhead. More...
  • N1 1964 Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The N1 launch vehicle for the N1-L3 lunar landing mission as described in the draft project of 1964. Design requirement for the single-launch lunar-orbit-rendezvous lunar landing was 2750 tonnes liftoff mass and 95 tonnes low earth orbit payload. The actual N1 that flew in 1969 to 1972 had lighter first and third stages, but never demonstrated a full fuel load using superchilled propellants as planned in the draft project.. More...
  • N11 1963 Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. A military variant of the N-11 which would use a powerful third stage, probably derived from the first stage of the 8K713 GR-1, to put up to 24 tonnes in low earth orbit. This was a competitor with Chelomei's UR-500K, which was selected instead for the heavy military payload mission. More...
  • N1 Nuclear A Russian nuclear orbital launch vehicle. A version of the N1 with a nuclear upper stage was studied by Korolev in 1963. It was concluded that the optimum design would allow a single N1 to launch a direct manned lunar landing and return. However for manned Mars missions, a nuclear electric engine was found to be much more efficient. This essentially killed further consideration of thermal nuclear upper stages within the bureau. More...
  • N1 Nuclear V-B Russian nuclear orbital launch vehicle. N1 with nuclear upper stage. This variant of the Type V nuclear engine used a very heavy radiation shield to protect the crew of any manned spacecraft payload. More...
  • N1 Nuclear AF Russian nuclear orbital launch vehicle. A variant of the first alternative considered in the 1963 nuclear N1 study. This was a 'high thrust' version of the Type A engine - apparently with higher propellant rate, lower specific impulse, and lower engine weight. Due to the very low density of the enormous liquid hydrogen upper stages, these immense vehicles would have been very ungainly (and had interesting stress problems during ascent!) More...
  • N1 Nuclear V Russian nuclear orbital launch vehicle. Second primary alternative considered for the 1963 nuclear N1 study. The immense liquid hydrogen tank of the second nuclear stage would have dwarfed the N1 first stage mounted below it in the shadows. The extremely poor thrust to weight ratio of the Type V engine design compared to that of the Type A remains unexplained. More...
  • N1 1962 Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. Final configuration of the N1 at the time of development go-ahead in 1962. The 75 tonne payload was to consist of the Raskat dispenser, which would have delivered 17 multi-megaton nuclear warheads, essentially destroying the United States in a single launch. The design also supported the OS-1 heavy space station and TMK manned Mars flyby requirements - as opposed to any manned lunar landing project. More...
  • N-IF 1965 Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The N-IF would be the first follow-on version with increased performance. The first stage engines would be increased in thrust from an average of 150 tonnes to 175 tonnes, and those in the second stage from 150 tonnes to 200 tonnes. The second and third stages would be substantially enlarged. More...
  • N-IM 1965 Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The N-IM would mark an tremendous increase in vehicle size and was the ultimate pure liquid oxygen/kerosene version considered. The first stage engines would be increased to 250 tonnes thrust, without reducing reliability, through use of higher engine chamber pressure. Propellant load in the first stage would be almost doubled. Second stage engine thrust would increase to 280 tonnes each and the second and third stages again enlarged. More...
  • N-IMV-III Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. Then N-IMV-III would add the Block V-III cryogenic third stage to the first and second stages of the N-IM. This provided the second-highest performance of the variations considered and would certainly have been cheaper than the N-IFV-II, III. More...
  • N-IUV-III Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The N-IUV-III would replace the N-IU's conventional third stage with a LOX/LH2 cryogenic third stage. This was seen at the time as the first step in exploitation of cryogenic technology in Russia. Although pursued for some time, this large stage never went into development. The more modestly-sized Block R, Block S, and Block SR instead were put into development in the early 1970's. More...
  • N-IMV-II-III Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. N-IMV-II, III was the ultimate conventionally-powered N1 ever considered. It paired the monster N-1M first stage with new cryogenic second and third stages. Both liftoff thrust and payload of this vehicle would have been double that of the American Saturn V. More...
  • N-IFV-II-III Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. N-IFV-II, III would use only the first stage from the N-1F, and use new cryogenic second and third stages. This cryogenic second stage seems not to have been pursued beyond the study phase. More...
  • N-IFV-III Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. Then N-IFV-III would add the Block V-III cryogenic third stage to the first and second stages of the N-IF. More...
  • N-IU Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The N-IU would be the initial production version of the N1 following the mad rush to make the lunar landings. It would have essentially the same payload but would be substantially re-engineered for sharply improved reliability, most notably with autonomously operating engines. It is interesting to note that four years before the disastorous first flight Korolev already foresaw the potential engine problems that would be the downfall of the project. More...
  • N1M Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The N1M was to be the first Soviet launch vehicle to use liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen high energy cyrogenic propellants. It was designed to launch payloads in support of the LEK lunar expeditions (two cosmonauts on the surface), the DLB (long-duration lunar base), and heavy unmanned satellites into geosynchronous and interplanetary trajectories. As originally conceived, the advanced propellants would be used in all upper stages. However due to delays in Kuznetsov development of a 200 tonne thrust Lox/LH2 engine, the final version used an N1 first stage, with a Block V-III second stage, and Blocks S and R third and fourth stages. More...
  • N1F Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The N1F would have been the definitive flight version of the N1, incorporating all changes resulting from the four flight tests of the vehicle, including the new Kuznetsov engines and 10% greater liftoff mass by using superchilled propellants in all stages. N1 8L would have been the first N1F configuration flight, with launch planned in the third quarter of 1975 at the time the project was cancelled. More...
  • N1F Sr Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The final more modest version of the N1F replaced the fourth and fifth stages of the N1 with the single liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen Block Sr stage. Development of the Sr stage was from May 1971 until cancellation of the N1 project in May 1974. More...
  • N1F-L3M Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The N1M was found to be too ambitious. The N1F of 1968 was instead pencilled in to be the first Soviet launch vehicle to use liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen high energy cyrogenic propellants. The N1F would have only used the Block S and Block R fourth and fifth stages in place of the N1's Block G and Block D. More...
  • N1-MOK Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. Ultimate derivative of N1. Single-stage-to-orbit vehicle based on N1 Block A. Propellants changed to LH2/LOX, 16 x modified NK-33 engines + 4 Liquid Air Cycle Engine Liquid Air/LH2 boosters. All figures estimated based on tank volume of Block A and delivery of 90,000 kg payload to 450 km / 97.5 degree MKBS orbit. Briefly described in RKK Energia official history and in some detail in Peter James'
      1974
    book Soviet Conquest from Space! 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 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...

N1 Chronology


1956 September 30 - . LV Family: N1; Proton.
  • First official plan for future Soviet spaceflight - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3; Vostok; Zenit-2. This set forth the following objectives: orbiting of satellites of 1.8 to 2.5 tonnes mass by 1958; one week flight of a manned spacecraft by 1964; unmanned reconnaissance satellite by 1970; rocket capable of 12 tonne escape velocity payload by 1970; rocket with 100 tonne low earth orbit payload to be developed, capable of placing 2 to 3 men on the moon (no date set).

1957 During the Year - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • USSR starts ion engine development - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Feoktistov. Spacecraft: TMK-E. At the urging of S P Korolev, OKB-1 Section 12, led by M V Melnikov, started development of an ion engine. By 1959 it would be proposed that clusters of the 7.5 kgf thrust ion engine could take the TMK-E manned Mars spacecraft on a low acceleration spiralling trajectory away from the Earth until it finally reached escape velocity and headed toward Mars. But to power even such a limited engine solar panels with a total area of 36,000 square meters would be required - clearly beyond 1959 technology. Feoktistov's solution was to turn to the use of a nuclear reactor to power the ion engine.

1958 June 30 - . LV Family: N1; YaRD ICBM.
  • Development of Soviet nuclear-powered rockets authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Glushko. Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On the Creation of pockets With Engines on the Basis of Nuclear Energy Applications--work on a draft project for rockets with nuclear engines' was issued. Competing engine designs were in development by Glushko’s OKB-456 and Bondaryuk’s OKB-670. Both designs used existing available reactors in cyldindrical housings, with the reactors operating at 3000 degrees K. The propellant was heated in the reactor and exhausted through four expansion nozzles. The Glushko engine operated with ammonia, while the Bondaryuk engine used a mixture of ammonia and alcohol. With such propellants a specific impulse of 430 seconds was achieved.

1959 During the Year - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • TMK Heavy Piloted Interplanetary Spacecraft - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: TMK-1. In 1959 a group of enthusiasts in OKB-1 Section 3 under the management of G U Maksimov started engineering design of this first fantastic project for manned interplanetary travel. The requirements for executing this project would shape the specifications for the N1 launch vehicle.

    The TMK-1 would then be put on a free flight trajectory towards Mars. After 10.5 months it would fly by Mars, dropping remote controlled landers, and then be flung by the gravity of Mars into an earth-return trajectory. Only minor midcourse manoeuvres would be required. The first flight to Mars of the TMK-1 was planned to begin on June 8, 1971, with the crew returning in a re-entry capsule to the earth on July 10, 1974, after a voyage of three years, one month, and two days. A variation of this scenario involved flybys of Venus on the return voyage, and may have been the project given the code name 'Mavr' ('Moor' or MArs - VeneRa).


1959 December 31 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Nuclear propulsion work abandoned. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Program: Lunar L3. Summary: Korolev abandons work on nuclear-powered rockets. Future launch vehicles to be based on conventional lox/keroesene propellants..

1960 June 23 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviet plan for mastery of space issued. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Korolev; Yangel. Spacecraft: TMK-E. Decree 715-296 'On the Production of Various Launch Vehicles, Satellites, Spacecraft for the Military Space Forces in 1960-1967' authorised design of a range of spacecraft and launch vehicles by Korolev, Yangel, and Chelomei. The decree included the N1 (development of launch vehicles of up to 2,000 tonnes liftoff mass and 80 tonne payload, using conventional chemical propellants) and nuclear reactors for space power and propulsion.

1960 June 23 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Korolev tries to obtain support for a military orbital station - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Spacecraft: OS. Korolev wrote to the Ministry of Defence, trying to obtain support for a military orbital station (OS). The station would have a crew of 3 to 5, orbited at 350 to 400 km altitude. The station would conduct military reconnaissance, control other spacecraft in orbit, and undertake basic space research. The N-I version of the station would have a mass of 25 to 30 tonnes and the N-II version 60 to 70 tonnes. Korolev pointed out that his design bureau had already completed a draft project, in which 14 work brigades had participated.

1961 February 12 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Space plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Mikhailov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok. Kamanin describes Korolev. He is unable to make a decision about the man's true nature. Everyone is excited about the new seven-year plan, approved on 23 January 1960 in decree 711-296, which authorises design work to start on the N1 superbooster. In the immediate future, Vostok 3KA flights are planned every 8 to 10 days beginning 22 February until the first manned flight is achieved. The first flights will use mannequins to test the cosmonaut ejection seat. A manned flight will be attempted after two consecutive successful mannequin flights.

    In the West, the failed Venera 4 launch is being analysed as an attempted manned flight. Some Italians claim to have picked up voices on radio from the satellite. Kamanin describes all of this as unfounded speculation -- the Soviet Union will not risk a man's life until two fully successful mannequin flights demonstrate safe recovery.


1961 May 3 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • The draft project of the TKS Heavy Space Station was completed - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Spacecraft: TKS Heavy Space Station. Summary: Also known as TOSZ - Heavy Orbital Station of the Earth, this was Korolev’s first 1961 project for a large N1-launched military space station..

1961 May 13 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviet response to Apollo program - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Spacecraft: Kosmoplan; Raketoplan; Elektron-A; Elektron-B; LK-1. Soviet Decree 'On the Revision of Plans for Space Objects for Accomplishing Goals of Defence Designations--heavy boosters, course of work on Elektron, and suspension of work of work on the Kosmoplan and Raketoplan with continuation of new Raketoplan work' was issued. The decree set the end of 1965 as the date for the first launch of the N1. It also authorised Chelomei to stop work on Kosmoplan interplanetary probes and instead concentrate on a specific Raketoplan design - the LK-1 manned lunar flyby spacecraft.

1961 June 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Moon program go-ahead in response to U.S. start - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Korolev; Yangel. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz A; Soyuz B; Soyuz V; LK-1. Chelomei is informally asked by Khruschev to begin design of a booster and spacecraft for a manned circumlunar mission (UR-500 Proton and LK-1). There is no authorization for a lunar landing program, although Korolev, Yangel, and Chelomei all begin booster designs.

1961 October 12 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • TMK-1 draft project was completed. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Spacecraft: TMK-1. Design of the manned Mars flyby spacecraft had involved nearly all sections of Korolev's OKB-1. Those who worked on the TMK included A I Dylnev, A K Algypov, A A Kochkin, A A Dashkov, V N Kubasov, V E Bugrov, and N N Protacov. Kubasov would be selected as a cosmonaut in 1966.

1962 During the Year - . LV Family: N1; Proton; R-56.
  • GR-2 (Global Rocket 2) requirement. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Korolev; Yangel. Summary: The GR-2 was to be a kind of enormous multiple-warhead FOBS (fractional orbit bombing system). Competitors included Korolev's N-11GR; Chelomei's UR-500; and Yangel's R-56.

During February 1962 - . LV Family: N1; Proton; R-16; R-56; R-9; UR-200.
  • Pitsunda Conference - Decision to start design of UR-500 and N1 lunar boosters - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrushchev; Yangel; Korolev; Ustinov; Chelomei; Grechko, Andrei; Kozlov; Mikoyan. The Soviet leadership attends a secret exhibition of Soviet rocket technology in a sporting hall at Pitsunda, on the Black Sea. The Chief Designers offer competing designs. It is decided that the R-16, R-9, UR-200, UR-500, and N1 will go forward. Yangel's R-56 is rejected. Additional Details: here....

1962 April 12 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • First Soviet announcement of manned lunar goals - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz A; Soyuz B; Soyuz V. Summary: First Soviet public announcement of manned lunar goals..

1962 April 13 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 development slowed. - . Nation: USSR. Summary: Decree 'On restriction of work on the N1' was issued..

1962 April 16 - . LV Family: N1; R-56; Tsiklon.
  • N1, R-36, R-36-O, and R-56 rockets authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Summary: Decree 'On Important Development of Intercontinental Ballistic and Global Missiles and Carriers-Rockets for Space Objects--work on the N1, R-36, R-36-O, and R-56' was issued..

1962 April 20 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • OP -Orbital Belt - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Spacecraft: OP. Korolev’s fantastic ‘Orbitalniy Poyas’ (OP -Orbital Belt) scheme anticipated Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defence Initiative by 25 years. Two to three large N-I launched military manned stations would control a constellation of strategic assets. Geosynchronous nuclear-powered satellites would provide secure communications. Piloted reconnaissance spacecraft would surprise the enemy, observing military preparations without warning. The orbital stations would provide continuous observations of the territory of the imperialist block.

1962 September 24 - . LV Family: GR-1; N1; Tsiklon.
  • N1 and GR-1 authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Keldysh; Yangel. Program: Vostok. Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 1021-436 'On start of work on the N1 and GR-1' was issued. Following a review of the N1 project by an Academy of Sciences expert commission headed by Keldysh in July, this decree provided a detailed plan leading to a first launch by the end of 1965. Planning and drawing release for the GR-1 were completed by this date and the decree ordered test flights to begin in the third quarter of 1963. However development problems with the NK-9 engine resulted in continual delays. Finally in 1964 Korolev's GR-1 was cancelled and Yangel’s R-36 was selected for the mission. This would deprive Korolev of a vital test-bed for flight test of the N1 engines.

1962 September 25 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 launch vehicle upgraded to accomodate OS-1 75 tonne manned platform with nuclear weapons. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Khrushchev. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: OS-1 (1965). Work on the OS-1 began following a meeting between Khrushchev and chief designers at Pitsunda. Korolev was authorized to proceed immediately to upgrade the three stage N vehicle to a maximum 75 tonne payload in order to launch the station. By 1965 the mockup of the huge station had been completed.

1962 November 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Chelomei takes over Lavochkin and Myasishchev OKBs - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Khrushchev; Lavochkin; Myasishchev. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Summary: At Khrushchev's decision Chelomei takes over Lavochkin's OKB-301 and Myasishchev's OKB-23. Lavochkin had built objects 205, 207, 400 (SA-1,2,5); Chelomei UR-96 ABM-1..

1963 March 21 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110L. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Design work starts on N1 launch complex. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3.

1963 March 21 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1 1964.
  • Presidium of Inter-institution Soviet - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Keldysh; Chelomei; Glushko. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz A; Soyuz B; Soyuz V; Soyuz 7K-OK. The expert commission report on Soyuz is reviewed by the Chief Designers from 10:00 to 14:00. The primary objective of the Soyuz project is to develop the technology for docking in orbit. This will allow the spacecraft to make flights of many months duration and allow manned flyby of the moon. Using docking of 70 tonne components launched by the N1 booster will allow manned flight to the Moon, Venus, and Mars. Keldysh, Chelomei and Glushko all support the main objective of Soyuz, to obtain and perfect docking technology. But Chelomei and Glushko warn of the unknowns of the project. Korolev agrees with the assessment that not all the components of the system - the 7K, 9K, and 11K spacecraft - will fly by the end of 1964. But he does argue that the first 7K will fly in 1964, and the first manned 7K flight will come in 1965.

1963 April 28 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1 1964.
  • N1 Plans - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: TMK-1; L3-1963; OS-1 (1965). An Inter-Institution Soviet considers Korolev's N1 plans. He believes the first booster will be launched in 1965. The N1 is to have a payload capability of 75 tonnes to a 250 km altitude orbit, 50 tonnes to a 3000 km altitude orbit, and 16 tonnes in geostationary orbit. It could launch spacecraft capable of landing men on the moon and returning them to earth, or manned flybys of Mars or Venus. Three to ten launches would be needed for such missions, with the components being docked together in low earth orbit. The N1 can also be used to launch a large space station for military research. After the N1 discussion a decision is made that cosmonauts will not have to spend more than three to four days in a spacecraft mock-up on the ground to prove their readiness for flight. A simulation of the entire flight duration is not necessary.

1963 May - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Nuclear N1 designs - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Glushko. At the end of 1961 the Glushko and Bondaryuk bureaux completed their draft projects on nuclear thermal engines for space vehicle upper stages. It was decided to continue work on development of an engine in the 30 to 40 tonne thrust range. In the following year Korolev was asked to study application of such engines, followed by a specific demand in May 1963 from the Scientific-Technical Soviet for specific recommendations. For a Mars expedition, it was calculated that the AF engine would deliver 40% more payload than a chemical stage, and the V would deliver 50% more. But Korolev’s study also effectively killed the program by noting that his favoured solution, a nuclear electric ion engine, would deliver 70% more payload than the Lox/LH2 stage. Further investigation of nuclear thermal stages for the N1 does not seem to be pursued. Bondaryuk and Glushko turned to Chelomei and his competing UR-700 rocket for future application of such stages.

1963 September 1 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110L. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Construction begins of N1 launch complex - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3.

1963 October 4 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Gagarin identified as head of lunar cosmonauts - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Tereshkova. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Summary: Tereshkova announces in Havana that Gagarin head of lunar cosmonaut team..

1963 November 13 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 launch site facility construction approved. - . Nation: USSR. Summary: Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On approval of the schedule of work for the N1 launch complexes' was issued..

1963 December 24 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 ground equipment construction authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Summary: Decree 'On ensuring the manufacture of ground equipment for the N1' was issued..

1964 February 12 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1 1962.
  • Kremlin meeting on lunar landing plans - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: L3-1963. VVS officers meet with O G Ivanovskiy for two hours. The Communist Party plans a lunar expedition in the 1968-1970 period. For this the N1 booster will be used, which has a low earth orbit payload of 72 tonnes. The minimum spacecraft to take a crew to the lunar surface and back will have a minimum payload of 200 tonnes; therefore three N1 launches will be required to launch components, which will have to be assembled in orbit. However all of these plans are only on paper, and Kamanin does not see any way the Soviet Union can beat the Americans to the moon, who are already flying Apollo hardware for that mission.

1964 May 12 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1 1962.
  • Korolev's plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Program: Voskhod; Lunar L1. Flight: Voskhod 1; Voskhod 2; Voskhod 3; Voskhod 4; Voskhod 5; Voskhod 6; Soyuz A-1; Soyuz A-2; Soyuz A-3; Soyuz A-4. Spacecraft: Voskhod; Soyuz A; Soyuz B; Soyuz V. While Kamanin is away arranging screening of Voskhod candidates, Korolev meets with the VVS General Staff. He tells them he wants to have four Voskhods completed by the anniversary of the October Resolution for the first spacewalk. He dreams of a manned lunar flyby by either docking Soyuz A-B-V modules in orbit, or in a single N1 launch (no metal has even yet been cut for the N1 at Kuibyshev). In order to further develop EVA techniques he wants to convert a further five Vostoks into the Voskhod configuration. Meanwhile Kamanin agrees to a compression of the medical screening schedule from 20-25 days to 15-17 days. The physicians will reduce it no further than this.

1964 June 19 - . LV Family: N1; R-56.
  • R-56 super booster canceled. - . Nation: USSR. Summary: Decree 'On termination of work on the R-56 launch vehicle and on schedule of the testing for the N1' was issued..

1964 July 19 - . LV Family: N1; Proton; R-56; UR-700.
  • Korolev obtains preliminary approval for a single-launch, lunar orbit rendezvous, manned landing. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Glushko; Yangel; Korolev; Smirnov; Feoktistov; Bushuyev; Mishin. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK; L3-1963; LK-1. Work on the original N1-L3 had begun in 1963. This had been preceded by two years of working on a draft project for the LK lunar lander and its propulsion system. But there was no money for full scale development -- no code name from Gosplan against which to charge such work. It was annoying that Chelomei, Glushko, and Yangel were wasting resources on alternate designs at the same time. Additional Details: here....

1964 July 21 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
1964 August 1 - . LV Family: N1; Proton.
  • Full scale development of Soviet manned lunar flyby and landing projects authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Chelomei. Program: Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz A-1; Soyuz A-2; Soyuz A-3; Soyuz A-4. Spacecraft: LK-1; Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK; Luna Ye-8; Soyuz A. Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 655-268 'On Work on the Exploration of the Moon and Mastery of Space--piloted LK-1 circumlunar and L3 lunar landing projects and the Ye-6M lunar lander' was issued. Chelomei was to develop the three-stage UR-500K booster and LK-1 spacecraft for the manned lunar flyby. Korolev was to develop the totally different N1 booster and L3 spacecraft complex for the manned lunar landing. First launch of the N1 was to be by the first quarter 1966, with manned lunar landings in 1967 to 1968. Reprioritization led to work being stopped on Korolev's Zvezda 6-man orbiting weapons platform by mid-1965, after a huge mockup had been built.

    Korolev felt that if he had the full support of the Communist Party, the military, and industry he could achieve this goal, and this decree ordered such support. The USSR would be first on the moon. But in truth the draft project behind the decree had not solved all of the technical problems, or provided a solution on how to achieve the required payload on either the booster or spacecraft side. New technology features required for success of the scheme included an advanced guidance system in the N1 third stage equipment bay, the enormous fuel tanks in the N1 first stage, and the Lox/LH2 fuel cells needed for the LOK lunar orbiter. But the real technical problem with the N1-L3 design was the total lack of any weight growth reserve. Even thought the systems had not even been developed yet, engineers were fighting over tens of grams in their weight allocations, let alone the kilograms normally at issue.

    Development of Korolev's Soyuz A-B-V, a competing circumlunar project, was evidently still authorised, although it duplicated Chelomei's LK-1.


1964 September 1 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110L. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Construction start of N1 launch complex 110 east - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3.

1964 September 14 - . LV Family: N1; Proton; R-7; UR-700.
  • Voskhod abort system - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Krylov; Feoktistov; Komarov; Volynov; Lazarev; Yegorov. Program: Voskhod; Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Flight: Voskhod 1. Spacecraft: Voskhod; LK-1. Kamanin reviews the Voskhod abort system with Korolev. Up to T+27 seconds, there is no possibility of saving the crew in the event of a booster failure; from T+27 seconds to T+44 seconds, escape would be difficult, but is possible; and from T+44 seconds to T+501 seconds abort should be possible, with the capsule landing on Soviet territory. Afterwards, Korolev speaks with Kamanin secretly and privately. Korolev reveals that he has discussed a greater VVS role in space with Marshal Krylov, but that Krylov is adamantly opposed to the VVS assuming such a mission. Korolev is seeking a resolution from the Communist Party that will authorise him to develop a manned lunar flyby and landing system using his N1 booster. He believes that Chelomei's UR-500 booster will not have sufficient payload to mount a manned flyby - a docking in low earth orbit will be required. But Chelomei has rejected the use of docking, and is even designing his UR-700 to allow a lunar landing without the use of docking.

    Finally Korolev gets to the purpose of the secret meeting. He wants Feoktistov to be aboard Voskhod 1, despite the opinion of Kamanin and the physicians. Kamanin reiterates that the most qualified crew would be Komarov, Volynov, and Lazarev; and if he gives in on Feoktistov, then Komarov, Feoktistov, Lazarev. But Korolev is opposed to Lazarev, and insists that the crew should be Komarov, Feoktistov, and Yegorov. From Kamanin's point of view this is flying a space mission with two invalids aboard. Lazarev is a qualified and fit flight surgeon, a qualified pilot as well as a physician with 15 years of research experience in aviation medicine. Korolev is adamant that the two passengers should be civilian, not military. No agreement is possible.


1964 September 24 - . LV Family: N1; R-56; R-9; Tsiklon; UR-100; UR-200; UR-700. Launch Vehicle: R-26.
  • Khrushchev visits Baikonur - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrushchev; Yangel; Chelomei; Brezhnev; Smirnov; Ustinov; Korolev; Glushko; Gagarin; Belyayev; Leonov. Flight: Voskhod 2. Spacecraft: Voskhod; Berkut; LK-700. This was his last visit, just weeks before his overthrow. The Soviet leadership were shown the UR-100 and observed launches of the competing UR-200 and R-36. Khrushchev agreed with the decision to put the R-36 into production instead of Chelomei’s UR-200. He felt he couldn’t turn down Yangel a third time after approving Korolev’s N1 instead of Yangel’s R-56 and Chelomei’s UR-100 instead of Yangel’s R-26. Khrushchev decided to cancel Korolev’s badly behind schedule R-9A, even though Smirnov and Ustinov insisted they wanted it in their arsenal (in May 1965, after Khrushchev’s overthrow, this decision was reversed and the R-9A went into production).

    Khrushchev also visited a secret space fair, with Korolev, Chelomei, Yangel, and Glushko presenting their rockets and spacecraft. Chelomei presented his UR-700 heavy lift design as an alternative to Korolev’s N1. This presentation was a surprise to Ustinov and Dementiev. Khrushchev ordered Chelomei to prepare a draft proposal for the design. Chelomei hoped that 12 to 18 months later, when the UR-700 draft project would be completed, the fallacy of Korolev’s N1 design would be apparent to all. Korolev’s N1 plans were also reviewed and approved at the meeting.

    Over the two days, Khruschev witnessed five launches of rockets by Korolev, Yangel, and Chelomei, all of them successful. Gagarin and Belyayev explained the Vykhod spacecraft to him, and Leonov donned a spacesuit and demonstrated how he would exit into open space form the inflatable airlock and return thereafter. All went very well.

    This was the last time Khrushchev saw the chief designers of the Soviet rocket industry. Despite his support for them not one of them visited him in his retirement.


1964 October 28 - . LV Family: N1; Proton.
  • Lunar project orders issued to industry. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK-1; Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK; Luna Ye-8. Summary: Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) Decree 'On assignment of lunar programs to OKB-52 and OKB-1' was issued..

November 1964 - . LV Family: N1; R-56; UR-700.
  • Korolev's admits that N1 cannot attain payload needed for single-launch mission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Kozlov; Khrushchev; Ustinov; Brezhnev; Yangel; Chelomei; Babakin; Lavochkin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK-700. Korolev speaks privately to Chertok. Kozlov has told him it will be impossible to build an N1 with the 93 tonne payload capability until the fourth flight article. The L3 concept was still the same as in the August decree - 2 cosmonauts aboard the LOK orbiter, one aboard the LK lander. Korolev asks Chertok to take 800 kg out of the weight budget for the L3. Chertok informs him that they are already 500 kg over the August budget. This is still without all the unknowns of the automated lunar landing being solved. Additional Details: here....

During 1965 - . LV Family: GR-1; N1; R-9; RT-2. Launch Vehicle: RT-1.
  • N1 development issues - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Pilyugin; Korolev; Raushenbakh. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Luna E-6; LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. There were two camps on the N1-L3 control systems. One group was within OKB-1, and had developed the systems for the Vostok and Zenit spacecraft, under the personal oversight of Korolev. They stressed the maximum quality and reliability in their systems. The second group had worked with Pilyugin, and had designed the systems for the Mars, Venus, Luna E-6 probes, the R-9, RT-1, RT-2, and GR-1 missiles; and piloted spacecraft. Their design emphasis was on maximum usability and output. Pilyugin had been named chief designer of the control system for the N1-L3. Additional Details: here....

1965 February 10 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • L3 single-launch spacecraft draft project approved. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Keldysh; Korolev; Pilyugin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. Interdepartmental Scientific-Technical Council on Space Research (MNTS-KI) Decree 'On approval of the L3 draft project' was issued. The decree followed a review by a Keldysh-led Academy of Sciences state commission the previous December. The decree moved the first flight of the N1 to the end of 1966. Additional Details: here....

Spring 1965 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Guidance system for N1 cannot support planned schedule - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Pilyugin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. Summary: By the second quarter of 1965 Pilyugin was already notifying OKB-1 that he could never have the booster guidance system ready for the planned first launch in 1968 - not to even mention the systems for the LOK and LK..

1965 September 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1 1964.
  • Voskhod/Soyuz crewing plans - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Gagarin; Nikolayev; Bykovsky; Komarov; Kolodin; Artyukhin; Matinchenko; Anokhin; Volynov; Katys; Ponomaryova; Solovyova. Program: Voskhod; Soyuz; Lunar L3. Flight: Voskhod 3; Voskhod 5; Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A; Soyuz s/n 3/4. Spacecraft: LK-1; LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Soyuz 7K-L1; Voskhod. Kamanin meets with Korolev at 15:00 to discuss crew plans. As Soyuz pilot candidates, Kamanin proposes Gagarin, Nikolayev, Bykovsky, Komarov, Kolodin, Artyukhin, and Matinchenko. Korolev counters by proposing supplemental training of a supplemental group of engineer-cosmonauts from the ranks of OKB-1. He calls Anokhin, his lead test pilot, informs Korolev that there are 100 engineers working at the bureau that are potential cosmonauts candidates, of which perhaps 25 would complete the selection process. Kamanin agrees to assist OKB-1 in flight training of these engineer-cosmonauts. Kamanin again proposes Volynov and Katys as prime crew for the Voskhod 3 12-15 day flight. Korolev reveals that, even though Kamanin will have the crew ready by October, the spacecraft for the flight may not yet even be ready by November - Kamanin thinks January 1966 is more realistic. The discussion turns to the female EVA flight - Ponomaryova as pilot, Solovyova as spacewalker. It is decided that a group of 6 to 8 cosmonauts will begin dedicated training in September for lunar flyby and landing missions. Korolev advises Kamanin that metal fabrication of the N1 superbooster first article will be completed by the end of 1965. The booster will have a payload to low earth orbit of 90 tonnes, and later versions with uprated engines will reach 130 tonnes payload. Korolev foresees the payload for the first N1 tests being a handful of Soyuz spacecraft.

1965 September 6 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Problems in lunar projects addressed. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1; Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK. Summary: Ministry of General Machine Building (MOM) Decree 'On delays in work on piloted lunar programs' was issued..

1965 December 20 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Decision to use analogue guidance in early N1 launches - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Pilyugin; Keldysh; Ryazanskiy. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. Summary: Pilyugin called Keldysh to tell him he had heard that Keldysh again wanted to form an expert commission to study guidance system development problems with the N1, with Bushuyev as the head.. Additional Details: here....

1965 December 31 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1 1964.
  • Daunting year ahead - . Nation: USSR. Program: Voskhod; Soyuz; Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1; Soviet Lunar Landing. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1; Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK. Kamanin looks ahead to the very difficult tasks scheduled for 1966. There are to be 5 to 6 Soyuz flights, the first tests of the N1 heavy booster, the first docking in space. Preparations will have to intensify for the first manned flyby of the moon in 1967, following by the planned first Soviet moon landing in 1967-1969. Kamanin does not see how it can all be done on schedule, especially without a reorganization of the management of the Soviet space program.

1966 January 14 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Korolev's death - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Volynov; Shonin; Beregovoi; Shatalov; Ponomaryova; Solovyova; Yerkina; Kuznetsova; Tereshkova; Korolev; Kuznetsov, Nikolai Fedorovich; Mishin; Petrovskiy. Program: Voskhod; Soyuz; Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Voskhod; Soyuz 7K-OK. Korolev dies at age 59 during what was expected to be routine colon surgery in Moscow. The day began for Kamanin with firm plans finally in place for the next three Voskhod and first three Soyuz flights. Volynov and Shonin will be the crew for the first Voskhod flight, with Beregovoi and Shatalov as their back-ups. That will be followed by a female flight of 15-20 days, with the crew begin Ponomaryova and Solovyova, with their back-ups Sergeychik (nee Yerkina) and Pitskhelaura (nee Kuznetsova). Tereshkova will command the female training group. Training is to be completed by March 15. After this Kamanin goes to his dacha, only to be called by General Kuznetsov around 19:00, informing him that Korolev has died during surgery.

    Kamanin does not minimise Korolev's key role in creating the Soviet space program, but believes the collectives can continue the program without him. In truth, Kamanin feels Korolev has made many errors of judgment in the last three years that have hurt the program. Mishin, Korolev's first deputy, will take over management of Korolev's projects. Kamanin feels that Mishin is a clever and cultured engineer, but he is no Korolev. Over the next three days the cosmonauts console Korolev's widow.

    Korolev's surgery was done personally by Petrovskiy, the Minister of Health. Korolev was told the surgery would take only a few minutes, but after five hours on the operating table, his body could no longer endure the insult, and he passed away.


1966 February 1 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110L. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Construction starts on N1 launch pad 110 west. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3.

1966 February 14 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 redesign to increase payload to 95 tonnes - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Following Korolev's death, Mishin discovered that growth of the mass of the L3 payload had taken the low earth orbit payload requirement to 95 tonnes, beyond the 75 tonne lifting capability of the N1. To achieve the 95 tonne payload, changes in plans and redesign of the N1 would be necessary. The measures taken were: reduction of the orbital inclination for the initial earth orbit from 65 degrees to 52 degrees; reduce the altitude of the lunar orbit from 300 km to 220 km; increase the propellant mass by supercooling the propellants prior to loading in the lunach vehicle (the kerosene to be at -15 to -20 degrees Centigrade, the liquid oxygen to -191 degrees centigrade); add six engines to the first stage; increase thrust of all the engines on the first, second, and third stages by 2%; add a fourth stabilizer. The result of all of these measures would increase the launch mass to 2800 tonnes and the payload to the required 95 tonnes.

1966 March 6 - . LV Family: N1; R-9; RT-2.
  • Soviet design bureaux reorganised and renamed. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Okhapkin; Afanasyev, Sergei. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1. Decree 'On renaming OKB-1 as TsKBEM and OKB-52 as TsKBM' was issued. In 1966 Afanasyev reorganised the military industrial complex. OKB-1 was redesignated TsKBEM. Sergei Osipovich Opakhin was made First Deputy within the new organization.

    However within TsKBEM there were no relative priorities for the projects competing for resources. The R-9 and RT-2 ICBM's, the orbital, circumlunar, and lunar orbiter versions of Soyuz, the LK lunar lander, the N1 booster -- all were 'equal'. It seemed folly to be pursuing the orbital ferry version of the Soyuz when no space station had to be funded. But it was felt flying the spacecraft would solve reliability questions about the design, so it was pursued in parallel with the L1 and L3 versions.


1966 May 11 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Mishin selected as Korolev's replacement after four-month delay - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Ustinov; Mishin; Okhapkin; Keldysh; Babakin; Mozzhorin; Khrushchev. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. From 1963-1965 Ustinov was both head of the Soviet for the National Economy and the First Secretary of the Presidium of Soviet Ministers. He supported civilian space projects and instructed the military to co-operate in them. But after Khrushchev was ousted, Ustinov had less influence with the Ministry of Defence.

    After the death of Korolev in January, a letter was sent to the Central Committee requesting that Mishin be appointed director of OKB-1. Ustinov tried to line up support for Mishin, but by the time of the first first Saturn IB orbital flight on 26 February 1966, no decision had been made. America was progressing on the path to the moon, but Russia was stalled. An alternate that had been considered was Sergei Okhapkin, another Deputy Chief Designer at TsKBEM. But Okhapkin knew only spacecraft, he had never developed complete launch-booster-spacecraft systems. By the time Mishin was appointed, it was clear that the race was lost. The American's planned their first Saturn V launch in September 1967 and their first manned flight in 1968. Mishin could not expect trials of the LK lunar lander until 1969 at the earliest. There were insufficient funds allocated, and the schedule had no allowance for test flight failures. Ustinov, Morozhin, and Keldysh pointed fingers as to who had presented such unrealistic schedules to the Politburo. Keldysh now supported unmanned robot lunar landers in development by Babakin. Even these would not land until 1970, allowing three years of flight trials to achieve reliability. Khrushchev, it seemed, was to blame for such enormous unaffordable projects. This in turn put Ustinov in danger, as Khrushchev's point man for space.


September 1966 - . LV Family: N1; R-9; RT-2.
  • N1 two-launch moon scenario proposed - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Bushuyev. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1; Soyuz. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1; Molniya-1. Bushuyev proposed a two launch variation on Korolev's single-launch scheme. The increased-payload version of the N1 with six additional engines was not planned to fly until vehicle 3L. 1L and 2L were to be technology articles for ground test with only the original 24 engine configuration. At that time the first Apollo test flight was planned by the end of 1966, and the US moon landing no later than 1969. The Soviets expected the first test of their LK lander in 1969, and concluded they could not expect to land a Soviet man on the moon until 1972. Additional Details: here....

1966 September 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1-L3 manned landing profile approved. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. Summary: Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On approval of the N1-L3 mission profile' was issued..

1966 September 14 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 plans approved. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. Summary: Academy of Sciences Decree 'On course of work on the N1-L3' was issued..

1966 September 16 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Communist Party delegates visit Baikonur - . Nation: USSR. Summary: Communist Party delegates from Interkosmos states visited Baikonur for two days. They were shown the N1 launch complex and viewed a Molniya-1 launch. They were the first non-Russians to see the N1 complex..

1966 September 17 - . LV Family: N1; UR-700.
  • Competing lunar landing designs to be evaluated. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: LK-700; LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. Summary: Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) Decree 'On creation of a commission to compare the UR-700-LK-700 and the N1-L3' was issued..

1966 November 1 - . LV Family: N1; Proton.
  • Delays in Soviet manned lunar programs addressed. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1; Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK. Summary: Decree 'On lag of work on the N1-L3 and UR-500K-L1 programs' was issued..

1966 November 10 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Lunar coordination problems - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. Summary: Kamanin diary complains of lunar coordination problems..

1966 November 15 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • First N1 hardware arrives at Baikonur. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3.

1966 November 16 - . LV Family: N1; UR-700.
  • Government go-ahead for N-1 use in lunar program - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Keldysh; Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK-700. Mishin's draft plan for the Soviet lunar landing was approved by an expert commission headed by Keldysh. The first N-1 launch was set for March 1968. At same meeting, Chelomei made a last ditch attempt to get his revised UR-700/LK-700 direct landing approach approved in its place. Although Chelomei had lined up the support of Glushko, and Mishin was in a weak position after Korolev's death, Keldysh managed to ensure that the N1-L3 continued. However continued design work on the LK-700, the UR-700 booster, and development of the RD-270 engine were authorised.

1966 November 18 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 facilities tour - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Rudenko; Mishin; Komarov; Bykovsky; Khrunov; Yeliseyev; Gagarin; Nikolayev; Gorbatko; Kubasov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Rudenko and Kamanin meet with Mishin at Area 31 (18-20 kilometers east of Area 2). Launch preparations are reviewed, and Mishin satisfies them that the two Soyuz will be launched on 26-27 November. The State Commission will meet officially tomorrow at 16:00. For today, they tour the N1 horizontal assembly building at Area 13. Korolev planned the N1 as early as 1960-1961. It will have a takeoff mass of 2700-3000 tonnes and will be able to orbit 90-110 tonnes. The first stage of rocket has 30 engines, and the booster's overall height is114 m. The construction of the assembly plant, considered a branch of the Kuibyshev factory, began in 1963 but is still not finished. Two factory shops are in use, and the adjacent main assembly hall is truly impressive - more than 100 m in length, 60 m high, and 200 wide. Work on assembly of the ground test version of the rocket is underway. Assembly will be completed in 1967, and it will be used to test the systems for transport to the pad, erection of the booster, servicing, and launch preparations. The booster is to be ready for manned lunar launches in 1968. The construction site of the N1 launch pads occupies more than one square kilometre. Two pads are located 500 meter from each other. Between and around them is a mutli-storied underground city with hundreds of rooms and special equipment installations.

    Only late in the night Rudenko and Mishin finally agree that the crews for the first manned Soyuz flights will be: Basic crews: Komarov, Bykovsky, Khrunov, Yeliseyev; Back-up crews: Gagarin, Nikolayev, Gorbatko, Kubasov. Meanwhile poor weather in Moscow is delaying zero-G training for the flight. In the last week only one weightless flight on the Tu-104 was possible - and a minimum of 24 flights need to be flown before the launch. It was therefore decided to ferry one Tu-104 to Tyuratam and train the cosmonauts here - it made its first flight today.


1966 December 31 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
During 1967 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 development progress - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Summary: The KORD system detected and controlled the parameters of 42 engines (30 first stage + 8 second stage + 4 third stage) This involved processing 1600 data elements.. Additional Details: here....

1967 February 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Government approves landing on moon by end 1968 - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. Soviet government approves plan to land cosmonaut on moon by end 1968. N-1 test plan approved, envisioning third quarter 1967 as beginning of flight hardware construction. Fall-back project would be manned circumlunar mission. First manned L1 mission imagined as early as June 1967. First N1 launch by March 1968.

1967 February 4 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • L1/L3 launch schedules set - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1; Soyuz 7K-LOK. The following is the schedule set be decree for the L1 and L3 projects:
    Serial # Mission               Date
    2P       Develop Block D stage Feb or Mar 67
    3P       same                  Mar 67
    4L       Unmanned lunar flyby  May 67
    5L       Unmanned lunar flyby  Jun 67
    6L       Manned lunar flyby    Jun or Jul 67
    7L&8L    Manned lunar flybys   Aug 67
    9L&10L   Manned lunar flybys   Sep 67
    11L&12L  Manned lunar flybys   Oct 67
    13L      Reserve spacecraft
     
    N1-3L
    Serial # Mission                  Date
    3L       Develop LV & Blocks G&D  Sep 67
    4L       Reserve
    5L       LOK/LK unmanned          Dec 67
    6L       LOK/LK unmanned          Feb 68
    7L       Manned LOK/unmanned LK   Apr 68
    8L       Manned LOK/unmanned LK   Jun 68
    9L       Piloted LOK/unmanned LK 
             with LK landing on moon  Aug 68
    10L      First men land on moon   Sep 68
    11L      Reserve
    12L      Reserve
    
    Kamanin's personal opinion of this schedule - manned L1 flights may occur before the end of 1967, but there will be no lunar landing until 1969.

1967 February 14 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Fairing for OS space station authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: OS-1 (1969). Summary: Ministry of General Machine Building (MOM) Decree 'On construction of the N1 payload fairing by the Khrunichev Plant' was issued..

1967 March 5 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Three Soviet subjects begin full year in closed-loop NEK Mars spacecraft simulator. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: TMK-1. The Institute of Medical-Biological Problems (IMBP) and the Zvezda design bureau (designer of the ejection seat, space suits, and environmental control system for the Vostok spacecraft) became partners with OKB-1 in developing the SOZh closed-loop environemental control system. An earth-based simulator - the Earth Experimental Complex (NEK) was built. V Ulibishev, G Manovtsev, and A Bozhko spent an entire year in this closed-environment test unit beginning on 5 March 1967. An analogous US experiment was conducted for only 90 days in July-September 1970.

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....

1967 March 15 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • CIA reports on Soviet space developments - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. Summary: CIA reports accurately development of N-1, Almaz, Proton, etc.... even states 100,000 kg large space station in development for launch by N-1 by 1969. CIA does not expect lunar landing until early 1970's..

1967 June 15 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1M.
  • First test of liquid hydrogen/LOX engine for N1M - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Summary: First test of the 11D56 in an iron stand version. First test of an engine with these propellants in USSR for use in a space launch vehicle..

1967 August 31 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110R. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 launch pad 110 east completed - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3.

1967 September 20 - . LV Family: N1; UR-700.
  • Review of N1 progress. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Pashkov; Smirnov; Ustinov. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Spiral OS; LK-700. The booster was supposed to be launched by 1966, but there is no way it will be finished this year, and it is highly questionable it will even get off the ground in 1968. The N1 tanks are pressurised to 2 atmospheres, and can go up to three atmospheres in an emergency. In the enormous MIK assembly hall are three N1's - one 'iron bird' ground test model and two flight vehicles. The first roll out of the mock-up will take place in 1967, and the first launch attempt is still expected in 1968 (the first launch will not be attempted until the second and third stages complete stand tests. There is no test stand for the first stage, it will be fired for the first time in flight). An explosion would destroy the pad, requiring several years of repairs. There are two pads, but even that would not be a guarantee of the availability of the rocket due to the poor expected initial reliability. The N1 project is costing 10 billion roubles, not including considerable investment required by the military. To Kamanin the whole thing is a boondoggle, showing the necessity for development of lighter air-launched boosters. He believes there are many mistakes in design and construction, but Mishin, Pashkov, Smirnov, and Ustinov support these doubtful projects of Korolev and Mishin, instead of technically sound projects such as Chelomei's UR-700 or MiG's air-launched spacecraft. If Mishin thinks the current Proton/L1 reliability is only 0.6, then that of the completely unproved N1/L3 must be even less...

1967 October 10 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Lunar Soviet - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei; Keldysh; Chelomei; Mishin; Kuznetsov. Program: Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: L5-1967. The meeting is headed by Afanasyev. The first N1 will have a payload of only 76 tonnes, versus the 95 tonnes required for the L3 lunar landing complex. In order to land two cosmonauts on the moon, as the Americans are planning, a 105 tonne low earth orbit payload would be needed. This would require new engines in the first and second stages. Kuznetsov says that his 153 tonne engine could be uprated to 170 tonnes without any basic changes. Lox/LH2 engines would be needed for the upper stages. Keldysh questions the safety of the current plan of landing only one cosmonaut on the moon. Mishin replies that putting two cosmonauts on the moon simply is not possible with the N1. Chelomei raises a question - How is it possible that the Americans have built he Saturn V, which can put 130 tonnes in low earth orbit, in order to land two men on the moon, and Mishin says he can do the same mission with 105 tonnes? Mishin claims that this is due to the lighter design and construction of the L3. The following decisions are made:
    • The first Soviet flight to he moon will use the current plan - one N1 launch, one cosmonaut on the moon.
    • Special measures must be taken to ensure the safety of that single cosmonaut
    • A new N1 model is to be developed to land the new L5 spacecraft (which will be able to handle 4 to 5 crew, 1.5 to 2.0 tonnes of scientific equipment, and spend three months on the lunar surface). This is to be ready two to three years after the first landing.
    • The Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Defence, and MOM are to develop a program of military and scientific experiments to be carried aboard the L3
    • The next meeting of the lunar soviet will be in November/December 1967

1967 October 29 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Cosmos 188 launch scrubbed. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Soyuz; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The Soyuz-B ('Baikal') launch was delayed to 30 October due to problems with the celestial navigation system aboard Cosmos 186. Later that day an N1-L3 review is held. The first launch vehicle will be completed in two to three weeks, but the launch complex will not be ready until next January. The first trials of the booster on the pad will begin in February-March 1968, with the first launch in the second half of the year.

1967 November 13 - . LV Family: N1; Saturn V.
  • Kamanin's thoughts on first Saturn V launch. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Ustinov; Smirnov; Pashkov; Malinovskiy; Grechko, Andrei. Program: Lunar L3; Apollo. The first Saturn V and Surveyor 6 have been launched by the Americans. Kamanin catalogues why the Americans are beating them: bad organisation, on the parts of Ustinov, Smirnov, Pashkov, Malinovskiy, and Grechko; technical errors and an undisciplined approach to the fulfilment of government decrees concerning the Soyuz and N1 on the parts of Chief Designers Korolev and Mishin; lack of coordination between the institutes and design bureaux compared to the United States; and finally, the Americans are spending several times more money than has been dedicated to the Soviet space program.

1967 November 14 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1-L3 moon landing schedule revised. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK. Summary: Decree 'On revision of the timetable for the N1-L3' was issued..

1967 November 25 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110L. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N-1 mockup 1M1 rolled out to launch pad - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Summary: Stays on pad until 12 December for facilities checks. Photographed by US reconnsat on 11 December. 1M1 mockup scrapped in 1975..

1967 December 2 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Lunar Soviet. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei; Mishin; Ustinov; Smirnov. Program: Lunar L3; Apollo. A panel headed by Afanasyev and Mishin reviews the readiness of the N1. The mock-up booster is to complete pad compatibility tests by 30 March 1968. The first launch is still supposed to take place in the second half of 1968. The launch of the American Saturn V in November has reenergized the workers at Tyuratam. Kamanin is impressed - he was less sure of success, knowing all the problems of a project that requires the labour of thousands of persons. Afanasyev then turns to crew selection issues. The original resolution said that a cosmonaut was to be launched by an N1-L3 by April 1968. Mishin says he will be able to make two launches in the second half of 1968. It will take 18 to 24 months to train crews. But to date, Mishin still won't agree to crew selections, despite dozens of contacts and letters from Kamanin to Ustinov and Smirnov. There are still no simulators for the L3. Mishin wants to launch to the moon only engineers from TsKBEM. He is given an ultimatum: either the VVS will leave the space program, requiring Mishin to take over all training and crew responsibilities, or reach an agreement on crew composition in the next few days. Afansyev orders the commission to convene again in two to three days.

1967 December 27 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Mishin to remain in charge until first L3 launches. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Feoktistov; Afanasyev, Sergei; Mishin; Ustinov. Program: Lunar L3. Afanasyev holds meetings on the L3 lunar expedition program. Kamanin recites Mishin's failings. Afanasyev replies that he has talked to Ustinov about it, but Ustinov will leave the current management in charge until N1 flight tests begin. If they are unsuccessful, then Mishin alone will have to answer for it. Afansyev also assures Kamanin that although Feoktistov should be allowed to train for a space flight, he and Ustinov will make sure he never flies.

1968 January 23 - . LV Family: MR-UR-100; N1; RT-2; UR-100N.
1968 January 28 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Sergei Osipovich Okhapkin put in charge of the N1 at TsKBEM - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Okhapkin. Program: Lunar L3. Summary: This decision led to one of Mishin's famous 'illnesses', putting him out of action for a period..

1968 March 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Originally planned N-1 first launch - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. Summary: Slipped to May..

1968 March 13 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Lunar cosmonaut training program approved. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK. Summary: Decree 'On approval of the training program for lunar cosmonauts' was issued. This incuded the final moon landing plan..

1968 March 13 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • L3 project plan. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Titov; Feoktistov. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK. Titov is going to Italy, Feoktistov to Hungary. The 30 month program for the L3 lunar landing is settled. The cosmonauts already began training in January. The first LK lunar lander will be tested in low earth orbit in the second half of 1969. The first Soviet manned lunar landing cannot take place any earlier than 1970-1971. The resolution had set the date as 1967-1968, but the N1 and L3 will not be ready in time. The L3 is still conceptual, a purely paper spacecraft. The first N1 was to have been moved to the pad by March of this year, but it won't even make that milestone by May.

1968 April 4 - . LV Family: N1; Saturn V.
  • Soviet view on Saturn V - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3; Apollo. The second successful launch of the Saturn V stunned the Soviet engineers. They could not believe the variety and volume of data telemetered back in real-time to the launch centre. They viewed with jealousy the launch room set-up at Cape Canaveral - where each engineering speciality could sit in their own comfortable chair, viewing data as the booster ascended on a computer screen.

1968 May 7 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110R. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 booster 4L erected at launch complex 110 east - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. A September 1968 flight test was planned. However the first stage LOX tank developed hairline cracks during ground tests. 4L was removed from the pad in June 1968. The first stage was cannibalized; the upper stages were incorporated into the 1M1 mockup for further training of the launch crews.

1968 June 23 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • First test of N1 stages - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Kuznetsov. Program: Lunar L3. Construction of the test facilities at Zagorsk for the N1 were directed by Tabakov's NII-229. First static test of the EU-15 test article of the N1's 1200 tonne thrust Block B second stage began on 23 June 1968. Test of the EU-16 Block V third stage began in early 1969, with three trials tests completed. But for the Block A first stage, only single engine tests were undertaken at Kuznetsov's OKB-236. Additional Details: here....

1968 June 30 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 ground vehicle 1M1 moved to launch pad 110 east - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Summary: While the next N1, 3L was being built, the 1M1 was moved back to the pad for further ground tests and launch crew training. It remained there until the end of September..

1968 September 19 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Bulldozer delays N1 launch by two months - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei. Program: Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. The Zond 5 situation remains the same. The star trackers quit working, and the use of the back-up systems has not been completely successful. However the spacecraft is on course for a ballistic re-entry. At Area 112 Afanasyev heads the State Commission for the N1-L3 first launch. There are problems with the launch complex. The main electrical cable to the launch complex was accidentally bulldozed. The back-up cables were buried only 30 cm from the main line and both were destroyed. The cables were poorly marked. It will take 50 days to repair the damage. This will delay first launch until the second half of November 1968, and the second launch to February 1969. Most likely the first launch cannot take place until next year.

1968 October 24 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 - lost opportunity in 1961 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Glushko; Korolev; Isayev; Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. Glushko has a private conversation with Isayev at the N1 MIK during the Soyuz 3 launch preparations. Glushko revealed to Isayev that in 1961 he had offered Korolev a compromise - if Korolev would use the same 'packet' scheme for the N1 that he had used on the R-7, so that the individual engine modules could be individually tested on the ground before flight, Glushko would give up his insistence on the use of storable propellants. However, after checking with Mishin, Korolev would not compromise. Additional Details: here....

1968 November 15 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110R. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 1M1 mockup erected on pad with L1S payload - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Summary: The N1 mockup was again erected on the pad, in order to conduct tests of the L1S payload in advance of the availability of the 3L launch vehicle..

1968 November 21 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • The N1-L3 state commission meets. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK. The previous launch date of 25 November has been pushed back to January 1969. The N1 has completed a good cycle of ground tests, but work on the L3 has not even begun. There is no news when it will be ready. The L3 plan called for the first article to be ready in March 1968. 20 cosmonauts from the L1 and Soyuz groups were to have trained on the spacecraft. But MOM never issued the implementation plan to the industrial enterprises to begin work on the spacecraft.

1968 December 12 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: Spiral 50-50.
  • Kamanin catalogues the reasons the Soviet Union is losing the moon race - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Biryuzov; Ustinov. Program: Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK; Soyuz 7K-L1.
    • Fighting between the VVS and its 'enemies' (Ustinov etc.)
    • No single state organisation is responsible for civilian spaceflight.
    • Various entities are responsible for various aspects of military spaceflight (RSVN, VMF, General Staff, VVS). Kamanin notes that the state has poured 10 billion roubles into the N1 without visible effect. He believes reusable systems are needed to reduce the cost of spaceflight. The death of General Biryuzov in a plane crash meant that the Soviet Union lost a strong supporter of a robust military space program.
    • Kamanin believes the VVS should be in charge of piloted spacecraft, not the RVSN.
    • Furthermore the entire design approach to manned spacecraft is incorrect -- what is needed is piloted spacecraft, not cosmonauts flying as passengers in automated spacecraft. The result of the automated philosophy was that the Soyuz was not man-rated until 1968. While the qualification process was going on, the American Gemini flew ten times. The Apollo-Saturn V has flown twice, while the L3 was still just a mock-up. In effect, the Soviet Union gave the Americans a two to three year lead, allowing them to beat the Russians.

1968 December 22 - . LV Family: N1; Saturn V.
  • Soviet reaction to Apollo 8 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrushchev; Ustinov; Smirnov; Pashkov. Program: Lunar L1; Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8; Voskhod 3. Apollo 8 has been launched. Kamanin recalls that he first saw a model of the Saturn V during his visit to Washington DC with Titov in 1962. At that time the Soviet Union planned to fly the N1 in four years, but the only manned spacecraft on the drawing boards after Voskhod was the Sever. Khrushchev didn't give a go-ahead for the lunar program until 1964. In the gap between Voskhod and Soyuz flights, when the American Gemini program seized the lead, the USSR could have achieved a record by flying Volynov for 18 days in Voskhod 3. But this was cancelled at the last minute by the leadership because the Voskhod had 'no development potential'. Ustinov, Smirnov, Pashkov were responsible for this decision, which put the USSR permanently behind in the space race.

1968 December 23 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
1968 December 25 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • L3 lunar lander behind schedule - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Malinovskiy; Smirnov; Ustinov; Brezhnev; Keldysh; Mishin. Program: Lunar L3; Apollo; Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1; Luna Ye-8. The L3 spacecraft still does not even exist in mock-up form. All of the leadership are responsible for this farce - Malinovskiy, Smirnov, Ustinov, Brezhnev. There is no single manager of the space program. The VPK and Central Committee operate on rumours. The Interagency Soviet headed by Keldysh was supposed to coordinate space activities, but in fact has not functioned in the last four to five years. There is no single military space organisation in the Ministry of Defence. Piloted flight tests are being run by former artillery officers in the RSVN. Various organizations of MAP and VVS coordinate ground and flight tests poorly. These are the reasons for the failure of the Soviet Union in space. Today in the Central Committee Ustinov asked - 'how to answer Apollo 8?' Ustinov relies on Keldysh, Keldysh supports Mishin, and Mishin is unfit for his duties. But Mishin is not even there! The program they come up with: In January 1969, 2 Venera probes will be launched, two manned Soyuz missions, and L1 s/n 13 will be sent around the moon. In February the first N1 will be launched. By the end of March the first Ye-8 robot will land on the moon and return lunar soil to the earth. This meeting is followed by a session of the VPK at 16:00. The crews are named for the Soyuz 4 and 5 flights.

1968 December 25 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviets consider lunar landing alternatives - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Pilyugin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; L3M-1970. A 'small Soviet' of designers was held to review whether to continue pursuing the N1 launch vehicle or not. Although a first manned lunar landing was not achievable, the N1 could still be used to establish a lunar base by the beginning of the 21st Century. Additional Details: here....

1968 December 26 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110R. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 launch vehicle 3L erected on launch pad - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Summary: The 3L vehicle, without its payload (which was on the 1M1 mockup), is erected on the pad to test engine systems..

1968 December 30 - . LV Family: N1; Proton.
  • Meeting of the VPK Military-Industrial Commission to discuss how to beat the Americans to the lunar landing - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Ustinov; Chelomei; Okhapkin; Keldysh; Pilyugin; Babakin. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1; Luna. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1; Luna Ye-8-5; LK-1. Ustinov called the meeting to order. Mishin was 'sick' again -- Okhapkin represented TsKBEM and gave a summary of the programme to that date:

    • The project had only been authorised on 3 August 1964. It consisted of two parts, circumlunar flights using Chelomei's UR-500K booster and LK-1 spacecraft, and a lunar landing using Korolev's N1 booster and L3 spacecraft.
    • On 25 October 1965 the programme was redirected. Military support was ordered and the decision was made to cancel Chelomei's LK-1 spacecraft and instead use the L1 version of Korolev's Soyuz for the circumlunar flights. This was ordered by the resolution 'On organisation of construction units for support of rocket-space systems for the lunar flyby'. That resolution ordered a manned L1 flight by the end of 1967 or early 1968.
    • The program actually took three years to implement rather than the two planned. Nine launches of he L1 had been made since March 1967, but it had not been possible to man-rate the UR-500K/L1 booster/spacecraft combination due to failures in both the launch vehicle and spacecraft. Flight trials of the N1 booster had not even begun yet.

    Keldysh proposed that further work on the L1 be abandoned, and Proton boosters instead be used to launch the Ye-8-5 lunar soil return robot spacecraft being developed by Babakin. Babakin had been accelerating this programme since the beginning of 1968 with the support of Keldysh, even though it would only return around 100 g of lunar soil, versus the tens of kilograms the Apollo manned flights would return. However it now offered an interesting possibility - he proposed obtaining lunar soil and returning it to earth before an American manned landing. The government's organs of mass communication would say that the Soviet Union's lunar program only consisted of robot probes, emphasising that his was much safer and that Russia would never risk it's citizen's lives for mere political sensation. Additional Details: here....


1968 December 31 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110L. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 launch pad 110 west completed - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3.

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 January 13 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 payload preparation and fuelling are underway. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Four N1 launches are planned in 1969: The launch of 3L will be followed by 5L, 6L, and 7L in April, June, and November. But this is probably much too optimistic due to delays in delivery of critical systems needed to complete the boosters. But at least 4L, 5L, and 6L should be launched this year.

1969 January 22 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soyuz 4/5 celebrations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L3; Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 4; Soyuz 5; Soyuz 4/5. Summary: TsKBEM closed down for the day, due to celebrations at Kaliningrad and at the Kremlin with the four cosmonauts from the Soyuz 4 /5 mission. Meanwhile, work at Tyuratam preparing the N1 for its first flight continued..

1969 January 23 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 stormclouds - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Afanasyev, Sergei. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. Summary: In the morning Mishin advised his staff of comments made by Afanasyev at the Kremlin reception the previous evening. He had called a Soviet of the chief designers for 27 January to discuss the fate of the N1 programme..

1969 January 25 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Apollo vs Ye-8-5 - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3; Luna; Apollo. Flight: Apollo 9. Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8-5. America is preparing Apollo 9 for flight, and Kamanin muses that the Soviet reply will be the N1 and Ye-8-5, neither of which is proven or reliable. The Soviet Union would have a better chance of sending a manned L1 on a flight around the moon during the first quarter of 1969. Meanwhile Mishin's bureau has a new L3M lunar lander on the drawing boards. This will land 4 to 5 men on the moon, but require two N1 or seven UR-500K launches to assemble in orbit.

1969 January 27 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviet of Chief Designers considers N1 cancellation - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Keldysh; Chelomei; Serbin; Barmin; Tyulin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Mars 5NM; Aelita. Afanasyev and Keldysh chaired the unusual and extraordinary Soviet of the chief designers. Mishin opened with an emotional plea not to cancel the N1. He justified the delays and failures by saying that he had not been given sufficient budget to conduct necessary experimental and qualification tests of systems before flight. Additional Details: here....

1969 January 30 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1/Ye-8-5 launch preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tyulin; Mishin. Program: Lunar L3; Luna. Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8-5. Summary: Mishin agrees with Tyulin that he will fly to Tyuratam on 3 February to supervise launch of the Ye-8 on 18 February and the first N1 on 21 February. .

1969 January 31 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Preparations for the first N1 launch. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Afanasyev, Sergei. Program: Lunar L3. Mishin was staying in Korolev's cottage at the launch centre. The other chief designers were staying at the cosmodrome's hotel, while the technicians and workers were at the new apartments at Area 113. Afanasyev headed the 'Little Soviet', the State Commission, that would oversee the launch. The commission met in the conference hall in the huge horizontal assembly building for the N1 at Area 112. The commission gave the approval, and the first flight-ready N1 was rolled out of its assembly building over the 4 km of track to the launch pad. The huge dimensions of the booster had required a new method of building the booster at the launch site. Simulators were able to check all of he booster functions up to the point of engine ignition.

1969 February 3 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1/Ye-8 preparations - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3; Luna. Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8-5; LK. Kamanin arrives at Tyuratam at 15:30 aboard an An-24. The State Commission for the first Ye-8 robot lunar rover mission is chaired by Tyulin at Area 31. The spacecraft will make a soft landing on the moon, deploy a mobile lunar rover that can traverse slopes up to 30 degrees. The rover will find a position that is clear of obstacles for the first Soviet manned lunar landing. It will then park there, and provide a landing beacon for the LK manned lander. The spacecraft will have a mass of 1700 kg in lunar orbit. Launch is set for 19-20 February.

1969 February 9 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Final meeting held to review the N1 before the launch. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Krylov; Kurushin; Barmin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. Marshal Krylov, Commander of the Strategic Rocket Forces, headed the meeting. The conference room was mobbed - many unfamiliar faces were in attendance - everyone wanted to witness the historic event. General Kurushin, Commander of Baikonur, stated that he was against proceeding with the launch, due to the many unresolved technical issues, unless he could somehow be persuaded otherwise. He pointed out that Mishin had made a large number of changes to the N1 to increase its payload. However these at the same time negatively impacted the booster's reliability. Additional Details: here....

1969 February 11 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Military space objectives - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3; Luna. Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8. The Ye-8 and N1 are on schedule for their respective launches. Kamanin discusses the cosmonaut training curriculum with Kerimov. No one has ever defined what it is cosmonauts are actually supposed to do in space. No one really knows what their purpose is --- not Keldysh, not Mishin, not Smirnov, not Ustinov. Kerimov agrees to put together a state commission to define the role of man in space and draw up plans for future space missions.

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 March 10 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Apollo 9 points to US win - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Apollo 9. Summary: Kamanin notes the successful Apollo 9 mission. In his opinion Americans will land on the moon by the end of the year. The Soviet program is 3 to 4 years behind..

1969 March 20 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviet of military officers meets to review manned space plans. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Beregovoi. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1; Soyuz; Almaz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1; Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK; Soyuz OB-VI; Almaz OPS; Spiral OS. A 50 minute presentation is given on space plans. Russia plans to fly no less than six different types of manned spacecraft in 1969-1970 - the Soyuz, L1, L3, Almaz, Soyuz VI, and Spiral. This will result in a decisive answer to the American Apollo programme within two to three years. No N1 launch with the complete L3 lunar landing spacecraft is planned until 1970. Approval is sought for the VVS to buy 10 Soyuz spacecraft for continued manned military flights in low earth orbit. Otherwise between the second half of 1970 and during all of 1971 there will be no spacecraft available for manned flights Additional Details: here....

1969 May 8 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Russian only hope is major Apollo failure - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Keldysh; Pashkov; Smirnov; Serbin. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Apollo 11. Mishin, Keldysh, Pashkov, Smirnov, and Serbin meet. Some of them are still expecting a big failure in the Apollo programme that will set the Americans back and still make it possible for Russia to be first on the moon. These are black days in the Soviet programme - it is clear to Kamanin that the Americans will successfully land on the moon in July, and the Russians are 2 to 3 years behind.

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 June 10 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Revised Soviet lunar plans - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1; Luna. Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8-5; Luna Ye-8; Soyuz 7K-L1; Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK. The VPK Military-Industrial Commission issues a decree on the schedule for the rest of 1969. There are to be five launches of Ye-8-5 lunar soil return robots, on 14 June, 13 and 28 July, 25 August, and 25 September. There are to be two launches of Ye-8 Lunokhod robot rovers on 22 October and 21 November. Further manned L1 flights are cancelled. There are no plans made for the L3 since the N1 is not ready.

1969 June 18 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Mishin and Kamanin select candidates for the lunar landing mission. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Leonov; Bykovsky; Voronov; Khrunov; Yeliseyev; Makarov; Rukavishnikov; Patsayev; Afanasyev, Sergei. Program: Lunar L3. They are Leonov, Bykovsky, Voronov, Khrunov, Yeliseyev, Makarov, Rukavishnikov, and Patsayev. Mishin expects a landing by the end of 1970; Kamanin thinks this is impossible. Afanasyev and Mishin propose modernisation of the N1, but this will take three to four years, by which time the booster will be essentially obsolete. The second launch of the N1 is set for 3 July. It would be a welcome miracle if it flew, but it still would not be enough to erase the American lead in the moon race.

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....

1969 July 21 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviet engineers view moonwalk - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Tyulin; von Braun. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Apollo 11. At the same time the reconstruction schedule for the destroyed N1 launch complex was being laid out, Apollo 11 landed on the moon and the Americans won the moon race. Mishin's engineers watched the live television at TsNIIMASH. Afterwards Tyulin declared, "this is all Chertok's fault. In 1945 he should have thought of stealing Von Braun from the Americans - but he never considered that solution". "True", Chertok replied, "my adventure with Vasiliy Kharchev didn't turn out too well".

1969 July 22 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviet post-mortems after Apollo 11 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Keldysh; Glushko; Ustinov; Kuznetsov. Program: Lunar L3. Two sequential N1 failures could not just be blamed on the poor reliability of the first stage. It was apparent that, compared to the Americans, both the management and the development practices of the Soviet space programme were inferior to the Americans. Politically there was no consensus within the Soviet state of the need for a space programme. Glushko and Ustinov waged a perpetual struggle against Afanasyev, Keldysh, and Mishin. RVSN Commander Kirillov wrote a letter to Smirnov on behalf of Afanasyev on the root causes of the failures. His faction believed these were the continued use of artillery/military rocket development practices for large, complex systems. These outdated practices required 20 to 60 flight tests to achieve reliability before a rocket could be put into production. Additional Details: here....

1969 August 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • VPK hearing on N1 improvements - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Brezhnev; Kuznetsov. Program: Lunar L3. The VPK Military-Industrial Commission and the Central Committee of he Party discussed the matter of delaying further N1 tests until completely redesigned engines became available. Back came the ritual reply -- a Soviet manned lunar landing must be achieved by the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Lenin (April 22, 1970). On that date a Soviet man would plant the Red Banner and unveil a bust of Lenin on the lunar surface. Unlike the US President, Brezhnev would never get to see a manned launch to the moon. Additional Details: here....

1969 September 1 - . LV Family: N1; UR-700.
  • Kamanin lists the reasons the Soviets have lost the moon race. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Ustinov; Smirnov; Korolev; Keldysh; Feoktistov; Gagarin. Program: Apollo; Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Soyuz 7K-L1. The Americans were able to pull equal in the race during their Gemini programme, then ahead with Apollo. The Soviet Union is now four to five years behind. Kamanin's accounting:

    • No qualified Soviet government leadership in space research (Ustinov and Smirnov are a parody of proper management). They operate without rhyme or reason or plan. There is no single direction, no disciplined execution when a decision is finally made
    • Korolev, Keldysh, Mishin, and Feoktistov are all dedicated to automated spacecraft - 'over-automation'
    • Korolev and MIshin's rejection of Glushko's engines, and the leadership's rejection of the UR-700 as an alternative
    • Ustinov and Smirnov's cancellation of the 18 day Voskhod 3 mission, even though the crews had been trained, and the associated pressure on development of Soyuz. This resulted in Soyuz being flown before it was mature, resulting in the death of Komarov and an 18 month delay in manned flights
    • Death of Korolev and Gagarin both badly affected morale
    • Making Mishin head of TsKBEM was a huge mistake. Mishin cannot cope with the huge number of space and missile projects assigned to his bureau

1969 September 19 - . LV Family: N1; Proton.
  • L1 state commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Tyulin; Brezhnev. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1; Luna. Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8-5; Soyuz 7K-L1. VPK Deputy Chairman Tyulin headed a state commission on the L1 programme. Mishin pushed for a manned L1 circumlunar flight in 1970. This meeting was only five days before a Ye-8-5 robot spacecraft was to have returned lunar soil from the earth. The Block D stage failed in earth orbit, and the flight was given the cover name Cosmos 300. This indicated the L1 system still did not have the necessary reliability for manned flight. Furthermore, politically, Brezhnev and the Politburo did not want to see a Khrushchev-originated project like the L1 succeed.

1969 September 24 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110L. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 on launch pad 110 west. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Summary: This was the first new launch vehicle erection activity detected by US reconnsats after the destruction of pad 110 east in the July launch failure. The all-white launch vehicle, with no payload, is believed to be either N1 mockup 1M1 or flight vehicle 6L..

1969 December 26 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • DOS formally authorised - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Ustinov; Chelomei; Glushko; Kuznetsov. Program: Lunar L3; Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS; Salyut 1. Ustinov called the DOS 'conspirators' to Kuibyshev Street. Mishin was sent away to Kslovodsk and Chelomei and Glushko were not invited. No one wanted to listen to any more of Glushko's diatribes about Kuznetsov's engines.

    Ustinov supported presentation of the DOS concept to the Central Committee. Chelomei categorically opposed DOS and was trying to kill it through military channels. But the allure of an '18 month' station - one which would not only beat the American Skylab, but be in space in time for the 24th Party Congress - seemed too alluring. Mishin also rejected DOS, but deputies at both design bureaux supported the concept and were eager to proceed.

    DOS was therefore created only when the moon project failed. Chelomei was forced to work on DOS, and it severely impacted Almaz schedules. The Salyut name was later applied to both the DOS and Almaz stations, creating the impression in the outside world that they were built by one designer.


1970 April 18 - . LV Family: N1; Saturn V.
  • Kamanin considers the Apollo 13 mission. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3; Apollo. Flight: Apollo 13. He believes it was a 'true test' of American technical capability in space. The saving of the American astronauts demonstrated the robust redundancy in the American Saturn V - Apollo design, as compared with the Soviet N1-L3. The latter, Kamanin remarks, is a bad launch vehicle, boosting a bad spacecraft. Kamanin sees the Soviet science fiction film Solaris - and finds it too fantastic for his taste.

1970 May 18 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110L. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 erected on launch pad 110 west. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Summary: US reconnsat detects N1 being installed on the pad. It remained there, without payload, at least through 4 June..

1970 June - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1F.
  • Development of engines for N1F authorised - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: L3M-1970. Full go-ahead to develop a liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen high energy upper stage for the N1F. The multi-engine Block Sr would have a propellant mass of 66.4 tonnes. In July Kuznetsov was given authorisation to design substantially improved versions of the N1 lower stage rocket engines. The N1 that would utilise these engines was designated the N1F and would have a payload to a 225 km orbit of 105,000 kg.

1971 March 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1-L3 loses remaining priority - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Apollo 13; Apollo 14. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. The Soviet leadership regained some interest in the N1-L3, after the near-tragedy of Apollo 13. It was felt that the Americans might cancel the remainder of the Apollo programme, leaving the road to the moon clear for the Soviet Union. However the successful flight of Apollo 14 redeemed the project, and the Central Committee lost all interest in the N1-L3. Additional Details: here....

1971 March 4 - . LV Family: N1; UR-700.
  • N1/L3 Expert Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Keldysh; Mishin; Kuznetsov, Nikolai Fedorovich. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7KT-OK; LK-700; Krechet. Pushkin and Kuznetsov brief Kamanin on the results of the N1/L3 expert commission. They found that the N1/L3 is unreliable and that the design needs to be fundamentally re-examined. Therefore the Soviet Ministers and Central Committee passed a decree that the commission must determine by 1 May 1971 what to do with the lunar project. Kamanin's opinion: abandon the N1-L3, modify Chelomei's UR-700 design to replace it, and design a new lunar landing spacecraft for missions in 1974-1975. Mishin is afraid of such a solution. Kamanin believes that the commission, headed by Keldysh, will finally recommend continued development and flight of Mishin's bad booster and even worse spacecraft. It is true that the N1 design has been substantially reworked in the last 18 months, but Kamanin believes it to be fundamentally flawed and that nothing can make it reliable.

    After Mishin pushed his Indian Ocean recovery plan for the L3, the VVS insisted on sea trials of the capsule. These showed the cosmonauts had to get out within 30 to 35 minutes before the valves to the interior started leaking seawater. The L3 is also unsafe due to the EVA method of transfer to the LK of a single unassisted cosmonaut. The Krechet spacesuit is very bulky and unmanoeuvrable.

    Prague wanted Gagarin's widow for International Women's Day.since Tereshkkova couldn't go, but she wants no part of public appearances.


1971 April 14 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 threatened again - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Keldysh; Babakin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Ustinov. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. An expert commission met to consider the N1-L3. Keldysh made several categorical demands:

    • the laser-based Kontakt rendezvous and docking system had to either be backed up with redundancy throughout, or an independent back-up system had to be developed
    • the L3 had to be designed with an internal transfer compartment, as was being done for the DOS/7K-T space station system
    • each stage of the N1 had to undergo flammability tests
    • the mission scenario had to be reformulated to provide support by more than one cosmonaut on the moon at a time, and use of automated landers and rovers from Babakin at Lavochkin
    • landings of the capsule in the equatorial oceans of the world had to be eliminated. The capsules had to land on the territory of the USSR
    Additional Details: here....

1971 April 14 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Zarya renamed Salyut - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3; Salyut. Spacecraft: Salyut 1; Shuguang 1. All of the pressure on the N1 project was going on simultaneously with the launch preparations for DOS#1. The Central Committee had approved the name 'Zarya' (Dawn) for the station, but it was felt that this name might offend the Chinese, who's secret new manned spacecraft was also called 'Dawn' (it is interesting that Chertok and the Soviet space community was aware of this in 1970 - the existence of the nascent Chinese manned space project of that name was not revealed publicly in the West until 2002!). After some hurried consultations, it was decided to give the station the public name 'Salyut' (although the vehicle rolled out to the pad still had 'Zarya' emblazoned on the payload shroud -- but these pictures were not revealed until the 1990's).

1971 April 15 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Salyut preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Chelomei. Program: Lunar L3; Salyut; Almaz. Spacecraft: Salyut 1; Almaz OPS; MKBS. The Salyut station was prepared in a huge two story bunker built for launch vehicle / payload processing. The contrast between the money lavished by the military on this facility for Chelomei's projects and the limited funds available for a proper N1 preparation and test facilities was enormous. Here funds were available without limit. The air was controlled by a self-contained environmental control system with its own independent electrical-diesel generators. The facility was a miracle. It was shocking that this was made available for Almaz, while the military told Mishin that he would have to prepare the immense MKBS station in the uncontrolled environment, subject to frequent power blackouts, of the N1 facility. At Chelomei's facility, everything was completely checked out on earth prior to launch.

1971 May - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1F Sr.
  • Block Sr Lox/LH2 stage development begins - . Nation: USSR. Summary: The final version of the N1M replaced the fourth and fifth stages of the N1 with the single liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen Block Sr stage..

1971 May 15 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1M.
  • Go-ahead to develop LH2/LOX stage for N1M - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Decision made to proceed with development of the multi-engined stage Block Sr with a propellant mass of 66.4 tonnes. This single stage would be used in place of the previously-planned Blocks S and R to insert the modernized Lunar Expeditionary Complex (LEK) into low lunar orbit. It was also to be used to insert heavy spacecraft into geosynchronous orbit and on interplanetary trajectories.

1971 June 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1-6L launch commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Pilyugin; Isayev. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Almaz OPS; Salyut 1; MKBS. The review of launch preparations veers off into a discussion of what the booster was now for. Pilyugin questioned the seriousness of intent of the TsKBEM staff. The digital control system priorities within the bureau were with DOS and Almaz -- why wasn't the N1-L3 the priority? Mishin had never been told that the N1-L3 development was lagging. It had no priority with the leadership. Top priority at TsKBEM was Nadiradze's solid propellant ICBM's, followed by the DOS Salyut station, and now Soyuz-Apollo preparations. Meanwhile it was finally recognised that a single-launch scenario was simply impossible, and two N1 launches would be needed to accomplish the lunar landing. But there was no political will to tell the Politburo the bad news -- that two N1's would be needed to be launched to accomplish the landing. The final conclusion was that the bureau needed a new direction, a project with national priority, like the DOS station. Strategic rocket work could be ruled out, as there were already too many players in that field. Additional Details: here....

1971 June 24 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soyuz 11 Day 19 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Dobrovolsky; Patsayev; Volkov; Karas. Program: Salyut; Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 11. Dobrovolsky and Patsayev successfully complete the Svinets experiment, fixing the position of a rocket launched at night. The N1 launch has been delayed again. Karas reports that telemetry shows many problems with the rocket, even just sitting on the pad. Kamanin sees this lousy rocket as a heavy cross for Soviet cosmonautics to bear. As for Soyuz 11, the Landing Commission discusses moving the landing from the 3rd to 2nd revolution on 30 July. But then the crew will land in the dark, while for the 3rd revolution landing they will touch down 24 minutes before sunrise. It is decided to continue planning for the third revolution, in case the crew needs immediate medical assistance.

1971 June 26 - . 23:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110L. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1. LV Configuration: N-1 11A52 6L. FAILURE: First stage failed.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • N1 6L - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-LOK / LK Mockups. Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. Decay Date: 1971-07-21 . COSPAR: F710626A. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi). Superbooster failure of N1 serial number 6L. This was a substantially improved vehicle, incorporating filters in the propellant lines to prevent any foreign objects from getting into the pumps. The shape of the tail of the booster was modified, and ventilation and refrigeration systems were added to keep the engine compartment cool. It was painted white overall to reduce temperatures while sitting on the pad. After liftoff and ascent, an axial rotation was introduced by gas dynamics interactions of the thirty engines with the air slipstream. The launch vehicle developed a roll beyond the capability of the control system to compensate. and began to break up as it went through Max Q. Control was lost at 50.2 seconds into the flight and it was destroyed by range safety a second later. The engines functioned well and did not shut down up to the point of vehicle destruction. No functional payload was carried. It has been stated that this launch did not have a working launch escape system. Additional Details: here....

1971 June 27 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soyuz 11 Day 22 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Dobrovolsky; Patsayev; Volkov; Isayev; Ustinov; Smirnov; Keldysh; Mishin. Program: Salyut; Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7KT-OK; Salyut 1. The shocking news of rocket engine designer Isayev's premature death is received at the Soyuz 11 control point at Yevpatoriya. This is followed by the news that the third N1 failed 57 seconds into its flight. A total of 13 N1's were built, and all three launched so far have exploded. Kamanin agreed to cancellation of the entire project three years ago, but Ustinov, Smirnov, Keldysh, and Mishin continued in their grandiose charade, wasting billions of roubles in the process. Meanwhile on the 22nd day of Soyuz 11's flight, the crew is up and about. Volkov is especially active, which should improve his readaptation when he returns to earth.

1971 July 4 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soyuz 11 failure investigation - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Dobrovolsky; Patsayev; Volkov; Severin. Program: Lunar L3; Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7KT-OK; Soyuz 7K-T. This was a very difficult time for TsKBEM. All work at the bureaus came to a complete halt after the loss of Soyuz 11 and N1 6L. Simultaneous expert commissions investigated the loss of N1 6L and Soyuz 11. TsKBEM was seen as responsible for every failure. A virtually legal process ensued to fix guilt. Every design decision was examined and questioned. Additional Details: here....

1972 January 1 - . LV Family: N1; RT-2.
  • TsKBEM reorganised - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Dorofeyev; Bushuyev; Semenov; Shabarov. Program: Lunar L3; Soyuz; Almaz. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Soyuz 7K-TM; Soyuz 7K-T; Soyuz 7K-S; Soyuz 7K-OK; MKBS; Mars 5NM. TsKBEM was given a completely new structure as a result of the findings of the expert commissions on the disasters for the previous year, Mishin remained as the Chief Designer for the organisation, but each programme now had its own chief designer:

    • N1: Boris Dorofeyev
    • 8K98P solid propellant ICBM: Igor Sadovskiy
    • N1 payloads: Vladimir Brorov [check]
    • Soyuz 7K-TM, or Soyuz M, for Soyuz-Apollo: Konstantin Bushuyev
    • Soyuz 7K-T: Yuri Semenov
    • Soyuz 7K-S or Soyuz VI: Yevgeni Shabarov
    Additional Details: here....

1972 February 16 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1F.
  • N1-L3M moon landing draft project work authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: L3M-1972. Summary: Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) Decree 'On approval of work on the draft project for the N1-L3M two-launch lunar landing proposal' was issued..

1972 February 23 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1F.
  • MOK technical proposal authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: MKBS. Summary: Decree 'On work on the technical proposal for the creation of the MOK' was issued..

1972 May 15 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1F.
  • N1-L3M development authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: L3M-1972. Summary: Council of Chief Designers Decree 'On approval of the N1-L3M proposal' was issued..

1972 June 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviet Lunar Landing (cancelled) - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Soviet Lunar Landing. The Russians were never able to have enough success with the N1 booster to have a serious schedule for the first Soviet lunar landing. In January 1969, before the first N1 launch, it was not expected that a Soviet landing would take place until 1972 at the earliest. In such circumstances only a disaster leading to cancellation of the Apollo program would allow the Russians to be first to the moon. After the explosions of the first two N1 rockets, and the success of Apollo 11, Russian engineering efforts were diverted into crash development of the Salyut space station in order to beat the American Skylab. Cosmonauts trained for L3 lunar landing missions until October 1973, when the last training group was dissolved. By that time actual manned flight of the original single-launch L3 LOK/LK spacecraft to the moon had been abandoned. Instead work was underway on the N1F-L3M, a twin launch scenario that would put the L3M lander on the surface in 1978 for extended operations, and eventually, a lunar base. This in turn was cancelled with the entire N1 program in 1974.

1972 August 15 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 7L launch readiness review - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Summary: Mishin held a Soviet of N1 chief designers to confirm launch readiness..

1972 August 21 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 7L State Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Okhapkin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Lapygin; Kuznetsov. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. The State Commission was held to verify readiness of N1 7L for launch. Mishin was 'sick' the whole week of the hearings and had to be represented by his deputies. However neither Mishin or his first deputy Okhapkin were available - both were in the hospital. The commission nearly ruled that until Mishin was available, no launch could be approved. However the review continued. Additional Details: here....

1972 September 20 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Final N1 components arrive at Baikonur - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Summary: The replacement transformers for the VP53 digital to analogue converters were delivered to Baikonur..

1972 October 14 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Electrical trials of the N1 7L were successfully completed. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3.

1972 November 16 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Flight readiness review for the N1. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. There were still three defects in the new digital computer systems and controversy as to whether to fly the fuel cells in the LOK. But without the fuel cells, there could be no translunar mission. The only power available would then be the batteries in the Block G, limiting the flight to low earth orbit. But the launch manager continued to insist there was danger in handling liquid hydrogen. This was simply a bureaucratic hold-up - only 600 kg of LH2 would be flying, which did not represent a real safety issue. Finally a waiver was agreed and the it was decided the LOK would fly with fuel cells.

    All else seemed ready to go. The estimated engine reliability was 93%. The turbogenerators had achieved 100% reliability in test stands. There were still dissenting voices on the use of LH2 - the final vote was 7 for flying with it, and 2 against.


1972 November 21 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • State Commission was held to formally approve launch of N1 7L. - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK.

1972 November 23 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Final N1 preparations - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. Summary: At 17:00 fuelling of N1 7L began. Lox fuelling was completed at 23:40..

1972 November 23 - . 06:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110L. LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1. LV Configuration: N-1 11A52 7L. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • N1 7L - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-LOK / LK Mockups. Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. Decay Date: 1972-11-23 . COSPAR: F721123A. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi). Unmanned test of manned lunar mission launch vehicle serial number 7L. This article incorporated significant changes to the previous model, including roll 'steering' engines to prevent the loss of control that destroyed 6L. The rocket ascended into the sky, and the engines ran 106.93 seconds, only seven seconds before completion of first stage burnout. Programmed shutdown of some engines to prevent overstressing of the structure led to propellant line hammering, rupture of propellant lines, and an explosion of engine number 4. The vehicle disintegrated. Additional Details: here....

1973 January 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1F-L3M.
  • N1-L3M - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: L3M-1972. Summary: The first lunar expedition project, the N1-L3M, was studied in 1973..

1974 May 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 cancellation imminent - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Ustinov; Keldysh. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; MKBS; Mars 5NM; L3M-1972. Ustinov achieved a leadership consensus to kill the N1 by the beginning of May 1974. He achieved the agreement of the other Ministers on the Military-Industrial Commission, and finally Keldysh. Projects that were ongoing that were linked with the N1 included: the lunar base, MKBS space station, Mars robotic soil return spacecraft and manned expedition, a space radio telescope with a 100 m antenna, and multiple channel communications satellites. All of these died with the cancellation. If 8L had been successful, then after 1 or 2 further test launches, the N1-L3M could begin flying. That meant that the Soviet Union was within 3 to 4 years of establishing long-term lunar expeditions and a moon base. The Americans would have been leapfrogged. Instead, the leadership decided to develop a completely new heavy-lift launch vehicle, which never became operational before the Soviet Union collapsed.

1974 May 2 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1-L3 program is cancelled - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Glushko; Kozlov; Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. The N1 program was cancelled before the next test flight. Mishin was removed as head of NPO Energia. Kozlov is first asked to replace him, but he prefers to stay in Samara. Glushko is appointed as the second choice. Two fully assembled (serial numbers 8L and 9L), and four partially assembled rockets were available at time of cancellation. These would have been the first to use the new modernized series NK-33/NK-39 engines. 8L was planned for launch in the fourth quarter of 1974. Confidence was high that, based on the massive telemetry received on the 7L flight, that all problems would have been rectified. A total of 3.6 billion rubles was spent on the N1-L3 program, of which 2.4 billion rubles went into N1 development. Those on the project felt that they were within months of finally providing the Soviet Union with a heavy-lift booster. Instead the work was discarded, and Glushko began design of the RLA/Vulkan with entirely new configuration and engines.

1974 May 2 - . LV Family: Energia; N1.
  • Development of Block R LH2/LOX stage begins - . Nation: USSR. Program: Buran. Summary: Development of the Block Sr for the N1M cancelled; work on the smaller Block R LH2/LOX stage was resumed. This stage was eventually to have been used on the Buran / Vulkan launch vehicles..

1974 May 19 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 launches suspended. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: L3M-1972. Summary: Ministry of Defence Decree 'On suspension of further launches of the N1' was issued..

1974 June 24 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1-L3 work suspended. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; LK; L3M-1972. Summary: TsKBEM Decree 'On suspension of work on the N1 -L3' was issued..

1974 August 13 - . LV Family: Energia; N1.
  • N1 work cancelled - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Kuznetsov; Korolev; Glushko; Keldysh; Ustinov. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Buran. Glushko formally cancelled the N1 within the new NPO Energia on 13 August 1974 with the support of Ustinov, even though he had no decree of the VPK Military-Industrial Commission or the Central Committee authorising such an act. The N1-L3 itself was not officially closed down until the resolution of February 1976 starting work on the Energia/Buran boosters. By that time 6 billion roubles had been spent on the N1 over 17 years. Additional Details: here....

1974 August 14 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Glushko meets with TsKBEM staff - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Glushko; Korolev; Barmin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK. He solicited their support in the reorganization and new projects for the bureau. Glushko was sartorially perfect, and had an aristocratic air, never using the familiar forms of address in Russian. He only loosened up a little in the last years of his life. He was a nitpicker, correcting Russian syntax in documents. He was capable of clear logic but did not have the intuitive genius of Korolev (according to Barmin, while Korolev did not look after his appearance, he possessed a pure 'Russian' intelligence).

1975 January 1 - . LV Family: N1; RLA.
  • Vulkan Lunar Base - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Barmin; Glushko; Bushuyev. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LZhM; LZM; Lunokhod LEK; LEK. Mishin and Barmin, using budget provided by the Ministry of Defence, had designed a lunar base for launch by the N1 in 1969-1974. After the cancellation of the N1, Glushko pleaded with the Military-Industrial Commission for the work to be taken from Barmin and be given to NPO Energia. Glushko's alternative, Vulkan-launched base was elaborated within his bureau. Bushuyev developed spacecraft for the base. Prudnikova developed a modular lunar city, with living modules, factory modules, a nuclear reactor power module, and a lunar crawler with a 200 km radius of action. The project work was only finally cancelled after the Apollo-Soyuz flights.

1976 February 17 - . LV Family: Energia; N1.
  • Energia; Buran; Mir; Luch; Potok approved; N1 formally cancelled. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Buran; Mir; Mir-2; Gamma; Potok; Luch. Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On work on Energia-Buran, DOS-7K nos. 7 and 8, Gamma. Geyzer (Potok), and Altair (Luch) and cancellation of the N1' was issued. The design of an improved model of the Salyut DOS-17K space station was authorised as part of the third generation of Soviet space systems in a decree. At that time it was planned that the two stations (DOS-7 and DOS-8) would be equipped with two docking ports at either end of the station and an additional two ports at the sides of the forward small diameter compartment. Luch and Potok were elements of the second generation global command and control system (GKKRS) deployed in the first half of the 1980's. Luch satellites, analogous to the US TDRS, provided communications service to the Mir space station, Buran space shuttle, Soyuz-TM spacecraft, military satellites, and the TsUPK ground control center. They also served to provide mobile fleet communications for the Soviet Navy. Additional Details: here....

1976 May 1 - . LV Family: Energia; N1.
  • Plea for revival of N1 project - . Nation: USSR. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Buran. The workers on the project put together a letter to the 25th Party Congress, saying that N1 development should continue, and that N1 s/n's 8, 9, and 10 should be flown. The Party did not accept the letter. They had been assured by the leadership that the population of the city of Leninsk, the extensive facilities and housing built for the N1, would all be used for the MKTS Soviet shuttle. Iosifiyan considered the N1 fundamentally flawed, a project that was only approved due to Kremlin politics.

1977 December 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Glushko uninterested in further lunar base work - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Bushuyev. Spacecraft: Buran; LZhM; LZM; Lunokhod LEK; LEK. Bushuyev tells Chertok that the lunar base work did not interest Glushko. The VPK Military-Industrial Commission was only interested in duplicating the American shuttle, not in any other ventures in space. With the N1-Sr booster, Russia could have had a six man lunar base established with 8 to 10 launches in the late 1970's. Bushuyev died on 26 October 1978, having seen his dream completely tossed away.

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