Crew: Khrunov, Yeliseyev. Cancelled 16 day mission with Soyuz n 18 to conduct rendezvous and docking operations and demonstrate life support system for the LOK manned lunar orbiter.
The Kontakt system designed for the lunar orbit rendezvous and docking of the LOK lunar orbiter and LK lunar lander was to be mounted on two Soyuz spacecraft and tested in earth orbit. The first Kontakt crews were established in February 1969. By April 1969, two separate docking missions were to be executed after the triple Soyuz-6/7/8 mission. The first crew would have piloted the active spacecraft, simulating the LOK. The second launch would have launched a passive spacecraft, simulating the LK. These would have been 15 to 16 day missions to demonstrate both the new SZhO life support system for the L3, to conduct rendezvous and docking operations using the L3's Kontakt system, and to conduct EVA transfer of one cosmonaut.
First Launch: November 1969.
More... - Chronology...
Khrunov Khrunov, Yevgeni Vassilyevich (1933-2000) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 4/5. Member of first crew to transfer between spacecraft. More...
Yeliseyev Yeliseyev, Aleksei Stanislavovich (1934-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 4/5, Soyuz 8, Soyuz 10. Member of first crew to transfer between spacecraft. More...
Lunar L3 The Soviet program to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth. More...
Soyuz n 18 Chronology
1969 April 26 -
1969 September 18 -
- Approval is given for proceeding with the Soyuz 6-7-8 flights - .
Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Beregovoi; Kuznetsov, Nikolai Fedorovich; Smirnov; Afanasyev, Sergei; Nikolayev. Program: Soyuz; Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 6; Soyuz 7; Soyuz 8; Soyuz n 17; Soyuz n 18; Soyuz n 19; Soyuz n 20. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. However the board makes a big fuss over Kamanin having trained only four back-up cosmonauts to support eight prime-crew cosmonauts. A follow-up meeting is held with Smirnov and Afanasyev at 19:15, where Kamanin's training is denounced as a big failure. Nevertheless at 22:00 the word comes from the Kremlin to proceed with the missions. Kamanin points out that simultaneously with this mission he had cosmonauts in training for Soyuz s/n 17, 18, 19, 20 (Kontakt missions) and L1 circumlunar fights. Kuznetsov, Beregovoi, and several other cosmonauts are also enraged with Kamanin for bumping Nikolyaev from the Soyuz 8 crew. Kamanin maintains that in the circumstances he only had enough training resources for 8 prime + 4 back-up crew, especially for a mission scenario that would not be flown again in the future.
1969 November -
1970 February 20 -
- Soyuz 9 schedule; Soyuz Kontakt flights in limbo - .
Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Smirnov; Serbin; Ustinov. Program: Soyuz; Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 9; Soyuz n 17; Soyuz n 18; Soyuz n 19; Soyuz n 20. Spacecraft: Salyut 1; Soyuz Kontakt. It was originally planned to fly two Soyuz spacecraft in August-September 1970, but at the end of December it was ordered that this be changed to a single 20 day flight in April 1970. Kamanin was given only two days to put together a training programme that had to prepare the cosmonauts for flight by 20 March. The State Commission meets and decides to move the Soyuz 9 flight to May, even though Kamanin says he can support the April schedule. It is the scientific institutes who say they cannot finish development of their experiments - even to meet the May schedule. Kamanin blames such chaos on Smirnov, Serbin, and Ustinov.
1970 February 25 -
- Soyuz 9 decision preempts Soyuz Kontakt flights - .
Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Kerimov. Program: Soyuz; Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 9; Soyuz n 17; Soyuz n 18; Soyuz n 19; Soyuz n 20. Spacecraft: Soyuz Kontakt. Meeting with Mishin. It is clear that he wanted to continue with the original plan for a dual Soyuz flight in August. It was Afanasyev and Kerimov who were pushing for a single long-duration flight in May. There is no action by the Ministry of Defence to provide rational decision making in regard to manned spaceflight.
1970 February 27 -
- DOS schedules, Soyuz Kontakt flights still in play - .
Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Bogomolov. Program: Soyuz; Salyut; Lunar L3; Almaz. Flight: Soyuz 10; Soyuz 11; Soyuz n 17; Soyuz n 18; Soyuz n 19; Soyuz n 20. Spacecraft: Soyuz Kontakt; Almaz OPS; Soyuz OB-VI; Soyuz VI. A meeting is held on the DOS project. The Central Committee and Soviet Ministers have directed that two DOS space stations be completed by the end of 1970. TsNIIMASH thinks this is impossible - the task can be accomplished in no less than 18 to 24 months. Mishin insists it can be done in ten months, as directed. Kamanin believes he won't even have it ready by the second half of 1971. It took five to seven years to just bring the Almaz, Soyuz VI, and L1 to flight status. This DOS will stop work on all other projects. Mishin still wants to fly two Soyuz spacecraft to test Bogomolov's Kontakt docking system for the L3.
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