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Kuznetsov, Nikolai Dmitriyevich
Russian chief designer. Chief Designer and General Designer 1949-1994 of OKB-276.

Born: 1911-06-23. Died: 1995-07-30.

The bureau originally, with the assistance of German engineers, designed the enormous turboprop engines for the Tu-95 bomber. When Glushko refused to design cryogenic rockets to Korolev's specifications for the R-9 and N1 rockets, Korolev turned to Kuznetsov. The bureau was located in Samara, the same city where the missiles would be built. Kuznetsov undeservedly took much of the blame for the repeated failures of the N1 launch vehicle. By the time the project was cancelled in 1974 he had conducted massive testing on a range of extremely reliable, high-performance Lox/Kerosene engines for he booster. The engines were stored and considered for a number of Soviet spaceplane designs in the 1980's. After the fall of the Soviet Union the engines were marketed in the West, for inclusion in the Atlas III or Kistler launch vehicles. However they still managed never to be achieve flight status.


Kuznetsov bureau Russian manufacturer of turbojet, turboprop, and rocket engines.

Country: Russia. Bibliography: 445, 5662.
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1911 June 23 - .
  • Birth of Nikolai Dmitriyevich Kuznetsov - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Kuznetsov. Russian chief designer. Chief Designer and General Designer 1949-1994 of OKB-276..

1963 November 16 - .
  • Kuznetsov is named the new chief of the cosmonaut training centre in replacement of Odintsev. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Kuznetsov, Tereshkova.

1964 July 21 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
1964 October 13 - .
1965 March 13 - .
  • Voskhod-2 crew briefing - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Belyayev, Gagarin, Kamanin, Komarov, Korolev, Kuznetsov, Leonov, Rudenko. Program: Voskhod. Flight: Voskhod 2. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Voskhod.

    Korolev, Rudenko, Kamanin, Kuznetsov, Gagarin, Komarov, and Tselikin give the crew their final briefing. Communications protocols are worked out. Korolev tells the crew he is satisfied that they are ready for flight, but tells them not to take unnecessary risks or heroics. The main thing is that they return safely to earth.

1965 March 16 - .
  • Voskhod-2 state commission - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Belyayev, Korolev, Kuznetsov, Leonov, Severin. Program: Voskhod. Flight: Voskhod 2. Spacecraft: Berkut, Voskhod.

    Korolev, Severin, Kuznetsov, and Kamanin certify the readiness of the booster and spacecraft, the airlock and spacesuit, the astronauts, and the recovery forces. Roll-out to the pad is set for the morning of 17 March, with launch on 18 or 19 March. In the evening the recovered Zenit-4 capsule arrives at Baikonur and is examined by the astronauts. The rate of rotation never exceeded 40 - 100 degrees/second, well within the tolerance of both the crew and the parachute deployment system.

1966 October 13 - .
  • Almaz status review. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Chelomei, Kuznetsov, Tereshkova. Program: Almaz. Spacecraft Bus: Almaz. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS.

    Tereshkova departs for a tour of Belgium. General Kuznetsov accompanies a group of cosmonauts to visit Chelomei's design bureau to review progress on the Almaz military space station. Each station will remain in orbit for two years, with the crews being changed out every two months. Kamanin believes the ability of a crew to operate in zero-G for two months is not proven; he will assume the crew will have to be changed every two weeks. This would mean that per year of operation, 25 crews and 25 boosters for their delivery to the station would be required. If each crew could fly 2-3 times, per year, then even in this worse case scenario, 10 crews would be enough to keep the station manned.

1966 November 17 - .
  • VVS told to surrender on crew assignments issue. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Bykovsky, Kerimov, Khrunov, Kirillov, Komarov, Kuznetsov, Mishin, Rudenko, Yeliseyev, Zakharov. Program: Soyuz, Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 1, Soyuz 2A, Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1.

    Kamanin is at Tyuratam for the first Soyuz launch. He and Rudenko are accommodated in the new hotel at Area 2. It has all conveniences - a local telephone, radio and television with Moscow programs, even a promise to install an HF telephone that will allow secure communications with Moscow. Also there for the launch are Kerimov, Kirillov, Kuznetsov, Bykovsky, Komarov, Khrunov, amd Yeliseyev. Rudenko reports that he has been chewed out by Marshal Zakharov. Zakharov told him "What are you and Kamanin doing, blocking OKB-1 candidates from flight? If Mishin wants to send his people to the Moon, let him do it and do not interefere!"

1967 October 10 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Lunar Soviet - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei, Chelomei, Keldysh, Kuznetsov, Mishin. Program: Lunar L1, Lunar L3. Spacecraft: L5.

    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

1968 January 23 - .
1968 June 23 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • First test of N1 stages - . Nation: Russia. 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 December 17 - .
  • The crews take their final examinations to qualify for the Soyuz 4/5 flights. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi, Gorbatko, Khrunov, Kuznetsov, Shatalov, Shonin, Volynov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 4, Soyuz 4/5, Soyuz 5. Spacecraft: Yastreb.

    All pass. Volynov, Shatalov, and Khrunov do best; Gorbatko and Shonin make mistakes (for example stating that the spacesuit pressure is 35 atmospheres instead of 3.5 atmospheres). Kuznetsov had planned for Gagarin to be cosmonaut commander, and Beregovoi has been poorly prepared for the job. But he still plans to make Beregovoi his deputy in the position. The other cosmonauts bitterly oppose this decision, and spread stories of Beregovoi's incompetence.

1969 July 22 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviet post-mortems after Apollo 11 - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei, Glushko, Keldysh, Kuznetsov, Mishin, Ustinov. 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 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • VPK hearing on N1 improvements - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Brezhnev, Kuznetsov, Mishin. 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 December 26 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • DOS formally authorised - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Chelomei, Glushko, Kuznetsov, Mishin, Ustinov. 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.

1972 August 21 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 7L State Commission - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei, Kuznetsov, Lapygin, Mishin, Okhapkin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. 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....

1974 August 13 - .
  • N1 work cancelled - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Glushko, Keldysh, Korolev, Kuznetsov, Mishin, Ustinov. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Buran, LK, Soyuz 7K-LOK.

    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....

1995 July 30 - .
  • Death of Nikolai Dmitriyevich Kuznetsov - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Kuznetsov. Russian chief designer. Chief Designer and General Designer 1949-1994 of OKB-276..

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