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L5

L5 -1963

L5 -1963
1963 L5 manned lunar rover. Drawing based on model at Tsniimash museum.

Russian manned lunar rover, as per initial study in 1963. The L-5 Heavy Lunar Self-Propelled Craft would be used for extended manned reconnaissance of the lunar surface. The design was elaborated by Korolev's bureau and others until all such work was cancelled with the demise of the N1 launch vehicle in 1974.

Status: Study 1963. Payload: 4,000 kg (8,800 lb). Gross mass: 5,500 kg (12,100 lb).

It was described in a 23 September 1963 letter setting out the space exploration plan for 1965 to 1975. With a maximum speed of 20 km/hour, it would provide living accommodation for three cosmonauts and 3,500 kg of provisions. The crews themselves would be landed on the moon using the L-3 complex.

The L-5 consisted of:

  • The translunar injection stage, with a total mass of 64 metric tons
  • The lunar braking stage, which included a separate midcourse correction section cast off before the braking burn. The lunar braking stage had a total mass of just under 14 metric tons. The main braking burn would start 200 to 300 km above the surface.
  • The lunar soft landing/ascent stage, which had a mass of 1.3 metric tons landed on the moon. Presumably the stage would make a precision landing, homing on a beacon provided by an L-2 robot scout. The stage would use variable-thrust engines to make a soft landing at 2-4 m/s on the surface.
  • The L-5 rover, with a mass of 5.5 metric tons



Subtopics

L5-1967 Russian manned lunar lander. Study 1967. At a Lunar Soviet meeting in October 1967 preliminary agreement was reached to study a follow-on to the first N1-L3 lunar landings. A new N1 model was to be developed to launch a new 'L5' spacecraft.

DLB Lunokhod 1 Russian manned lunar rover. Study 1971. One of several conceptual models of Lunokhod or Marsokhod pressurized surface rovers planned for Soviet moon or Mars expeditions.

DLB Lunokhod 2 Russian manned lunar rover. Study 1971. One of several conceptual models of Lunokhod or Marsokhod pressurized surface rovers planned for Soviet moon or Mars expeditions.

DLB Lunokhod 3 Russian manned lunar rover. Study 1971. One of several conceptual models of Lunokhod or Marsokhod pressurized surface rovers planned for Soviet moon or Mars expeditions.

Lunokhod LEK Russian manned lunar rover. Study 1973. Lunar rover for the Vulkan Lunar Expedition. The rover provided pressurized quarters for 2 crew, allowing trips up to 200 km from the lunar base at a top speed of 5 km/hr.

Family: Lunar Rovers, Moon. Country: Russia. Launch Vehicles: N1, N1 1969. Agency: Korolev bureau. Bibliography: 283.

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


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