Encyclopedia Astronautica
N1M



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N1M 1974
N1M of 1974
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N1 and N-1M
N1 and N-1M Dynamic test models
Credit: © Mark Wade
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N1M cutaway
Credit: © Mark Wade
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.

Stage Data - N1M

  • Stage 1. 1 x N1 Block A. Gross Mass: 1,880,000 kg (4,140,000 lb). Empty Mass: 130,000 kg (280,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 50,300.000 kN (11,307,800 lbf). Isp: 330 sec. Burn time: 125 sec. Isp(sl): 284 sec. Diameter: 10.30 m (33.70 ft). Span: 16.90 m (55.40 ft). Length: 30.10 m (98.70 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 30. Engine: NK-15. Status: Out of Production. Comments: Includes 14,000 kg for Stage 1-2 interstage and payload fairing. Compared to total fuelled mass excludes 15,000 kg propellant expended in thrust build-up and boil-off prior to liftoff. Values as in draft project as defended on 2-16 July 1962.
  • Stage 2. 1 x N1 Block V-III. Gross Mass: 325,000 kg (716,000 lb). Empty Mass: 35,000 kg (77,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 2,350.000 kN (528,300 lbf). Isp: 440 sec. Burn time: 510 sec. Diameter: 8.00 m (26.20 ft). Span: 8.00 m (26.20 ft). Length: 27.00 m (88.00 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 6. Engine: RD-57. Status: Study 1965. Comments: N1 improvement study, 1965. Lox/LH2 replacement for Block V third stage. Pursued into 1966 and later, but later efforts concentrated on Block S, R, and SR cryogenic stages.
  • Stage 3. 1 x N1 Block S. Gross Mass: 58,000 kg (127,000 lb). Empty Mass: 8,000 kg (17,600 lb). Thrust (vac): 392.000 kN (88,125 lbf). Isp: 440 sec. Burn time: 540 sec. Diameter: 6.70 m (21.90 ft). Span: 6.70 m (21.90 ft). Length: 16.00 m (52.00 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 1. Engine: RD-57. Status: Study 1967. Comments: Designed 1965-1971 as replacement for N-1 Blok G. Cancelled in 1971 in favor of development of single stage, Block Sr.
  • Stage 4. 1 x N1 Block R. Gross Mass: 23,000 kg (50,000 lb). Empty Mass: 4,300 kg (9,400 lb). Thrust (vac): 73.500 kN (16,523 lbf). Isp: 440 sec. Burn time: 1,080 sec. Diameter: 4.10 m (13.40 ft). Span: 4.10 m (13.40 ft). Length: 8.70 m (28.50 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 1. Engine: RD-56. Status: Development 1976. Comments: Designed 1965-1971 as replacement for N-1 Blok D. Cancelled 1971 in favor of Blok Sr; revived and developed in 1974-1976. First static test Oct 12 1976. Two stages tested 1976-1977. Strangely never replaced Blok D on Proton.

Status: Development ended 1971.
Gross mass: 2,348,000 kg (5,176,000 lb).
Height: 96.00 m (314.00 ft).
Diameter: 10.00 m (32.00 ft).
Thrust: 43,295.50 kN (9,733,216 lbf).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • L3M-1970 Russian manned lunar lander. Study 1970. The first design of the L3M lunar lander had the crew of two accommodated in a Soyuz capsule atop the lander. More...

Associated Engines
  • NK-15 Kuznetsov Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 1544 kN. N-1 stage 1 (block A). Development ended 1964. On the basis of NK-9 the NK-15 was developed for the N-1 launcher. 30 were used on the Block A (Stage 1) of the N-1. Isp=318s. First flight 1969. More...
  • RD-56 Isayev lox/lh2 rocket engine. 69.6 kN. N1 block R. Development ended 1971. Oxygen-hydrogen engine for cryogenic upper stage. Developed but never flown. Design sold to India in 1990's for GSLV. Isp=462s. More...
  • RD-57 Lyulka lox/lh2 rocket engine. 392 kN. N1 Block S (N-1M). Study 1965. One to have been used in N1 Block S. In fixed chamber version, 3 to 6 to have been used in N1 Block V-III. Engine system includes roll control thruster with 1.29 kN thrust. Isp=456s. More...

See also
  • N1 The N1 launch vehicle, developed by Russia in the 1960's, was to be the Soviet Union's counterpart to the Saturn V. The largest of a family of launch vehicles that were to replace the ICBM-derived launchers then in use, the N series was to launch Soviet cosmonauts to the moon, Mars, and huge space stations into orbit. In comparison to Saturn, the project was started late, starved of funds and priority, and dogged by political and technical struggles between the chief designers Korolev, Glushko, and Chelomei. The end result was four launch failures and cancellation of the project five years after Apollo landed on the moon. Not only did a Soviet cosmonaut never land on the moon, but the Soviet Union even denied that the huge project ever existed. More...

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

Associated Stages
  • N1 Block A Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 1,880,000/130,000 kg. Thrust 50,300.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 330 seconds. Includes 14,000 kg for Stage 1-2 interstage and payload fairing. Compared to total fuelled mass excludes 15,000 kg propellant expended in thrust build-up and boil-off prior to liftoff. Values as in draft project as defended on 2-16 July 1962. More...
  • N1 Block R Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 23,000/4,300 kg. Thrust 73.50 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 440 seconds. Designed 1965-1971 as replacement for N-1 Blok D. Cancelled 1971 in favor of Blok Sr; revived and developed in 1974-1976. First static test Oct 12 1976. Two stages tested 1976-1977. Strangely never replaced Blok D on Proton. More...
  • N1 Block S Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 58,000/8,000 kg. Thrust 392.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 440 seconds. Designed 1965-1971 as replacement for N-1 Blok G. Cancelled in 1971 in favor of development of single stage, Block Sr. More...
  • N1 Block V-III Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 325,000/35,000 kg. Thrust 2,350.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 440 seconds. N1 improvement study, 1965. Lox/LH2 replacement for Block V third stage. Pursued into 1966 and later, but later efforts concentrated on Block S, R, and SR cryogenic stages. More...

N1M Chronology


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..

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.

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