Encyclopedia Astronautica
Vostok 8K72



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Vostok Kaluga Museum
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Vostok LV
Credit: © Mark Wade
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R-7 aft end
Credit: © Mark Wade
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R-7 Cutaways
Credit: © Mark Wade
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R-7 forward view
R-7 forward compartment
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Vostok Gate Guardian
Vostok Gate Guardian at RKK Energia main complex
Credit: © Mark Wade
Russian orbital launch vehicle. 8K72 Luna launch vehicle, third stage modified with larger forward cylindrical section to accomodate Vostok-sized spacecraft. Used only for launch of first few prototype Vostoks.

LEO Payload: 4,550 kg (10,030 lb) to a 200 km orbit at 65.00 degrees. Failures: 1. First Fail Date: 1960-07-28. Last Fail Date: 1960-07-28.

Stage Data - Vostok 8K72

  • Stage 0. 4 x Vostok 8K72-0. Gross Mass: 43,300 kg (95,400 lb). Empty Mass: 3,710 kg (8,170 lb). Thrust (vac): 970.000 kN (218,060 lbf). Isp: 312 sec. Burn time: 120 sec. Isp(sl): 254 sec. Diameter: 2.68 m (8.79 ft). Span: 2.68 m (8.79 ft). Length: 19.00 m (62.00 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: RD-107-8D74. Status: Out of Production.
  • Stage 1. 1 x Vostok 8K72-1. Gross Mass: 100,400 kg (221,300 lb). Empty Mass: 6,800 kg (14,900 lb). Thrust (vac): 912.000 kN (205,025 lbf). Isp: 315 sec. Burn time: 310 sec. Isp(sl): 246 sec. Diameter: 2.99 m (9.80 ft). Span: 2.99 m (9.80 ft). Length: 28.00 m (91.00 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: RD-108-8D75. Status: Out of Production.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Vostok 8K72-2. Gross Mass: 7,775 kg (17,140 lb). Empty Mass: 1,440 kg (3,170 lb). Thrust (vac): 49.420 kN (11,110 lbf). Isp: 316 sec. Burn time: 390 sec. Isp(sl): 0.0000 sec. Diameter: 2.56 m (8.39 ft). Span: 2.56 m (8.39 ft). Length: 2.84 m (9.31 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: RD-0105. Status: Out of Production.

AKA: Vostok; SL-3; 8K72; Sapwood; A-1.
Status: Retired 1960.
Gross mass: 281,375 kg (620,325 lb).
Payload: 4,550 kg (10,030 lb).
Height: 30.84 m (101.18 ft).
Diameter: 2.99 m (9.80 ft).
Thrust: 3,873.74 kN (870,851 lbf).
Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).
First Launch: 1960.05.15.
Last Launch: 1960.12.01.
Number: 4 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Vostok Russian manned spacecraft. 13 launches, 1960.05.15 (Korabl-Sputnik 1) to 1963.06.16 (Vostok 6). First manned spacecraft. Derivatives were still in use in the 21st Century for military surveillance, earth resources, mapping, and biological missions. More...

Associated Engines
  • RD-0105 Kosberg Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 49.4 kN. Luna 8K72, Vostok 8K72 upper stage. Out of production. Isp=316s. Developed jointly with OKB-1 in nine months on the basis of OKB-1'ssteering chamber from the RD-107 engine. First flight 1958. More...
  • RD-107-8D74 Glushko Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 971 kN. R-7 8K71, Vostok 8K72, Vostok 8K72K strap-ons. Isp=306s. First flight 1957. Used four combustion chambers fed by single turbopump to circumvent combustion instability problems with larger chambers 1950's. More...
  • RD-108-8D75 Glushko Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 912 kN. R-7 8K71-1, Vostok 8K72-1, Vostok 8K72K-1. OKB Glushko. Used on 8K71 R-7 Stage 1. Developed in 1954-1955. Propellants kerosene (RG-1) / Lox. Diameter is per chamber. Isp=308s. First flight 1957. More...

See also
  • R-7 The world's first ICBM became the most often used and most reliable launch vehicle in history. The original core+four strap-on booster missile had a small third stage added to produce the Vostok launch vehicle, with a payload of 5 metric tons. Addition of a larger third stage produced the Voskhod/Soyuz vehicle, with a payload over 6 metric tons. Using this with a fourth stage, the resulting Molniya booster placed communications satellites and early lunar and planetary probes in higher energy trajectories. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with an unmatched success rate of 97.5% for production models. Improved models providing commercial launch services for international customers entered service in the new millenium, and a new launch pad at Kourou was to be inaugurated in 2011. It appeared that the R-7 could easily still be in service 70 years after its first launch. More...

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

Associated Programs
  • Vostok World's first manned spacecraft, it was later developed into the Voskhod, and numerous versions of Zenit recoverable reconnaisance, materials, and biological research satellites which remained in service into the 21st Century. 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...

Associated Stages
  • Vostok 8K72-1 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 100,400/6,800 kg. Thrust 912.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 315 seconds. More...
  • Vostok 8K72-2 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 7,775/1,440 kg. Thrust 49.42 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 316 seconds. More...
  • Vostok 8K72-0 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 43,300/3,710 kg. Thrust 970.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 312 seconds. More...

Vostok 8K72 Chronology


1956 June - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72.
  • First studies by Korolev OKB of manned spacecraft - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Feoktistov. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok. Summary: First studies by Korolev and Feoktistov of manned spacecraft. The first stage would be suborbital ballistic flights (like the US Mercury-Redstone flights) from Kapustin Yar using IRBM's. First flights not planned until 1964 - 1967..

1958 During the Year - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72.
  • Work begun on Vostok spacecraft and third stage - . Nation: USSR. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok.

1960 May 15 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72. LV Configuration: Vostok 8K72 L1-11.
  • Korabl-Sputnik 1 - . Payload: Vostok 1KP. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok. Duration: 1,979.00 days. Decay Date: 1962-09-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 34 . COSPAR: 1960-Epsilon-1. Apogee: 514 km (319 mi). Perigee: 284 km (176 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 92.50 min. The Soviet Union launched a Vostok 1KP prototype manned spacecraft (without heat shield; not recoverable) into near-earth orbit. Called Sputnik IV by the Western press. On May 19, at 15:52 Moscow time, the spacecraft was commanded to retrofire. However the guidance system had oriented the spacecraft incorrectly and the TDU engine instead put the spacecraft into a higher orbit. Soviet scientists said that conditions in the cabin, which had separated from the remainder of the spacecraft, were normal.
    Officially: Development and checking of the main systems of the space ship satellite, which ensure its safe flight and control in flight, return to Earth and conditions needed for a man in flight.

1960 July 28 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72. LV Configuration: Vostok 8K72 L1-10. FAILURE: At ignition one of the combustion chambers in strap on Block B or G burned through. The strap on separated from the core at 17 seconds into the flight and the launch vehicle exploded at 28.5 seconds.. Failed Stage: 0.
  • Korabl-Sputnik - . Payload: Vostok 1K s/n 1. Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok. Decay Date: 1960-07-23 . COSPAR: F600728A. Summary: First attempted flight of the Vostok 1K manned spacecraft prototype. Dogs Chaika and Lisichka perished in the explosion of the rocket..

1960 August 19 - . 08:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72. LV Configuration: Vostok 8K72 L1-12.
  • Korabl-Sputnik 2 - . Payload: Vostok 1K s/n 2. Mass: 1,440 kg (3,170 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok. Duration: 1.09 days. Decay Date: 1960-08-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 55 . COSPAR: 1960-Lambda-1. Apogee: 340 km (210 mi). Perigee: 281 km (174 mi). Inclination: 64.6000 deg. Period: 90.70 min. The Soviet Union launched its second unmanned test of the Vostok spacecraft, the Korabl Sputnik II, or Sputnik V. The spacecraft carried two dogs, Strelka and Belka, in addition to a gray rabbit, rats, mice, flies, plants, fungi, microscopic water plants, and seeds. Electrodes attached to the dogs and linked with the spacecraft communications system, which included a television camera, enabled Soviet scientists to check the animals' hearts, blood pressure, breathing, and actions during the trip. After the spacecraft reentered and landed safely the next day, the animals and biological specimens were reported to be in good condition.
    Officially: Development of systems ensuring man's life functions and safety in flight and his return to Earth.

1960 December 1 - . 07:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72. LV Configuration: Vostok 8K72 L1-13.
  • Korabl-Sputnik 3 - . Payload: Vostok 1K s/n 3. Mass: 4,563 kg (10,059 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok. Duration: 0.99 days. Decay Date: 1960-12-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 65 . COSPAR: 1960-Rho-1. Apogee: 269 km (167 mi). Perigee: 123 km (76 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 88.40 min. The Soviet Union launched its third spaceship satellite, Korabl Sputnik III, or Sputnik VI. The spacecraft, similar to those launched on May 15 and August 19, carried the dogs Pcheka and Mushka in addition to other animals, insects, and plants. Deorbited December 2, 1960 7:15 GMT. Burned up on reentry due to steep entry angle (retrofire engine did not shut off on schedule and burned to fuel depletion).
    Officially: Medical and biological research under space flight conditions.
    Officially: Medical and biological research under space flight conditions.

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