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|L4 -1963 - 1963 L4 manned lunar orbiter.|
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Manufacturer's Designation: L4. Class: Manned. Type: Lunar orbiter. Nation: Russia. Manufacturer: Korolev.
The L-4 Manned Lunar Orbiter Research Spacecraft would have taken two to three cosmonauts into lunar orbit for an extended survey and mapping mission. It was described in a 23 September 1963 letter setting out the space exploration plan for 1965 to 1975. The L-4 complex, with a total mass of 75 tonnes, would be placed into orbit in a single N1 launch, and would consist of:
- The trans-lunar injection stage, total mass 58 tonnes. If development of a fourth stage for the N1 was not authorised, this could be replaced by three sequentially-fired Soyuz B 9KM rocket blocks developed for the L-1 and L-2 projects.
- The lunar orbit manoeuvring stage, which would have a total mass of 11.5 tonnes. This would break the Soyuz manned spacecraft into lunar orbit and returned it on its transearth trajectory. Five tonnes of propellant would be used for lunar orbit insertion.
- The L-4 spacecraft, which would be a modification of the 7K Soyuz. This would have a mass of 5.5 tonnes after being placed on a transearth trajectory with a descent capsule mass of 2.5 tonnes.
23 September 1963
Korolev letter sets out a space exploration plan for 1965 to 1975.
The plan included a series of lunar exploration vehicles: the L1, L2, L3, L4, and L5.
- 283 - Vetrov, G S, S. P. Korolev i evo delo, Nauka, Moscow, 1998.
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Last update 12 March 2001.
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