|Proton 1 / N-4 - |
Credit: © Mark Wade. 23,457 bytes. 333 x 296 pixels.
Physics experiments. Space station "Proton 1". Investigation of ultra-high-energy cosmic particles. Actual mass was 8,300 kg - but that announced at time of launch was 12,200 kg (designed payload capacity of three-stage version of original Proton launch vehicle that never flew).
Total Mass: 8,300 kg. Total Payload: 3,500 kg.
The first launch of the Proton launch vehicle was not without problems. A leak in the oxidiser pipeline resulted in nitrogen tetroxide spilling on electrical wires. The question was: proceed with the launch or abort? Chelomei decided to go ahead, and on 16 July 1965 the first UR-500 successfully launched the Proton 1 satellite. In the first hours after launch specialists from OKB-52 could only receive signals in the first hours that indicated the satellite was ‘alive’. However it later functioned normally and provided physics data on ultra-high-energy cosmic particles for 45 days.
At the first launch the rocket was called ‘Gerkules’ (other sources say ‘Atlantis’), as indicated by the large symbol on the second stage skin. This name was however was not taken up.
High energy physics laboratory. Investigation of ultra-high-energy cosmic particles.
|N-4 Spacecraft - Cutaway view of N-4 spacecraft. This heavy high-energy physics station was launched on the first four test launches of the Proton launch vehicle.|
Credit: Chelomei School, Leninsk. 30,376 bytes. 525 x 345 pixels.