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Soyuz B
Soyuz B
Soyuz B translunar injection stage.

18,889 bytes. 580 x 349 pixels.

Manufacturer's Designation: 9K. Class: Manned. Type: Logistics. Nation: USSR. Manufacturer: OKB-1.

In the definitive December 1962 Soyuz draft project, the Soyuz B (9K) rocket acceleration block would be launched into a 225 km orbit by a Soyuz 11A511 booster. Following refuelling by the required number of Soyuz V (11K) tanker spacecraft, a manned Soyuz spacecraft would rendezvous and dock with the 9K. It would then be boosted on its mission (circumlunar, satellite intercept, or high earth orbit).

The 9K consisted of the rocket block itself and an ‘NO’ rendezvous and docking module. The NO module provided a docking and fuel transfer system, guidance equipment, and storable propellant manoeuvring rocket systems.

The 9K would be followed in orbit by one to three Soyuz V 11K tankers (depending on the mission), which would automatically rendezvous and dock with the 9K. They would transfer up to 22 tonnes of propellant. Finally the 7K spacecraft with the cosmonauts aboard would be launched and dock with the 9K. The NO propulsion module would be jettisoned from the 9K and it would then be used to put the 7K on its mission. This could be either a Soyuz-A on a circumlunar flight or a Soyuz-P on satellite intercepts at up to 6,000 km altitude.

The 9K was authorised for development by a subcontractor, but soon both the Soyuz-A and Soyuz-P were cancelled. On 3 August 1964 it was decided tht Chelomei would develop his LK-1 for the manned lunar flyby in place of the Soyuz-A. The Soyuz-P was cancelled when manned satellite intercept was found to be impractical.

At the end of 1965, Korolev wrested the circumlunar project from Chelomei. In this final incarnation, the ancestor of the Soyuz B 9K rocket block, the Block D rocket stage used on the N1 lunar booster, would be used to put a stripped-down Soyuz on a circumlunar trajectory.


Soyuz B Chronology

20 March 1963 Soyuz draft project was submitted to the expert commission

Aside from the baseline Soyuz-B circumlunar mission, the draft project also proposed the Soyuz-P space interceptor and the Soyuz-R command-reconnaissance spacecraft. The military projects Soyuz-P and Soyuz-R were ‘subcontracted’ to OKB-1 Filial Number 3, based in Samara. The Soyuz B circumlunar version did not receive the same level of financial support.


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Last update 12 March 2001.
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