|Zond 5 Reaches Moon|
Zond 5 rounds the Moon and heads for Earth after the first Lunar Circumnavigation
Credit: © Mark Wade. 11,168 bytes. 489 x 145 pixels.
The first design sketched out was known as Sever (North). The reentry capsule had the same configuration as the ultimate Soyuz design but was 50% larger. By summer 1959 Feoktistov had reduced the size to that of the later Soyuz, while retaining the three-man crew size.
|Proton 8K82K/11S824 - Proton 8K82K / 11S824 Block D launch vehicle - cutaway drawing showing arrangement of N2O4 oxidiser tanks (green) and UDMH fuel tanks (orange) in Proton, and Liquid oxygen (blue) and kerosene (pink) tanks in the Block D stage. The Soyuz 7K-L1 spacecraft was mounted directly above the Block D liquid oxygen tank. For the Soyuz circumlunar flights a launch escape tower was fitted that pulled the capsule away in an emergency.|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 7,453 bytes. 60 x 469 pixels.
Vostok-Zh studies conducted for multiple dockings of rocket blocks and payloads in orbit for circumlunar missions, using Vostok rocket. Vostok-Zh spacecraft used to for manual dockings only. Manned reentry vehicle from circumlunar distance is Sever/Soyuz design. Korolev's reaction to Chelomei's exclusive assignment by Khrushchev to circumlunar mission.
|Proton w/ LK - Proton 8K82K Block D launch vehicle with Soyuz 7K-L1 manned circumlunar spacecraft.|
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At Khrushchev's decision Chelomei takes over Lavochkin's OKB-301 and Myasishchev's OKB-23. Lavochkin had built objects 205, 207, 400 (SA-1,2,5); Chelomei UR-96 ABM-1.
Soyuz 'leaves drafting boards'.
|Lunar Spacecraft - Comparison of Chelomei manned spacecraft. Left to right: Chelomei LK-1 circumlunar spacecraft with UR-500K third stage. Chelomei LK-700 lunar landing spacecraft. Chelomei TKS space station resupply tug. Competing Korolev Soyuz 7K-L1 circumlunar spacecraft with Block D translunar injection stage and UR-500K third stage.|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 25,167 bytes. 423 x 429 pixels.
Tereshkova announces in Havana that Gagarin head of lunar cosmonaut team.
|Chelomei LK-1 - Chelomei LK-1 circumlunar spacecraft. The 2.8 m diameter Apollo-type reentry capsule was mounted atop a cylindrical service module, which provided power and boosted the spacecraft on a translunar trajectory. The large solar panels would have provided considerably more power than Korolev's competing Soyuz 7K-L1 configuration.|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 29,955 bytes. 504 x 472 pixels.
Cosmonauts write letter to Brezhnev complaining of multitude of space projects and de-emphasis of manned efforts.
|Proton 8K82K - Proton 8K82K launch vehicle in its original form, with Chelomei's manned LK-1 circumlunar spacecraft as the payload.|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 6,794 bytes. 60 x 424 pixels.
Leonov announces that cosmonauts are in training for lunar missions.
In the period 1966 to 1968 there were five simultaneous Soviet manned space projects (Soyuz 7K-OK orbital; Soyuz 7K-L1 circumlunar; Soyuz VI military; L3 manned lunar landing; Almaz space station). Cosmonaut assignments were in constant flux, resulting in many claims in later years that 'I was being trained for the first moon flight'.
|Chelomei LK-1 - Chelomei LK-1 manned circumlunar spacecraft|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 23,192 bytes. 504 x 350 pixels.
A dummy 8K82K/Block D rocket was mounted at the launch site. The dummy was loaded with imitation propellants (kerosene as fuel and water/ethyl alcohol as oxidiser). The nitrogen tetroxide oxidiser had to be kept above -11 degrees C, and it was originally planned for a thermostatically-controlled electrical heating of the tank walls to achieve this. It was ultimately decided that the risk of explosion of such a system was too great, and the system was abandoned.
|Zond motor - The Soyuz 7K-L1 rocket engine as developed for the circumlunar flights. This deleted the backup engine (presumably the reaction control system thrusters were powerful enough to accomplish mid-course corrections if the main engine failed).|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 40,443 bytes. 317 x 402 pixels.
Fit tests at Tyuratam. Not launched (Interavia SD).
|Zond rounding Moon|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 21,914 bytes. 640 x 113 pixels.
Credit: © Mark Wade. 2,621 bytes. 275 x 165 pixels.
Protoype Soyuz 7K-L1 manned circumlunar spacecraft. Reached earth orbit but Block D translunar injection stage failed to fire (ullage rockets, which had to fire to settle propellants in tanks before main engine fired, were jettisoned prematurely). Spacecraft burned up two days later when orbit decayed.
Credit: © Mark Wade. 3,949 bytes. 333 x 213 pixels.
Tass announces water landing exercises; Leonov involved.
First attempted circumlunar flight. The booster crashed 65 km from the pad, but the launch escape system functioned correctly and the spacecraft was recovered.
Credit: © Mark Wade. 4,643 bytes. 297 x 287 pixels.
Failed launch of an E-6LS radio-equipped version of the E-6 used to test tracking and communications networks for the Soviet manned lunar program. Suggestions for the abnormal consumption included the seizing up of a pintle valve for controlling fuel supply into the regulator or the seizing up of the fuel inlet control. The upper stages broke up in the atmosphere.
Credit: © Mark Wade. 9,546 bytes. 99 x 274 pixels.
Spacecraft successfully launched into 330,000 km apogee orbit 180 degrees away from the moon. On reentry, the guidance system failed, and the planned double skip maneuver to bring the descent module to a landing in the Soviet Union was not possible. Ustinov ordered the self-destruct package to be set off and the capsule blew up 12 km above the Gulf of Guinea. Kamanin disagreed strongly with this decision; the spacecraft could have still been recovered in the secondary area by Soviet naval vessels after a 20 G reentry. The decsion was made to recover the spacecraft in the future whenever possible.
Officially: Solar Orbit (Heliocentric). Study of remote regions of circumterrestrial space, development of new on-board systems and units of space stations.
|Panel Soyuz 7K-L1 - Control panel of the circumlunar version of Soyuz.|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 12,497 bytes. 723 x 288 pixels.
Gagarin's death in a MiG-15UTI trainer on a routine mission was deeply demoralizing.
A short circuit in the malfunction detection system led the launch escape system to believe incorrecly that a launch vehicle failure had occurred. It commanded shut down of the second stage engines 260 seconds in the flight, and the escape tower pulled the Zond away from the booster, for a safe recovery.
|Gas dynamic tunnel - Gas dynamic tunnel tests|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 32,862 bytes. 568 x 324 pixels.
NASA decides to conduct Apollo 8 on risky lunar orbital mission by end December 1968. Interestingly enough the CIA warning to NASA came within days of the L1 State Commission's meeting and decision to press for a November circumlunar flight.
|Soyuz 7K-L1 - L1 manned circumlunar spacecraft, consisting of 11S824 Block D translunar injection stage and Soyuz 7K-L1 spacecraft.|
Credit: © Mark Wade. 7,028 bytes. 292 x 102 pixels.
First successful circumlunar flight with recovery. Test flight of manned spacecraft; launched from an earth parking orbit to make a lunar flyby and return to earth. On September 18, 1968, the spacecraft flew around the moon at an altitude of 1950 km. High quality photographs of the earth were taken at a distance of 90,000 km. A biological payload of turtles, wine flies, meal worms, plants, seeds, bacteria, and other living matter was included in the flight. Before re-entry the gyroscopic platform went off line due to ground operator failure. However this time the self destruct command was not given. After a ballistic 20G re-entry the capsule splashed down in the Indian Ocean at 32:63 S, 65:55 E on September 21, 1968 16:08 GMT. Soviet naval vessels were 100 km from the landing location and recovered the spacecraft the next day, shipping it via Bombay back to Soviet Union.
Test flight of manned circumlunar spacecraft. Successfully launched towards the moon with a scientific payload including cosmic-ray and micrometeoroid detectors, photography equipment, and a biological specimens. A midcourse correction on 12 November resulted in a loop around the moon at an altitude of 2,420 km on 14 November. Zond 6 took spectacular photos of the moon’s limb with the earth in the background. Photographs were also taken of the lunar near and far side with panchromatic film from distances of approximately 11,000 km and 3300 km. Each photo was 12.70 by 17.78 cm. Some of the views allowed for stereo pictures. On the return leg a gasket failed, leading to cabin depressurisation, which would have been fatal to a human crew. The 7K-L1 then made the first successful double skip trajectory, dipping into the earth's atmosphere over Antarctica, slowing from 11 km/sec to suborbital velocity, then skipping back out into space before making a final re-entry onto Soviet territory. After the re-entry the main parachute ejected prematurely, ripping the main canopy, leading to the capsule being destroyed on impact with the ground. One negative was recovered from the camera container and a small victory obtained over the Americans. But the criteria for a manned flight had obviously not been met and Mishin's only hope to beet the Americans was a failure or delay in the Apollo 8 flight set for December. The next Zond test was set for January.
Gagarin, Komarov, Nikolayev, Bykovsky, Khrunov, Gorbatko, Voronov, Kolodin, Popovich, Gubarev, Artyukhin, Gylyayev, Belousov, Kolesnikov, Volynov, Doborvolsky, Voronov, Zhobolov.
Launch failure - but the abort system again functioned perfectly, taking the capsule to a safe landing (in Mongolia!) Zond 7K-L1 activity now stops; effort turns to launching unmanned soil return vehicle and first N-1 launch.
Planned first manned circumnavigation of the moon. On 24 September 1968 Bykovskiy/Rukavishnikov were the prime candidates for the first Soviet circumlunar flight. Just three days later, when the crews were named, Leonov was selected as commander of the first mission, with Makarov as the flight engineer. Soviet plans to beat America around the moon were upstaged by the sudden decision to fly Apollo 8 into lunar orbit over Christmas 1968. Given problems with obtaining a trouble-free Soyuz 7K-L1 unmanned flight, it would probably not have been possible to make a Soviet equivalent flight until March 1969. It was decided after the American success to cancel any 'second place' Soviet manned circumlunar flights.
Planned second Soviet circumlunar flight. Cancelled after the success of the American Apollo 8. On 24 September 1968 Bykovskiy/Rukavishnikov were the prime candidates for the first Soviet circumlunar flight. When the crews were named, they had been bumped to the second flight.
Planned third and final Russian circumlunar flight. On 24 September 1968 Popovich/Makarov were the prime candidates for the third Soviet circumlunar flight. When the crews were named, Makarov was moved to the first crew and Sevastyanov was named Popovich's flight engineer.
Circumlunar flight; successfully recovered in USSR August 13, 1969. Only completely successful L1 flight that could have returned cosmonauts alive or uninjured to earth. Official mission was further studies of the moon and circumlunar space, to obtain colour photography of the earth and the moon from varying distances, and to flight test the spacecraft systems. Earth photos were obtained on August 9, 1969. On August 11, 1969, the spacecraft flew past the moon at a distance of 1984.6 km and conducted two picture taking sessions. Successfully accomplished double-dip re-entry and landed 50 km from aim point near Kustani in the USSR.
Final circumlunar flight; successfully recovered October 26, 1970. The announced objectives were investigations of the moon and circumlunar space and testing of onboard systems. The spacecraft obtained photographs of the earth on October 21 from a distance of 64,480 km. The spacecraft transmitted flight images of the earth for three days. Zond 8 flew past the moon on October 24, 1970, at a distance of 1,110.4 km and obtained both black and white and colour photographs of the lunar surface. Scientific measurements were also obtained during the flight. Again the re-entry guidance system failed, and a 20 G ballistic re-entry was followed by splashdown at the emergency recovery point in the Indian Ocean.
Despite decision to cancel immediate manned circumlunar flights after Apollo 8, the remaining two L-1 spacecraft were kept in reserve for support of the L3 lunar landing program and possible later manned flights. They were never used.