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.
Would have simulated the passive LK lunar lander in an earth-orbit test of the Kontakt docking system.