This page no longer updated from 31 October 2001. Latest version can be found at L2-1963

1963 L2 robot lunar rover spacecraft. L2 configuration speculative based on early Ye-8 rover design studies at OKB-1.

20,394 bytes. 644 x 178 pixels.

Manufacturer's Designation: L2-9K-11K-13K. Class: Planetary. Type: Lunar. Nation: USSR. Manufacturer: OKB-1.

The L2 was a project to land a remote-controlled self-propelled rover on the surface of the moon. It was described in a 23 September 1963 letter setting out the space exploration plan for 1965 to 1975. It would use the same rocket stage and tanker elements developed for the L1 manned circumlunar project. It can be seen to be the direct ancestor of the Ye-8 Lunokhod landers of the 1970ís.

The objective of the L-2 would be to conduct scientific research on the lunar surface and to allow selection of a favourable landing point for later manned flights. A television system would send back panoramic television pictures.

The rover would be nuclear-powered and equipped with a radio beacon for later manned expeditions to home on for precision landings. It would also investigate:

The L-2 system consisted of:

Total mass of the L-2 + 13K + 9K complex at ignition of the 9K for translunar injection was 23,000 kg. Total mass of the L-2 and 13K in their translunar cruise configuration was 5,000 kg. As was the case for the L-1, six launches of the Soyuz 11A511 booster would be required to assemble the L-2 in a 225 km low earth assembly orbit.


Total Mass: 23,000 kg.

L2-1963 Chronology

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.


Back to Index
Last update 12 March 2001.
Contact Mark Wade with any corrections or comments.
Conditions for use of drawings, pictures, or other materials from this site..
© Mark Wade, 2001 .