[FPSPACE] N1 and TELLMAN
nodin at sbcglobal.net
Sun Apr 29 04:04:51 EDT 2007
Many have asked just where I fit into the N1 story and what made me so sure of what I have said. Well, at first, when I was a new troop with the US Army SpaCol boys, I helped feed the TELLMAN and earlier telemetry processing systems as a covert space collector during the years when N1 was of prime interest (1968-70), later I was key to developing processing software, ROCKET2 and SixDOF, for it and other intelligence agency supercomputers using telemetered data to produce extremely accurate and detailed flight, trajectory and resulting orbital path reconstructions. In the end, I saw and used everything known in those early days by the west about the N1 and every resource available.
A brief description of the supercomputers, report storage systems and RISSMAN, the TELLMAN follow-on system, is included in the material contained within the following link. http://www.nsa.gov/museum/museu00018.cfm#rissman
From 1971 through 1974, based upon those TELLMAN outputs and a fresh and newly developed understanding of what it all meant, and through supercomputer simulation programs like my reprogramming of ROCKET (Rand's Omnibus Calculator of Kinematic Earth Traces) I, almost alone, literally rewrote the entire catalog of Department of Defense assessments of every known foreign missile and rocket system on the face of our planet. It refuted much of the assessment work done by CIA, FTD and the other intelligence agencies who reported to the Department of Defense. I used data from known US systems to verify the validity of my foreign models.
I was first in the west (in 1972) to fully understand the METEOR launch vehicle (R7) and its many other variants, and to accurately simulate flight to orbit and assess METEOR's mass on orbit! My model missed the mass of the payload by about 3 Kg out of a 1200 Kg total, just half the mass then estimated by CIA. CIA didn't trust my models because they figured that I had not accounted for ambient launch temperatures and pressures, and the cold soaking of the R7 stages. But, just a few months later, when the Soviets first announced the actual mass of METOER as 1200 Kg, my model estimate of 2640 pounds (mass) looked pretty good!
In 1976, though at the time working already for two years as a civilian contractor for the government on a fairly high priority N1 project, I developed a similar full understanding of the N1 launch vehicle and its missions. But, my lengthy reports, many several inches thick, met with a "who-gives-a-damn" attitude from both the intelligence community and NASA. That silhouette which appeared in the CIA-written NIE, was from one of my earlier reports, but the comparitive silholuettes of Saturn V and N1 saved one classification compartment stamp by avoiding the use of the high resolution satellite photograph of the N1. It was much the same as Mishin's sketch when Soviet photographs were still secret in Russia.
Unfortunately, by the end of 1976, there was almost NO governmental interest in the failed N1 on either side, and Glushko had already managed to kill the N1 to begin work on his own Energiya. There are yet to be many revelations of much of what I learned about space launchers, rockets and missiles, both strategic and tactical, from around the world.
I believe that although the payload was dead or inert, on 5 December 1989, Iraq's Al Abid did launch and put something into orbit, most likely a 100 Kg item that didn't stay there long. NORAD tracked it! NORAD was not daft, but it was politically overridden! During the Gulf War, the Al Anvar launch facilities were destroyed as one of the first on the list operations in January 1991.
RISSMAN was pretty much retired when the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union broke up, but it was by far not the end of the story.
Have a good day,
Edwin "N Odin" Cameron
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