Complex N1-L3

The Government Decree of June 23, 1960 "On the Development of Powerful Launch vehicles, Satellites, Spacecraft, and Space Exploration in 1960-1967" has been enacted to develop complex N1-L3.
For the N1 LV design studies a payload of 75 t mass. It was assumed to use liquid-propellant engines working on oxygen-kerosene on all stages. A launch mass of LV with this payload was 2200 t. Burning of liquid hydrogen in the capacity of propellant allowed to increase a payload mass to 90-100 t with the same launch mass.
Based on launch vehicle N1 it was possible to design a standardized fleet of rockets:

  • N11 using stages II, III, and IV from launch vehicle N1 with a launch mass of 700 t and a payload of 20 t placed into the artificial Earth satellite orbit of 300 km high;
  • N111 using stages III and IV of launch vehicle N1 and stage II from rocket R-9A with a launch mass of 200 t and a payload of 5 t delivered to the artificial Earth satellite orbit 300 km high.

Work on complex N1 were carried out under direct management of S. P. Korolev, a head of the Board of Chief Designers. After his death in 1966, his first deputy, V. P. Mishin, assumed responsibility for work on N1-L3.
On August 3, 1964, the Government Decree stated for the first time that the most important challenge to be meet in space exploration using the launch vehicle N1 was to explore the Moon including an expedition landing to its surface an its subsequent return to the Earth.
The rocket complex including LV N1 and lunar system L3 intended for landing to the lunar surface and returning a crew of 2 to the Earth (with one crew member landing to the lunar surface) was designed as N1-L3.

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