Complex N1-L3

Lunar Complex

The L3 system was designed of rocket stages G and D, its Lunar Orbiter (LOK) and rocket stage I, and its lunar vehicle (LK) and rocket stage E, a payload fairing protecting systems from aerodynamic and heat exposure in dense layers of atmosphere that was jettisoned when certain velocity heads have been achieved, as well as an emergency rescue system PU for the Lunar Orbiter descent module escape from the accidental LV.
Complex N1-L3 mission plan:

  • placing of system L3 on launch vehicle N1 to the artificial Earth satellite orbit (staying on the artificial Earth satellite orbit up to 1 day);
  • boosting of system L3 by stage G to transfer to the Earth-Moon flight trajectory (stage G is operating up to complete depletion);
  • after-boost of system L3 by stage D to achieving a specified velocity, execution of two corrections, and transfer of system L3 (stage D-lunar vehicle-lunar Orbiter) to the artificial Moon satellite orbit; flight time to the Moon - 3.5 days, staying in the artificial Moon satellite orbit - up to 4 days;
  • transfer of system L3 using stage D from the circular orbit to the elliptical orbit, attitude control and alignment;
  • motion of one cosmonaut from the lunar vehicle to the Lunar Orbiter;
  • separation of the lunar landing system (stage D and lunar vehicle) from the Lunar Orbiter;
  • turn and braking of the lunar vehicle by means of stage D;
  • separation and escape of stage D;
  • braking by means of stage E, maneuvering, alignment, and landing of the lunar vehicle to the lunar surface; time of staying on the lunar surface - from 6 to 24 hours;
  • liftoff of the lunar vehicle from the lunar surface by means of stage E and docking with the Lunar Orbiter in the artificial Moon satellite orbit (time of staying in the artificial Moon satellite orbit - up to 1 day);
  • boosting of the Lunar Orbiter by means of stage I in the Moon-Earth trajectory, re-boosting (flight time to the Earth - 3.5 days);
  • separation of the descent module, re-entry at an escape velocity, gliding descent and landing within the USSR territory.

The total mission time is 11-12 days.
The lunar vehicle mass prior to landing to the lunar surface should be 5560 kg including stage E of 2950 kg. The lunar vehicle launch mass is 3800 kg. Its height is 5.2 m, dimensions across the descent module supports - 5.4 m.

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