mature mass and operating characteristics of rocket R-1,
its designers proposed to use an integral fuel tank and
a warhead separated from the rocket at the ascent phase
completion. In this case, only the ascent phase appeared
to be rated for the launch vehicle and considerably more
favorable regarding mechanical and thermal loads as compared
to the atmospheric portion of the descent phase of the flight
trajectory. To verify experimentally those new ideas, mainly
to investigate peculiar features of the warhead separation
process at the ascent phase completion, rocket R-1A has
been developed. However, since many organizations showed
interest in using the new rocket for their purposes, the
experiment program fell far beyond the original plan.
Rocket R-1A became the first rocket to carry science equipment
in recoverable containers to upper atmospheric layers (the
containers were located in a section of the rocket stabilizers).
The solution to separate the warhead turned to be so good
that it was employed in all subsequent domestic rockets.