TwitterFacebook

Site news

Site map

Testimonials

About this site

About the author

Mailbox


ADVERTISE


SPONSOR


Searching for details:

The author of this page will appreciate comments, corrections and imagery related to the subject. Please contact Anatoly Zak.


Related pages:

N1

N1 ICBM


N1-3L

N1 No. 3L


NK-33

NK-33


Soyuz-2

Soyuz-2-3


Lunar program guide:

Program chronology

Chronology of the Moon Race

N1

L3

N1/Block G

N1/Block D

LK/Block E

LOK/Block I


N1 launch facilities


Soviet plans for lunar base


DALS

DALS


Acknowledgement:

The author would like to thank Dmitry Vorontsov for additions.

 

 

 

 

Book

SIGNED COPIES NOW AVAILABLE!


A scale model of the N1 rocket and its launch pad. Copyright © 2002 Anatoly Zak


The NK engine, which powered the first stage of the N1 rocket. Copyright © 2000 Anatoly Zak


Test station No. 2 (IS-2) at NIIKhimmash research facility near Sergiev Posad, formerly Zagorsk, was used for test firings of the engines for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th stages of the N1-L3 complex. Credit: NIIKhimmash


Years after the demise of the Soviet lunar program, shrouds, tanks and other pieces of the giant N-1 rockets remain scattered around Baikonur, serving as storage, gazebos and playgrounds. Copyright © 2000 Anatoly Zak


Flight

First launch of the N1 rocket on Feb. 21, 1969.


 

 

 

N1 MOON ROCKET

At the beginning of the 1960s, the OKB-1 design bureau led by Sergei Korolev started work on a super-heavy rocket booster, later designated N1. Originally proposed as a multipurpose vehicle for a variety of military and scientific tasks, the N1 evolved into a project with a single mission -- to beat America to the Moon. However, the N1's catastrophic failures during four test launches in 1969-1972 doomed the Soviet effort to land a man on the Moon and left the ill-fated rocket under a veil of secrecy for decades.


N1-L3 system overview (111)

Total length
105 meters
Maximum diameter
17 meters
Liftoff mass
2,783-2,825 tons
Dry mass
281 tons
Total mass of liquid oxygen oxidizer (three stages - Block A, B and V combined)
1,780 tons
Total mass of kerosene fuel (three stages - Block A, B and V combined)
680 tons
Liftoff thrust
4,500 tons
Payload mass to low Earth orbit, LEO
95 tons

N1 family overview (84)

Version
Payload, t
Launch mass, t
Dry mass, m
Engine thrust*
Length, m
N1
82
2,825
281
4,500
105
N11
20-24
700-770
-
-
-
N11GR
9
1,012
67
-
-
N111
5
200
-
-
-
N1U
95
2,750
260
4,500
105
N1UV-III
115
2,900
285
4,500
120
N1F
100
2,950
280
5,250
110
N1FV-III
125
3,000
300
5,250
125
N1MV-II-III
150
3,250
355
5,250
145
N1M (Mod. 1)
155
4,950
470
7,500
135
N1M (Mod. 2)
175
5,300
505
7,500
140
N1MV-III (Mod. 1)
185
4,950
490
7,500
145
N1MV-III (Mod. 2)
205
5,350
520
7,500
150
N1MV-II, -III
230
5,200
530
7,500
165

*Total first stage engine thrust


Major participants in the N1 development

Even at the early stage, a wide array of the Soviet institutions had to be involved in such complex project as the N1 (52):

Development area Organization Leading Designer
Propulsion (Initial studies)
OKB-456
V. Glushko
Propulsion (Stage I, II and III)
OKB-276
N. Kuznetsov
RD-57 engine for a follow-on Block S upper stage
OKB-165
A. M. Lylka
RD-56 engine for a follow-on Block R and Sr upper stages
KB Khimmash
A. Isaev
Flight control system
NII-885
N. A. Pilyugin
Flight control system
NII-944
V. I. Kuznetsov
Launch infrastructure
GSKB Spetsmash
V. P. Barmin
Ground control infrastructure
NII-4
A. I. Sokolov
Propellant supply and tank purging systems
OKB-12
A. S. Abramov
Aerodynamics
NII-88
Yu. A. Mozhorin
Aerodynamics
TsAGI
V. M. Myasishev
Aerodynamics
NII-1
V. Ya. Likhushin
Manufacturing process
Paton institute
B. E. Paton
Manufacturing process
NITI-40
Ya. V. Kolupaev
Manufacturing process
Progress Plant
A. Ya. Linkov
Propulsion system testing and development
NII-229
G. M. Tabakov
N1/L3 payload fairing
ZIKh
-

Test launches of the N1 rocket:

Feb. 21, 1969: The first test launch of the N1 rocket (Vehicle No. 3L) carrying a 7K-L1A (7K-L1S) spacecraft failed 68.7 seconds after liftoff.

July 3, 1969: The second test launch of the N1 rocket (Vehicle No. 5L) carrying a 7K-L1A (7K-L1S) spacecraft failed immediately after liftoff.

June 27, 1971: The third launch of the N1 rocket (Vehicle No. 6L) failed at 50.1 seconds after liftoff from the left pad of the Site 110 in Baikonur.

Nov. 23, 1972: The fourth launch of the N1 rocket (Vehicle No. 7L) carrying an operational LOK spacecraft and a mockup of the LK lunar module failed about 107 seconds after liftoff.

 


Submit this story to:
digg Digg it! delicious del.icio.us fark Fark! slashdot Slashdot

 

Writing and photography by Anatoly Zak

Last update: February 23, 2014

All rights reserved