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Unmasking N1-L3

An In-depth Analysis of a Critical Aspect of the Cold War:
The Soviet Manned Lunar Programs, from the American and Russian Perspective.



08-16-04

The Soviet Manned Lunar Race Milestones As Seen in the CORONA/KH-1- 4B, GAMBIT/KH-7, GAMBIT/KH-8 & HEXAGON/KH-9 Imagery

Events in the Development of the SL-12/Proton-Zond & SL-X-15/N1-L3 Boosters




By Charles P. Vick 1998-2004 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



Disclaimer

The opinions and evaluations stated here in are only the author's and cannot be construed to reflect those of any Government agency, company, institute or association. It is based on public information, circumstantial evidence, informed speculation, declassified U.S. intelligence community documents, official Russian documents and histories, oral histories, interviews and engineering analysis. As with all data regarding the former Soviet space programs, this analysis is subject to revision--and represents a work in progress.


UNMASKING N1-L3
An In-depth Analysis of a Critical Aspect of the Cold War: The Soviet Manned Lunar Programs, from the American and Russian Perspective.

8-16-04

The Soviet Manned Lunar Race Milestones As Seen in the CORONA/KH-1- 4B, GAMBIT/KH-7, GAMBIT/KH-8 & HEXAGON/KH-9 Imagery

Events in the Development of the SL-12/Proton-Zond & SL-X-15/N1-L3 Boosters

By Charles P. Vick 1998-2004-2009 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Declassification of formerly classified U.S. intelligence imagery, documents and parts of the former Soviet Union/Russian space industry, and Baikonur Cosmodrome histories, are helping fill in large gaps in the historical record of the Soviet side of the manned Lunar race as illuminated by both Russian and American perspectives. This documents purpose is to identify what the actual activity of the N1-L3/ "J" vehicle and the Proton/Zond/ SL-12 vehicles were on the Baikonur Cosmodrome regardless of what the U. S. intelligence community thought was going on. It also was developed to define what actual activities were observed by U. S. intelligence versus those that were not imaged or monitored by U. S. SIGINT operations. The "J" vehicle, with its J-1, J-2, launch pads TT 05 the SL-15/N1 L3, Soviet manned lunar landing launch vehicle program was the direct competitor to Saturn-V/Apollo-11. Proton-Zond/SL-12 launch vehicle of the Soviet manned lunar circumnavigation program with its 81 L, R (G-3, G-4) launch pads was the direct competitor to Saturn-V/Apollo 8.

The following charted data identifies the full scope of the Soviet manned lunar milestones activity carried out (and partially observed by the U. S. intelligence community assets) at the Soviet Baikonur Cosmodrome during the 1960s and first half of the 1970s. It is based on the official activity records of the Baikonur Cosmodrome and the cross referencing with the declassified U. S., CORONA/KH-1- 4B, and GAMBIT/KH-7 imagery along with the analysis of open source data to identify the GAMBIT/KH-8 & HEXAGON/KH-9 Imagery records.

Official records of the N1-L3, "J" vehicle activity from the Baikonur Cosmodrome were provided by Lt. Col. Vladimir Antipov, Russian Space Forces (retired), the former head of the student GIRN1 group (Group for the study of N1). Activity records on the Proton-Zond/SL-12 were developed from open official Soviet/Russian and Western records. CORONA/KH-1- 4B, and GAMBIT/KH-7 imagery records were researched by Charles P. Vick of Globalsecurity.org. The GAMBIT/KH-8 & HEXAGON/KH-9 twenty five to thirty year old Imagery and archival records still not declassified by the U. S. intelligence community were developed by Charles P. Vick's precursor research paper to this milestones document, "Revealing Some of The Top Secret Follow-on Reconnaissance Satellite Imagery & Data from Open Sources". The scope of this document does not provide all of the references used because that is not the intent - complete reference materials will be provided in detail in a future publication. It should also be noted that specific interviews with living retired U. S. government personnel will not be identified to their names because the GAMBIT/KH-8, HEXAGON/KH-9 & SIGINT programs have not yet been officially declassified.

UNMASKING N1-L3

An In-depth Analysis of a Critical Aspect of the Cold War: The Soviet Manned Lunar Programs, from the American & Russian Perspective.

The Soviet Manned Lunar Race Milestones As Seen in the CORONA/KH-1- 4B, GAMBIT/KH-7, GAMBIT/KH-8 & HEXAGON/KH-9 Imagery Events in the Development of the SL-12/Proton-Zond & SL-X-15/N1-L3 Boosters

06-07-04

By Charles P. Vick1998-2004 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

# Roll out date or event date

D-M-YR.

N1-L3 launch vehicle versions or Proton, launch vehicle version. Historical event/Testing tasks carried out and CORONA KH-1-4B, KH-7/GAMBIT, GAMBIT/KH-8, and HEXAGON/KH-9 imagery observation dates. D-M-YR. Roll back or launch date

D-M-YR.

1 29-04-62 Proton SL-9, D super ICBM development approved by State Decree.
2 xx-03-63 Construction started in March 1963 on Proton SL-9, D infrastructure including launch complex 81 Left and Right (G-3, G-4). CORONA imagery documents this development in April, August and September 1963.
A 21-03-63 Start of Area 110 launch complex 38, design development. This is when the on site housing construction was started as the construction battalions completed the Yangel silo missile facilities. The construction started in earnest in spring 1964 and 1965 the construction battalion's housing was nearly completed. A large complex in excess of 100 building was built in two phases on Site-118. Military construction teams built about 50 one-story dormitory/barracks and offices, and ware- houses to contain themselves and their families. They later built 14 "H-shaped" higher-quality dormitory buildings and 25 additional buildings for ware houses for storage, lay-down yards and dining halls to support the operations. These barracks would later be used to house on-site support and service personnel and families. Also built were several motor pool and fuel storage facilities. Some 15 buildings were built in the "Construction Support Complex" area with 8 additional structures by the military construction teams. Construction troops also built, in the "Construction Support" area a coal-fired, steam heat and power plant next to the main aggregate concrete mixing facility, numerous concrete form casting area=s, fabrication buildings and building materials lay down yards as well as numerous warehouses built through out the total N1-L3 infrastructure. Subsequently, they built 25-30 concrete cast prefabricated multi-story Khrushchev-era "Soviet Modern", design four and five story balcony Apartment buildings and 6 technical support buildings for the on site engineers, managers, technician constructors and scientists. That was prior to construction of the main launch facility that included the N1 MIK ([Montazhno-ispytatelnyi korpus -Assembly and Test Building factory assembly building) later that year. The N1, MIK was constructed with three high bays and two low bays was 240 meters long, 190 meters wide and some 60 meters high, had 12 warehouse=s alone in addition to the subsequently built administrative receiving warehouse restaurant building completed in 1971/72. Bays 3, 4 and 5 used 200 metric ton capacity bridge cranes with four of them in bays 4 and 5 making it possible to lift the first three stages of the N1, "J" vehicle fully assembled with the 800 ton capacity.(3) They also started work in 1965 in area-2B on the "MIKKO-2B" [Montazhno-ispytatelnyi korpus kosmicheskikh obyektov - Assembly & Test Building of Space Objects-2B] for the "L-3" spacecraft parallel to the Soyuz-Sputnik MIK building.(3) The "MIKKO-2B" is over 200 meters long, 35 meters wide and 25 meters high and is divided into two halves.(3) CORONA imagery of 02-04-63 barely revealed evidence of the early construction start subsequent to surveying.
B 01-09-63 Start of launch vehicle infrastructure construction. The Site-112 factory and warehouse=s facilities were to be built before the first of two subsequent launch facilities were initiated. Surprise confirmation of the construction is seen in CORONA imagery of 26-09-63 following months of cloud cover obscured imagery of the Baikonur Cosmodrome. This imagery provoked NASA Administrator James E. Webb=s first statement of uncertain evidence of the existence of the Soviet manned lunar program, in addition to Khrushchev=s statements of November 1963, again in July and August 1964. December 1960 through May 1972 CORONA/KH-1 - 4B imagery and September 1964 through December 1966 GAMBIT/KH-7 imagery in aggregate chronicled the lunar race, especially the "G-4, G-3 & "J" facility construction design and progress in depth and detail sufficient to advise policy planners on Soviet schedule planning.
3 xx-xx-64 Proton=s SL-9 right pad 81 R (G-4) is completed during the spring and summer, 1964, as seen in CORONA imagery of June 1964.
C 01-09-64 Launch pad - 38 area 110-East (right) called 11P582/(11U24) construction groundbreaking confirmed by CORONA imagery on 21/22-09-64 & KH-7/GAMBIT imagery on 24-7-64. This evidence supported NASA Administrator James E. Webb to state that he was now certain that the Soviet manned lunar program was being developed to compete with the U. S. Apollo/Saturn-V program, flight test expected in 1967 when Saturn-V was to be flight tested. The "Moon Race" became real to the United States at this point in time.
4 xx-09-64 Proton SL-9, D The Proton FSTV (Facilities Systems Test Vehicle) is spotted in the gantry on pad 81R (G-4) on 21/22-09-64 by CORONA imagery.
5 xx-12-64 The second Proton pad 81L (G-3), completed late fall to December 1964 as seen in CORONA imagery.
6 31-03-65 Proton -1, SL-9, D Proton-1 is caught in the open on CORONA imagery as it is being rolled back horizontally from the 81R, (G-4) pad on March 31, 1965. This gave the U.S. its first view of Proton=s SL-9 design details at the time when the U.S. began to understand the R-7/Sputnik, Lunik/Vostok, Molniya, and Voskhod booster designs.
D 01-04-65 implied by what seen in Corona imagery. 1-02-66 from official Baikonur records. Start of construction on launch pad 37 area 110-West (left). CORONA imagery confirmed on 15-06-65. Construction was started between March and April 1965. The reason for difference between the CORONA implied dates and the official Baikonur documentation dates is unclear. Both may in fact be right for different reasons. CORONA imagery was clear that construction ground breaking started in the spring of 1965. There was no reliable GAMBIT/KH-7 imagery of the "J" facilities propellant farm of the general infrastructure due to frequent cloud cover through out 1965. This hampered certain identification of the propellants to be used for the "J" vehicle, though it was suspected to be hydrocarbon based. The propellants were not confirmed until near the end of the Cold War in the late 1980's based on information released by the Soviets and interviews with former U. S. government personnel.
7 15-06-65 Proton-1, SL-9, D Proton-1 reappeared on pad 81R, not on 81L as suggested in the official Baikonur records on the 28-5-65 KH-7/GAMBIT & June 15, 1965 CORONA imagery. Launch success 16-07-65
7A 23-3-66 Proton-3A, SL-9, D Proton-3A spotted on pad 81R not 81L by KH-7/GAMBIT imagery on 23-3-66. CORONA, KH-7/GAMBIT imagery again "corrects" the official records of the Baikonur Cosmodrome. During 1966 the two Proton gantries receive additional service levels to accommodate the added upper stages and new payloads. Between May 1966 and February 1967 new Kerosene and LOX propellant handling facilities are added to the Proton launch facilities for the new Blok-D fourth stage. This is documented through various CORONA missions in May and August 1966 and January 1967. Launch Failure 24-03-66
DA 2-11-xx-66 N1-MIK internal Jig Construction for stage factory assembly The N1 first stage universal welding stand (jig) USS was completed on 2 -5-1966. Second and third stage jigs were completed on 1-11-1966. Other test facilities also were completed. (2)
E 15-11-66 First elements of N1-L3 (1M1) booster components arrive on the Baikonur Cosmodrome from Kuibyshev (Samara) as early as May 1966 followed by the bulk in Nov., Dec., 1966/Jan., 1967 according to GIRN-1 Group. This was covered by CORONA imagery of Nov. 15, 1966 and January 20, 1967 with the first trainload=s arrival. The nature of this activity was not apparent. It confirms the CIA analysis Intelligence Report predictions of October 1965. This was not covered by GAMBIT/KH-7 imagery.
7 B 09-02-67 Proton-Zond (2L) Kosmos-146 Kosmos-146 sighted by KH-7/Gambit imagery on pad 81L on 2-9-67. This was the first test flight of the Proton/Zond circumlunar spacecraft and booster combination. Launched 10-03-67 partial success
xx-06-07-67 MIKKO-2B, [Montazhno-ispytatelnyi korpus kosmicheskikh obyektov - Assembly & Test Building of Space Objects-2B] In mid-summer, 1967, the MIKKO-2B spacecraft assembly building was visible in CORONA imagery sitting parallel to the Soyuz/Sputnik MIK, basically competed and ready to receive the first elements of the spacecraft ground test hardware. (7)
F 31-08-67 & xx-09-11-67 Launch pad 38 area 110 East completed, Progress on site factory completes ground test hardware & MIKKO-2B received ground test and flight spacecraft hardware Launch pad 38 area 110 East completed as seen in. CORONA imagery August 14, and November 7, 1967. The construction clean up continued into March 1968 as seen in CORONA imagery on March 19, 1968. By October 1967 the on site Progress factory within the N1 MIK had completed the first ground test vehicle 1M1, (11A52) facilities system test, training and logistic vehicle model of N1-L3. (6) The 1M1 (L-1S) mock-ups of Block-G, Block-D, and 7K-L1A(T) along with the payload shroud and LET/SAS Launch Escape Tower/Safety Assurance System were being processed by October through November 1967.(7) Within the MIKKO-2B area the L-3S payload had completed and was shipped by rail, fully assembled, to the rear of the N1-MIK for adapting to the front of the N1 booster first three stages by mid November. (5)
1

2

02-11-67-03-11-67

03-11-67

1M1, "J" vehicle mock-up without an L-3 payload mock-up The first of two railway roll-out tests and testing of the erector and transporter with pad installation refinements. This was first rollout. The second rollout occurred on the same day. This activity took 15 hours to accomplish with repeated work stoppages that required further adjustments to the erector-transporter's equipment and to the pad hold down support ring, (6) due to improper rotational center line positioning of the booster in the erector adjustment equipment by the MIK bridge cranes. Further refinements to the erectors adjustments unit were carried out on 22-11-67. (6) There is GAMBIT KH-8-9 mission number 47 (launched Oct 25, 1967) imagery taken on November 2, 1967 which illuminated this key event. The nearly all gray first three stages except for some white on the third stage of "J" vehicle 1M1 apparently was caught in the open laid out horizontally on its strong back without its head white colored L-3 mock-up Lunar payload. This while it was being rolled out or back from the pad on its TUA erector transporter. The angle of the image did not allow for a clear view of the engines on the first stage which could not be seen in what is describes as a very dark contrast oblique near forward view image with considerable wet ground from snow melt. The booster appeared as a long "fat bullet" in shape or perhaps is better described as a long reentry cone shaped warhead in appearance. It was the first image of N1 without the L-3 payload. The first US image of the N1-L3 total stack was not acquired until December 11, 1967 by CORONA. There is no CORONA imagery of this event. 02-11-67- 03-11-67

03-11-67

3 27-11-67 1M1 (N1-L3S) mock-up with an L-3 payload mock-up. Installed on launch pad 38 area 110 East (right) on 29-11-67. This third roll out and erection onto the pad took less than 4 hours to accomplish by 10 AM in the morning. The erector transporter (TUA) remained in place on the launch facility beside the pad with the booster lying down on its strong back on 30-11-67. The difference in the 25th and the 27th relates to the official Baikonur documented date of the 27th and the original published date of the 25th.
There is no CORONA or GAMBIT coverage of this event.
30-11-67 (removal) Lowered from the pad only by the erector.
4 01-12-67 re-erected on to pad 1M1 mock-up with an L-3 payload mock-up. Installed on launch pad 38 area 110 East on 01-12-67. Communications capability testing. Confirmed by CORONA mission-1102-1 imagery on 11-12-67 with the erector transporter present for vehicle removal from the launch pad 38 area 110 - East. Interviews with former U.S government personnel strongly indicate U.S. SIGINT detected this activity. This was the first image of the N1-L3 complete lunar booster ground test vehicle stack. GAMBIT KH-8-10 mission number 48 imagery based on orbital "Two Line Element" ground track analysis failed to cover this event on its only imagery pass over Tyuratam on 15-12-1967. 11-12-67
8 G ??-03-68
??-04-68
Proton Zond (6L), N1-L3 & Soyuz activity? There is the known build up to the Proton Zond-4A (6L) launch activity of 02-03-68 from Soviet/Russian published information. Suggestions from interviews with former U.S government personnel strongly suggest N1-L3 activity in addition to the potential Soyuz and known Proton Zond-4A activity continue to be factually un-established because the GAMBIT/KH-8 imagery and SIGINT information obtained remains classified preventing the historical factual establishment of these events that need to be confirmed or refuted. This event was not covered by COROAN imagery. GAMBIT KH-8-11 imagery mission numbers 49, launched January 18 imaged the "J", "A" facilities on 1-27-1968. The "G-3, 4" facility was imaged on 2-4-1968 after the Proton/Zond -4A launch of 02-03-1968. KH-8-12 mission number 50 launched March 13, 1968 imaged the "J", "A" facilities on 3-15-1968 while the "G-3, 4" facilities were not imaged. ??-??-??
5 26-4-68 1M1 mock-up with an L3 mock-up payload Installed on launch pad 38 Area 110 -East. Successful completion of the erector, adjustment equipment and pad calibration test. (6) Suggestions from interviews with former U.S government personnel strong suggest of N1-L3 testing activity in March and April 1968 confirmed by this official Baikonur activity records Russian data. CORONA imagery neither confirms nor refutes this. L-3 build-up caught in open behind N1 MIK 06-02-68. The rollout event was on 4-26-1968 was during or just after the GAMBIT KH-8-13 mission number 51 launched on April 17, 1968 on its 4-26-1968 imaging pass that required a slightly longer range. It could have imaged the full 1M1, N1-L3 vehicle stack on its horizontal Transport Erector/TUA during rollout. The exact date of the "J" vehicle's removal from the pad remains an issue, except that it was during April 1968. The turning tower gantry was rotated to the vehicle receiving position next to the pad. One additional imaging pass on 4-25-1968 required a shorter range though the rollout would have been missed. Presumably the Soviet delayed the rollout by one day because of the predictable imagery pass. However, it appears that the predictable KH-8-13 imaging passes may have captured the rollout. Interviews with former U. S. government personnel strongly suggest that the vehicle was imaged on the "J" vehicle infrastructure during this period. The "G-3, 4" Proton facilities were imaged on 4-25-1968 with no vehicle present. In the winter of 1967-68 the flight qualified L-3S hardware had arrived at the MIKKO-2B spacecraft assembly building for processing. ??-05-68
6 07-05-68 The first flight vehicle # 3L booster sent to the pad with the first L3S # 3 (L-1S) payload. 1M1 mock-up with an L3 mock-up payload? The first TUA-1 erector transporter moved back inside N1, MIK confirmed by CORONA 3-5-68 for 7-5-68 rollout. Installation on launch pad 38 area 110 - East LOX and, kerosene fueling tests. A series of countdown demonstrations revealed a whole series of booster problems not previously detected. Interviews with former U.S government personnel strongly indicate U.S. SIGINT operations picked up on these interrupted and extended countdowns demonstration activities. James E. Webb, NASA's administrator long predicted flight test of the "J" vehicle that was then starring the US in the face had finally appeared only to be abruptly stopped with no launch. N1-L3 removed from pad before 20-06-68 per CORONA imagery (no vehicle on pad 20-06-68). Based on the Mishin Diaries, it appears to have been removed from the pad during June 10-12, 1968 or immediately afterwards with the "end to end test results declared unsatisfactory" showing many defects especially in the structural area. Microscopic crack or stress fractures appeared in the area of the Block-A rocket body=s airframe in the area of the reinforced first stage LOX tank. The booster was removed from the pad and its first stage Block-A repaired and modified with new vertical stringer airframe reinforcements after the repairs were first done to 1M1 the Facilities Systems Tests and Training Vehicle. Its back-up booster 4 L was disassembled and sent back to the factory in (Kuybyshev) Samara after the 3L vehicle launch failure on 21-02-69. Some portions of the 4L, Block-A engine boat tail were left at the Baikonur Cosmodrome as declared scrap. This was the major set back in the N1-L3 flight testing schedule. Corrections required considerable reorganization of the flight testing plans, including a hardware shuffle-- much like that done with the Saturn-V's schedule after suffering several ground test failures. The 4L booster was to be rebuilt and flown one month after the 12L planned launch schedule. At this juncture, June 09, 1968 the U.S.S.R. manned lunar schedule was seven months in trail of the U. S. Apollo program schedule which is the closest the Soviets came to catching up with the Apollo/Saturn-V manned lunar landing program. By September it would have been ten months behind. This key offset was not covered by CORONA, it was covered by GAMBIT KH-8-14 mission number 52 imagery of 12.2 days duration launched June 5, 1968(5-16). Yet another issue to be determined, when was the 3L vehicle removed from the pad? If this two line element analysis is correct KH-8-14 failed on its 6-14-1968 imaging pass to capture the 3L flight vehicle prior to or during roll back. However there are other U. S. Government and NASA Administrative personnel evidence that suggest circumstantially that the "J" vehicle was indeed imaged on the pad during this mission. The GAMBIT KH-8-14 mission number 52 imaged the Proton "G-3, 4" facilities on the 6-13-1968 imaging pass. (10-12)-06-68
7 01-08-68
-09-68?

The official Baikonur records suggest that the improvements were tested starting on 01-09-68. Corona imagery suggest that it was one month earlier.

1M1 mock-up with an L3 mock-up payload. Installation on pad 38 area 110 - East. LOX and kerosene fueling tests. Improvements tested. Interviews with former U.S government personnel strongly indicate U.S. SIGINT operations detected this activity. Observed by CORONA-M-1104-1, 2, & M-1048-1, 2 imagery on 9-8-68, 16-8-68, 24-9-68 and 02-10-68. No vehicle observed on the launch pad June 20, 1968 by CORONA imagery. Second TUA-2 erector transporter appears in CORONA imagery 05-08-68. Testing may not have started until 01-09-68 due to the August excessive seasonal ambient heating inside the booster engine bays and inter-tank area=s. Subsequently, the N1 booster would be painted white instead of "Russian Underside Gray" color, greatly reducing the booster internal temperatures. This event was covered by GAMBIT KH-8-15 missions numbers 53 launched August 6, 1968 on 08-15-1968 for the "J", "A" infrastructure and possibly the Proton Zond-5A build-up on the "G-3, 4" infrastructure on 08-14-1968. 17-10-68
7A 01-8-68 continued activity 1M1 mock-up with an L3 mock-up payload. Continuing activity from August and September 1968. Complex testing with LOX and kerosene fueling operations 02-10-68 through 04-10-68. Interviews with former U.S government personnel strongly indicate U.S. SIGINT operations detected these activities. Observed by CORONA imagery on 02-10-68. CORONA confirms no N1-L3 booster on the launch pad on 06-11-68. This "J", "A" vehicle event was imaged by GAMBIT/KH-8 mission number 54 launched Sept. 10, 1968 which was 15 days in duration (10-24) on 09-19-1968. The "G-3, 4" facilities were imaged on 09-24-1968 after the Proton Zond-5A launch on 09-15-1968. The Soyuz 2, & 3 mission launched Oct 25, 26, 1968 demonstrated near proximity rendezvous successfully but failed to accomplish the intended docking. 17-10-68
8, 9 30-11-68 N1-#3L with part of the L-3 S mock-up minus its upper L-3 shroud, SAS/LET (Safety Assurance System / launch Escape Tower) and the 7K-L1S/Zond spacecraft. Parallel testing of the L-3S (L-1S) payload before installation on the flight #3L, N1 booster was also taking place. Installed on launch pad 38 area 110 East. Guidance alignment, calibration and electrical tests. Interviews with former U.S government personnel strongly indicate U.S. SIGINT sources & methods detected this activity. Observed by CORONA M-1049-1, 2 imagery on launch pad 38 area 110 - East 15-12-68 and 22-12-68. The testing only involved the first three stages of the #3L (N1) booster with a partial L-3 mock-up payload on top as observed through CORONA imagery. The first stage airframe reinforcements were successfully tested on the pad. There is GAMBIT/KH-8-18 mission number (56) launched Dec. 4, 1968, (4-11) imagery of this event based on the analysis of Two Line orbital Elements primarily on Dec. 7 for the "A", "J" facilities. This tends to confirm suggestions from interviews with former U.S government personnel of indications of the existence of more detailed imagery from early December 1968, but none from mission number 55. Mission number 55 was launched on Nov. 6, and lasted 14 days in duration. (6-19). 12-01-69
H 31-12-68 Launch pad 37 area 110 West completed as confirmed by CORONA imagery of December 15 and 22, 1968. Also confirmed by GAMBIT/KH-8-18 mission number (56) launched Dec. 4, 1968, (4-11) based on the analysis of Two Line orbital Elements imagery of this event primarily on Dec. 7 for the "A", "J" facilities.
I,10 (8-18)-12-68 SL-12, D-1-e Proton-Zond Proton Zond-7A (13L), SL-12 sent to pad after the (8-12)-12-68 first half of the lunar window and before the (13-18)-12-68 second half of the lunar window of December 1968 before the 21-12-68, Apollo-8 launch. Prior to the Apollo-8 launch there have been suggestions from interviews with former U.S government personnel of indications of Soyuz pad (A-1) and Proton-Zond activity observed on the pads 81 left and right (G-3, & G-4) several days before the (8-12)-12-68, first half of the lunar launch window and on (13-18)-12-68, the second half of the lunar launch window of December 1968. The 19-12-68 on pad 81R activity is confirmed by CORONA imagery M-1049-1, 2 on 22-12-68. CORONA confirms that Zond/Proton (13L) was not on the pad on 15-12-68 indicating that the Soviets waved off the first half of the lunar window but built up to the second half of the window in December 1968 to the surprise of NASA and the White House and then stopped and walked away from it for technical reasons. CORONA tens to confirm a Soyuz on pad 1 (A-1) on 15-12-68, though it was being removed from the pad on 22-12-68. Was this the end of the Soyuz-4 or 5 on the pad testing? Whether this was a part of the expected December 1968 Proton-Zond -Soyuz mission plan remains unresolved. According to the Mishin diaries the subsequent Soyuz 4, & 5 mission were rolled out to the pad on January 11th and 12th, 1969 but not launched until January 14-15, 1969. This demonstrated Earth-orbital rendezvous and lunar-orbital rendezvous and docking for lunar crew EVA transfer. The previous October, Soyuz-2 & 3 mission demonstrated near-rendezvous successfully without intended docking. Unresolved questions on Soyuz launch preparation as well as both Proton SL-12 and N1-L3, TT-05, "J" vehicle activity prior to and during (8-18)-12-68 continue to hamper analysis and factual establishment of these historic events. Zond 7A (13L) underwent a dramatic launch failure 20-01-69. There is no further CORONA imagery of this event. Based on analysis of orbital "Two Line Elements" there is GAMBIT KH-8-18 mission number 56 imagery of these events primarily the "G-3, 4" facility perhaps Dec. 5 but more likely on Dec. 11 and then Dec. 7 for the "A", "J" facilities. This suggests that there is more detailed imagery from early December 1968. Interviews with former U.S government personnel strongly indicate U.S. SIGINT did monitor much of this activity but that has yet to be declassified. 20-01-69
launch failure
9 17-01-69 1M1 mock-up without the L-3 mock-up payload. Installation on the pad for testing of guidance system and finishing of the control systems, electrical systems tests. Engine heater systems were also tested. Insulation was added to specific engine pipes. This event was not covered by CORONA imagery but it was detected by U.S. SIGINT operations based on interviews with former U.S government personnel. GAMBIT KH-8 -19 mission number 57 launched January 22, 1969 of 12 days duration (Jan. 22.80, -Feb. 2, 1969) imaged the "J" and "A" facilities on 01-28-1969 but had just missed this "J" vehicles roll back by several days. There was no imagery of the "G-3, 4" facilities by GAMBIT mission number 57. 23-01-69
10 08-02-69
09-02-69
rollout chertok
N1 # 3L with the flight sample L3S, # 3 payload. The flight N1, #3L was mounted on its TUA/TE on February 2, 1969. This was followed between February 3-7, 1969 with the attaching of the L-3S payload.(7) Roll-out transit of 2 hour and 24 minute followed by the erection installation on pad 38, 110 East after 5 hour 47minutes for a planned State Commission approved launch on 18-02-69 delayed to 20-02-69.(7) Propellant loading started on February 20th at 10 pm and was completed on February 21, 1969 at 1 pm Baikonur Cosmodrome time.(7) It finally underwent a experimental launch failure after a weather cloud cover related delay on 21-02-69. It was on the pad before February 12, 1969, based on publicly published New York Times correspondence publications in 1969 which may have been extrapolated from SIGINT. Based on none attribution discussions with U.S government personnel the 3L vehicle was identified before launch through launch preparation, observed through SIGINT operations which was not recognized as launch preparation by the U. S. Intelligence community. Until after the Cold War. Typically, the U. S intelligence community consistently missed almost every first launch of new Soviet launch vehicles, ICBMs, based on declassified histories of the US and former Soviet Union. This event was not covered by CORONA or GAMBIT imagery. GAMBIT KH-8 imagery of mission number 57 launched Jan. 22, 1969 of 12 days duration (Jan 22-Feb. 2) failed to image the 3L , flight "J" vehicle on January 28, 1969. 21-02-69
experimental launch failure 9:18:07 UT
11 ??-05-69
After the 12th by several days at least.
1M1 mock-up, with the L-3 payload mock-up Check testing of the area left 110 West, launch pad position 37. This is the famous two-N1-rockets-on-the-two-pads observed (19-21)-06-69. This key two-vehicle event was not observed by CORONA on 5-3 or 5-5 or 5-12-68, with the two erectors transporters TUA remaining parked in front of the N1, MIK; however, on the 12th, pad position 37, the Turning Tower Gantry had been moved into position to receive the 1M1 ground test vehicle. The 5L flight "J" vehicle was further not observed by the GAMBIT KH-8-22 mission 60, launched 3-6-69 of 11.2 days duration (6-14) imagery. The "J" vehicle 1M1 was imaged on pad 37 facility 110 West by GAMBIT KH-8-22 mission number 60 on June 11, 1969. This 1M1 vehicle was imaged on the pad during the KH-8-22 mission based on published public information released and from interviews with former U.S government personnel after the subsequent historic launch failure of the 5L vehicle. I was assumed at the time that the vehicle imaged on June 11, 1969 was the 5L flight vehicle that failed during launch. It was not. Perhaps this event with two vehicles on the two pads was covered by U.S. SIGINT operations based on interviews with former U.S government personnel but that has yet to been declassified. The Soyuz, "A" facility also was imaged by Gambit-KH-8-22 on June 11, 1969 while the "G-3, 4 facilities probably were imaged on June-10, 1969 in gantry the build up of white colored Proton Lunar Automatic Sample Return launch on June-14, 1969. June 1969, "A" pad presence of Soyuz has been indicated but delayed .unresolved & uncertain resolution from the community analysis viewpoint? Why, and what was its original purpose if it was seen there? 21-06-69
12 19-06-69 N1 # 5L with the flight L-3S (L1S) payload # 4. Rollout and installation on pad 38 area 110 - East. Preparation for launch with debugging of spacecraft problems. Experimental launch failure 03/04-07-69. Pad 38, area 110 right destroyed taking 2.5 years to rebuild to operational status. This is the famous two N1 rockets on the two pads observed (19-21)-06-69. If the two vehicle=s 5L and (1M1) were imaged on the pad's this would have indicated an Earth-orbital rendezvous mission sequence as suggested in the declassified National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) on the Soviet Space Program for 1965 &1967. Either an early military weather or IR imagery satellite caught the flash of the spectacular launch failure explosion in real time. This image has not been found but based on interviews with former CIA employees who worked at NPIC stated that they did get copies of the image. Additionally, based on interviews with former U.S government personnel U. S. SIGINT operations are believed to have monitored this activity. Design of the Zond spacecraft L-1S payload precluded a manned Earth orbit rendezvous mission or docking, unless Zond carried an orbital module with a docking receiver cone all of which would have been jettisoned in Earth orbit. Whether there was a Soyuz on the "A" pad remains unclear. This event was not observed by CORONA but GAMBIT KH-8 -22 mission number 60 imagery of 06-11-1969 caught 1M1 on the J-2 pad. It was covered by GAMBIT KH-8-23 mission 61, launched August 22, 1969 of 16 days duration (Aug. 22, - Sept. 6, 1969) imagery taken of the "J" and "A" facilities on September 5, 1969 to examine the failure aftermath of the "J" vehicle loss. 03/04-07-1969
experimental launch failure 20:18:32UT
(03-14-06-69)
J 11 ??-06/07-69 SL-12, D-1-e Proton-Zond-7B launched Aug 7, 1969. "A-1 facility 135," pad presence of a Soyuz booster spacecraft combination is indicated but it was delayed, unresolved and uncertain resolution based on interviews with former U.S government personnel. It remains very sensitive subject to the community? Why, and what was its original purpose? Was a manned Soyuz prepared for launch after the N-1 (5L) launch? Proton Zond-related activity on its two pads 81 left and right the (G-3 & G-4) during this same period that must be equally refuted or confirmed historically. This event was not observed by CORONA imagery, but GAMBIT mission 60 did cover these facilities June 11, 1969 and June 10, 1969 as previously noted.
13 21-08-69
11-08-69?
N1-L3, 1M1 mock-up without an L-3 payload mock-up. Fueling, testing, training and "De-bugging" of pad 37 Area 110 west. Observed by CORONA imagery on 24-09-69 with only the first three stages of N1 in view. This activity also was monitored based on interviews with former U.S government personnel by U. S. SIGINT operations. Visited by Czechoslovakian delegation with CPSU 1St. Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev. There is Gambit KH-8-23 mission number 61 launched August 22, 1969 of 16 days duration. (Aug. 22-Sept. 6) imagery of this event on Aug. 29, & Sept. 5, 1969. 27-10-69
14 29-11-69 1M1 mock-up with an L-3 payload mock up. Improved LOX fueling technology tested. This event was not observed by CORONA or GAMBIT KH-8 imagery. 03-12-69
15 18-03-70 1M1 mock-up without an L-3 payload mock-up The newly installed first stage Hay Lon fire protection system tested and revised on the pad. Fire wall installed between the Block-A engine bay and LOX tank. All wiring installed in conduits to the extent possible and all engines and propellant piping heavily insulated. Not observed by CORONA imagery on the pad 5-3-70, or 12-3-70. The two TUA=s erector transporters were still parked in front of the N1-L3, MIK factory horizontal assembly building. Confirmed observation by CORONA imagery being erected onto the pad on 18-03-70. Circumstantial imagery evidence indicates that the erected, vehicle and one of its two erector was still on the pad on 23-03-70 which was not visible due to cloud cover. Between March 18th and March 23 the TUA-1 exchanged positions with TUA-2 for pad testing. It was subsequently observed on the launch pad by CORONA imagery with no L-3 mock-up payload on 04-06-70. Academician Mishin implies activity in June 1970 in his interviews first published in 1989. There was no GAMBIT KH-8 mission number 65 imagery of this event. Based on interviews with former U.S government personnel this activity was probably monitored by U. S. SIGINT operations. GAMBIT KH-8-27 imagery of mission number 65 launched June 25, 1970 of 11 days duration. (June 27-July 5) apparently missed this event. How about the time in between roll out and roll backs from June 4, 1970- June 27, 1971? GAMBIT KH-8 imagery of mission numbers 65 through 69 and Hexagon KH-9A imagery of mission number one (1) (launched June 15, 1971) May be enlightening. 25-06-70
15A xx-03-70 No N1-L3 booster vehicle involved in facility TUA transport erector calibration. One of the two TUA erector transporter raised to the vertical position parked over the flame trench near the launch aperture of the J-2 area 37, 110 West pad with the gantry turned to the pad position but no launch vehicle present. The second TUA transport erector parked north of the MIK is also raised to the vertical position. This was probably a recertification and calibration operation of the TUAs and their erectors for precise positioning operations. Twelve tank cars on the J-2/110 West rail spur. Twelve rail cars near the MIK factory building. Confirmed by CORONA imagery 03-12-70. xx-x-70
16 13-05-71 N1# 6L with the partial flight sample L-3 # 6 payload. There was no 7K-L1S payload or active SAS/Launch Escape Tower. It carried the Blocks G, D, and LK dummy as its payload. Roll-out and installation on launch pad 37 area 110 West, Launch preparation and de-bugging, drying-up of cables after rain on 23-06-71. Experimental launch failure 27-06-1971. Based on interviews with former U.S government personnel this mission was thoroughly observed by U. S. SIGINT operations and IMINT, Hexagon KH-9A mission-1, imagery, but was not covered by CORONA or GAMBIT imagery. During March 26, through April 1971, two long liquid hydrogen rail tank cars appear on the propellant farm near the newly built hydrogen propellant farm installation. Two such facilities were build one for each pad. HEXAGON KH-9(A)-1 imagery of mission number one (1) launched June 15, 1971 with a duration of 52 days (June 15-Aug. 5) imaged the 6L vehicle on the pad June 24, 1971 before its subsequent launch. 27-06-71
experimental launch failure
23:15:07 UT
17 01-11-71 1M2 (1M1-B) mock-up with an L-3 payload mock-up. Roll-out and installation on launch Pad 37 area 110 West. Check out of launch equipment. Further testing of Block-B fueling with LOX. 11F93 fuel cell, fueling with LOX and LH2. 1M1 only used a partially complete L-3 payload utilizing Block=s G and D with dummy spacecraft in place of the actual spacecraft. 1M2 however utilized a full L-3 ground test LK and LOK spacecraft for training and technology testing. It was introduced much later in the programs development. This event was not covered by CORONA or HEXAGON imagery, but was covered by GAMBIT KH-8-33 mission number 71 launched Oct. 23, 1971 of 25 days duration imagery (Oct.23-Nov.16) which captured the "J" vehicle 1M2 on the pad on 08-11-1971. Based on interviews with former U.S government personnel strongly indicate U.S. SIGINT operations monitored this activity. How about the times in between roll outs and roll backs from 27-06-71 through 23/24-11-72 through 1975? GAMBIT KH-8 imagery of mission numbers 70, & 72, of durations of 22, & 25, days (mission number 73 was a failure) and Hexagon KH-9 imagery of missions numbers 2 & 3? 29-12-71
18 24-08-72 N1 #7L with the full experimental L-3 payload with LET. L-3 shroud and payload partially disassembled for access to LOK and LK required to get at the problem areas in order to fix the problems surprised US intelligence which missed judged the activity at that time as is born out by the NYT article. Booster all white color. Roll out and installed on pad 37 area 110 West. 11F93 fuel cell power system fueling with LOX and LH2. Launch preparation and de-bugging. The L-3 payload was partially disassembled through the use of the turning tower gantry cranes on the launch pad to gain access to LK computer problems and the 11F93 fuel cell problems and reassembly on the launch pad. This operation had not been done before it was successfully accomplished though not with out considerable engineering argument among those responsible. This was totally different from normal Soviet operations. Experimental launch failure 23-11-72. Potentially the mission would have been launched to the Moon on the next day, after the initial Earth orbital launch, from over the Pacific ocean instead of the South Atlantic ocean according to Phillip S. Clark. (8) It did indicate what was possible if N1 were successfully flight tested. A Sunday, New York Times, date line Washington Sept. 28, article confirms that the KH-9 and KH-8 covered this disassembly event prior to its subsequent launch. (9) The NYT story of the "J" vehicle being dismantled in September 1972 was correct. This nearly all white colored 7L booster with it gantry side gray streak on the first and second stages was the first production version of the N1-L3 booster that however continued to use the old experimental Kuznetsov engines. Only with the introduction of the 8L vehicle was the full production booster to include the new reusable/multiple test firing engines that reflected the refinements learned during the previous experimental flight testing. This event was not covered by CORONA imagery but was covered by GAMBIT KH-8-36 mission number 74 launched Sept 1, 1972 which was 29 days in duration (1-28) imaged the 7L flight "J" vehicle on Sept. 8th and Sept. 23rd, 1972. It was also imaged by HEXAGON KH-9(A)-4 mission number 4 launched Oct. 10, 1972 which was 90 days duration (Oct.10, 72-Jan 7, 73) on Nov. 10, 1972. Based on interviews with former U.S government personnel the N. Y. Times article gives some hint of the extensive monitoring of this build up launch activity through IMINT and SIGINT operations and the Nixon administrations concern about its potential impact on its space/foreign policy decisions if successful. 23-11-72
experimental launch failure 6:11:52 UT
19 20-12-73 1M2 (1M1-B) mock-up all white colored. Rollout to launch pad 37 area 110 West (left) for fueling and de fueling training operation. This event was not covered by CORONA or GAMBIT imagery but was covered by HEXAGON KH-9(A)-7 mission number 7 launched November 10, 1973 of 123 days duration. (Nov. 10, 1973 - March 12, 1974) It was imaged on Dec. 31, 1973 and January 28, 1974. This event was not covered by KH-9 mapping imagery on Dec. 31, 1973 and on January 28, 1974. Interviews with former U.S government personnel indicate it was probably monitored by U.S. SIGINT operations. 06-02-74
20??-??-74 N1-L3 first full production vehicle 8L was scheduled for launch August 1974.Canceled March/June 1974. During 1974 and 1975 the remaining N-1's were scrapped. Apparently this activity was not observed or indicated and was thus totally missed, except for the "moth-balling," of the facilities based on CIA comment published in 1974 until Soviet Military Power info, released in 1978. The 8L vehicle was put in secret storage in the N1 MIK. This was carried out by the on site Progress factory personnel who opposed the program=s cancellation. Later, it was discovered and 8L was removed to a burial scrapping area. Its engines and other components had already been removed and it was separated into its manufacturing sections. This was not covered by CORONA imagery. GAMBIT KH-8 imagery of mission numbers 75 through 83 and HEXAGON KH-9(A) imagery mission numbers 5 through 11, when declassified may reveal it.
21 ??-??-74 All N1-L3 work terminated March-May 1974. Roll outs planned for flight vehicle # 8L in August 1974 and for # 9L in November 1974. N1-L3 vehicle 9L scheduled for launch in November 1974. Canceled March-June 1974. According to CIA the infrastructure facilities are essentially Moth-Balled indicating that the program was on indefinite hold or undergoing redesign or had been canceled. Subsequently it was detected that the OKB-1/TsKBEM leadership was changed confirmed this shutdown reality by early April 1975. Not covered by Corona imagery. GAMBIT KH-8 imagery of mission numbers 75 through 83 and HEXAGON KH-9A imagery of mission numbers 5 through 11?
22 ??-??-75 N1-L3 vehicle (1M1) lasts into 1975. 1M2, 1M1 and L-3 mock-up disassembled and scrapped in 1975. Six N1-L3 boosters in total are scrapped at Baikonur and seven are scrapped in Samara by the end of 1978. Not covered by CORONA imagery. GAMBIT KH-8 imagery of mission numbers 82 and 83 and HEXAGON KH-9A imagery of mission numbers 10 and 11?
23 ??-??-76/77? N1-L3 flight vehicle # 8L N1-L3 flight vehicle 8L initially disassembled with the engines being removed during 1974-75. It was subsequently sent to the scrap yard after being discovered in secret storage in the N1 MIK by Minister S.A. Afanasiev during an Energiya survey of available equipment in 1976-77? Subsequently Acad. V. P. Glushko who replace Academician V. P. Mishin in a hostile take over held an awards party on the Baikonur Cosmodrome followed by the N1-L3 employees being required to blow up and destroy the remains of the 8L booster structures, propellant tanks and literally bury it near the N1-MIK. Not covered by CORONA imagery.

TsKBEM State approved schedule (10)

Slipped Schedule Actual Schedule Decreed Schedule

I. 1M1 = N1+L3 ( Bloc G and Bloc-D stages plus dummy LK and LOK)
II. 1M2 = N1-L3 (Complete Bloc G and Bloc-D stages and spacecraft LK and LOK)
A.1L -R & D, Dynamic test models sections
B. 2L -R & D, Ground test engineering mock-up Samara
1. 4L- R & D, moved(rebuild)
2. 3L- R & D, June 68Unmanned Test flight Feb. 21, 1969-----Sept. 1967
3. 5L- R & D, Nov. 68Unmanned Test flight July 3, 1969Dec. 1967
4. 6L- R & D, Feb. 69Unmanned Test flight June 27, 1971Feb. 1968
5. 7L- R & D, June 69Unmanned Test flight Nov. 23, 1972April 1968
6. 8L- Production Oct. 69Unmanned Test flight August 1974 plannedJune 1968
7. 9L- Production Nov 69 manned Unmanned Test flight November 1974 planned Aug.1968
8. 10L-Production Jan. 70 unmanned 1975Sept. 1968
9. 11L-Production Feb. 70 manned 1975
10. 12L-Production May 70 unmanned 1975
11. 4L- Production June 70 manned 1975
12. 13L-Production unmanned 1976 original N1plan**
13. 14L-Production manned 1976 original planned**
14. 15L-Production 1976
15. 16L-Production 1976
16. 17L-Production 1977
17. 18L-Production 1977
18. 19L-Production 1977 (End of authorized production)

Flight Test Hardware Configuration July 3, 2009

Test flight

LV

Blok-G

Blok-D

Unmanned LK

LOK

Zond+

DOK

SAS

3L

Lunar orbit mission

70.56 metric tons low earth orbit

N1-L1S

Blok-G

TLI stage

Blok-D

 LOI

TEI stage

Unmanned LK mock-up instrumented mass model  

No

Unmanned Zond +

DOK

7K-L1S

SAS

5L

Lunar orbit mission

72-75 metric tons to low earth orbit

N1-L3S

Blok-G

TLI stage

Blok-D

LOI & powered descent stage separation maneuver from LK test flight article

Unmanned LK full size ' hybrid' fully Instrumented mock-up mass model Functional in many details electronically. Partial RCS fueled. It was not fully loaded with propellant no life support system or scientific packages and not ready to fly manned.

Unmanned LOK,

7K-L3S, TEI capable ' hybrid' Configured in 7K-L1S design with

Zond descent module with LOK computer with forward Zond cone & DOK. LOK Rear PAO instrument module (Probably with solar panels, extra batteries with no fuel cells)

No

SAS

6L

highly elliptical Earth orbit mission

72 -75 metric tons to low earth orbit

N1-L3

Blok-G

Blok-D

Unmanned “hybrid” LK mock-up Instrumented mass model

Unmanned functional model

7K-LOK LOK PAO with extra batteries no fuel cells

No

SAS

None functional

7L

all systems up test vehicle

Full lunar mission demonstration

90-92 metric tons potential 95 metric tons to low earth orbit

N1-L3

Blok-G

Blok-D

Unmanned LK Functional in all details

Unmanned Fully functional 7K-LOK

No

SAS

8L

Full systems up test vehicle

Full lunar mission demonstration

92-95 metric tons to low earth orbit

N1-L3

Blok-G

TLI stage

Blok-D

LOI & powered descent stage

Functional in all details Unmanned LK

[ -automatic sample return to lunar orbit capability considered questionable but possible? ]

Unmanned Fully functional 7K-LOK

No

SAS

None of the N1 payload flown was like the others flown.

© Charles P. Vick 2009 All Rights Reserved

It is clear that the secrecy doctrine has descended over this stuff to a large degree from the Russian side as I have been directly told where certain historical records are concerned. In spite of this much the same applies to declassified records in this country. What the US president was told and what the intelligence community felt was going to happen has essentially been cleaned out as the internal intelligence community TS/sci documents only declassifying some but not all of the known "product user community documents". The Nixon files have been cleansed by the vacuum cleaner with essentially nothing being there. In spite of only the "product user community documents" are being declassified and the remaining internal community "holy grail" TS/sci documents being sealed away for ever some information has indeed been let go.

It has revealed that the 5L mission was very much to be like the US Apollo-10 mission flown unmanned and not a two launch affair as expected in two different configurations by the U. S. intelligence community. One Intelligence community mission configuration pushed by CIA as a two N1 launch configuration mission while Dr. Sheldon reflected openly on a Soyuz, N1 mission configuration expectations that were conceivably possible given the known hardware. Too much was lost on the 5L and 3L mission data gathering by the community that would have to be re-reviewed to settle some issues for the community as I have been directly told by those still alive that studied the internal documentation years ago that is clear but it ant going to happen ever. Here I am reminded of what 007 once said "Every now and then a bloody revolution is a healthy thing" smiling tong and cheek wise no doubt to clean the brown stuff out but never mind it ant going to happen.

Equally interesting is the Soviet side collision with themselves in late 1968 of what the ministers demanded as opposed to the bottom line limits on what was in the hardware pipe line that could be brought up to flight status that controlled the stuff, ministers be dammed. One must pay close attention to what the ministers intent was verses what the hardware in the pipe line confined them to in their choices as well as what US intelligence expectations were as opposed to what was observed.

Yes there was indeed some unusual activity at the cosmodrome late in the lunar window of December 1968 as documented in the Corona imagery the full explanation of which remain closed from the Soviet side. The ministers really pushed to the limit of capability in that effort only to not be able to pull it off. Just because the hardware and personnel were there does not mean a manned mission was possible or attempted. I think Leonov knows but his critical health and security restrictions does not permit him to lay it all out to our great loss historically less he loose his life from the stress. So that door is closed unfortunately. I is however confirmed to me repeatedly officially that US intelligence was indeed convinced that the Soviets did try an attempt a mission for Zond in December 1968 but could not pull it off for a mired of unexplained reasons.

This was also the issue for the 5L mission in which the ministers did force changes in hardware planning in late December 1968 early 1969 making the 5L mission different from the 3L mission hardware design. Yes the 5L mission was a slightly heavier payload than the 3L mission pushing the limits of the payload capacity of the N1 booster at that time.

Sincerely,

Charles P. Vick

Notes:

Eighteen flight boosters authorized. One ground test training booster authorized as 1M1 , multiple dynamic test elements models authorized as 1L, while 2L may have been a full scale engineering mock-up vehicle located in Samara for manufacturing purposes.

1. 1L dynamic testing components 35 sub-scale models, 30 full scale dynamic sections with 10 dynamic test failures. Three of the major failures caused redesigns to be developed. The original design specifications issued to the dedicated factory for the development of the N1-L3 booster were structurally deficient requiring several years to correct as the hardware was developed. These deficiencies were discovered during Acad. S. P. Korolev's tenure soon after the initial specifications were released and being utilized. The ripple effect of these errors and the associated corrections lasted from 1964 through 1973.

2. 1M1 &1M2 - FSTV, L, TV. (Facilities System Test Vehicle) or (FSTLTV) Facilities Systems Test, Logistic, Training Vehicle)1M1 carried an incomplete L-3,1M2 carried a complete L-3)

3. Scrapping Operation
A. Six scrapped on Baikonur Cosmodrome 1M1 lasted into 1975 while 8L lasted longer. They were 1M1, 12L, 9L, 10L, 1M2? and later 8L.
B. Four flight failures, Baikonur Cosmodrome 3L, 5L, 6L, and 7L.
C. Seven scrapped at TsSKB Samara. They were 2L?, 11L, 4L, 13L, 14L, 15L, 16L, 17L, One used as an engineering mock up.
D. Samara 18L, and 19L, (20L?) parts were made but none assembled at program shutdown.

4. **The original Soviet plan required 10 flight tests which was entirely too many to become operational. Originally it was expected that about (74) Saturn-V=s would be built with 10 being used for flight test. This is why the original flight test plans for the Apollo/Saturn-V was changed to utilize two all systems up flight test vehicles. This was done to meet the end of the decade deadline requirement of President Kennedy. The Soviet political and ministerial leadership failed to recognize this requirement in its program planning. Thus the spacecraft were not ready for flight test as soon as the booster was forced to be started prematurely. Funding for this should have come out of a canceled Zond program. Why the Soviets could not have used counter balance mass to counter the existing static test stand limits at Zagorsk to test fire the N1's first stage is unclear to historical researcher reporter at this point.

Credits: Much credit is owed to Dr. Dimtry Pieson, Phillip S. Clark and the late Dr. Maxim Tarasenko.



References

1. All data on the N1-L3 activity from the official records of the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
2. Urusov, O, Lunar Rocket, "Kosmodrom" magazine, "ISTORIA BAIKONURA" (History of Baikonur) Dec. 2002, pp. 12-15,
3. Urusov, O, Lunar Rocket, "Kosmodrom" magazine, "ISTORIA BAIKONURA" (History of Baikonur) Feb. 2003, pp. 16-24, http://www.kosmodrom.nm.ru/
4. Urusov, O, Lunar Rocket, "Kosmodrom" magazine, "ISTORIA BAIKONURA" (History of Baikonur) March 2003, pp. http://www.kosmodrom.nm.ru/
5. Urusov, O, Lunar Rocket, "Kosmodrom" magazine, "ISTORIA BAIKONURA" (History of Baikonur)April 2003, pp. http://www.kosmodrom.nm.ru/
6. Urusov, O, Lunar Rocket, "Kosmodrom" magazine, "ISTORIA BAIKONURA" (History of Baikonur) May 2003, pp.
7. Urusov, O, Lunar Rocket, "Kosmodrom" magazine, "ISTORIA BAIKONURA" (History of Baikonur), August, 2003 pp. 14-16.
8. Clark, Phillip S., Analysis of Soviet Lunar Missions, Jan. 17, 2004, pp. 34-36
9. Lyons, Richard D., Moon Shot Delay by Soviets Likely, Washington Sept. 28, The New York Times, Oct. 1, 1972. p. 51.
10. Degtyerenko, G. N. & Dorofeev, B. A., (Energia S. P. Korolev corp.), The N1-L3 Program of Expeditions to the Moon, 1999, PP. 1-10.




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