L1-R7 - circling the moon (1956-1959)
The Vostok developed by Korolev allowed the USSR to launch the first cosmonaut and get ahead of the Americans at this stage. In 1959, under the direction of Tikhonravov, consideration of the modification of the Vostok apparatus began to ensure a manned flyby of the Moon. Since the R-7 launch vehicle, which brought the Vostok into operation, could not bring more than 6 tons of payload into orbit, it was supposed to launch several vehicles that would dock and form a complex that would allow the manned flyby of the moon to be carried out. But for these purposes it was necessary to work out the automatic convergence of spacecraft, docking itself and work in open space.
It was intended to change the design of the descent vehicle (SA). It was supposed to be not a simple sphere, as in the usual "East", which made a simple ballistic entry into the atmosphere, but a special capsule with aerodynamic properties, which was necessary to reduce the overloads that occur when entering the Earth’s atmosphere upon returning from the Moon to the second cosmic speed. In addition, even considered the possibility of using a winged apparatus as a SA. However, it soon becomes clear that it is difficult and inefficient to use for the lunar program "Vostok".
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