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1963 Lunar Research Plan

The document "Suggestions for Research and Development of the Moon in 1963-1968" was approved by S.P. Korolev on September 23, 1963. On the same day, he sent a letter to the SCFP concerning the plan for space exploration for 1965-1975 compiled by the USSR Academy of Sciences (Ibid., D. 3136, l. 22).

The preparation of a plan for the creation of top-priority space objects within 3 months with the expectation of using heavy carrier N-1 was envisaged by a decree dated September 24, 1962. The Academy of Sciences of the USSR was determined to be the responsible executive. However, in December 1962, a plan presented by the Academy of Sciences, which provided for the implementation of research in 1963-1964, was considered at a meeting of the Space Scientific Research Institute for Space Research at the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. mainly using automatic space stations (ibid., d. 3136, l. 9). At the same time, of course, the plan was not designed for the use of heavy carrier H-1.

The situation was aggravated by the fact that V.D. Kalmykov made a proposal to postpone the development of space objects in relation to the carrier H-1 at a later time (Ibid., D. 3280, l. 227). In this regard, S.P. Korolev sent a letter to the government on May 7, 1963, recalling that the aforementioned Resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of September 24, 1962 provided for the creation in 1962-1965. rocket complex N-1 and the development of proposals for the creation of priority space objects (ibid.). Apparently, it is this letter S.P.Korolev served as the impetus for the preparation in the short term of the said perspective work plan for 1965-1975. On August 10, 1963 S.P. Korolev received a letter from the CCTT with a copy of such a plan, directed by M.V. Keldysh L.V. Smirnov (Ibid., D. 3136, l. 9).

When choosing a scheme for implementing a lunar expedition, three groups of options were considered, including: assembling and fueling rocket systems on the lunar surface, in orbit of the Earth satellite, or in the orbit of the Moon satellite. The proposed implementation of the first scheme, as more simple. The rocket system consists of the L-3 lunar expedition ship itself, which is a modification of the L-1 ship and differs from it by the presence of a lock chamber (the latter can be used in the household compartment) and part of the onboard equipment; and a space rocket designed to ensure the flight of the L-3 to the moon and return it to Earth. The composition of the onboard equipment of the ship L-3 is the same as on L-1. Additionally installed systems and equipment associated with landing and starting from the surface of the moon.

The plan of the Academy of Sciences did not contain proposals for priority space objects, as prescribed by the Ordinance of September 24, 1962. This plan was the sum of the proposals of participants in work on space objects. Hence the duplication in the works, which S.P. Korolev in his letter to the CCTT He foresaw that space objects to support the lunar expedition would become top priorities, therefore, the published proposals, in essence, fill in the omissions in the plan of the Academy of Sciences.

They contain technical details that allow you to prepare specific tasks for related organizations. This plan also characterizes one of the main features of S.P. Queen. With all the dependence of OKB-1 on government orders serving certain propaganda and political goals, each next step in space exploration was an organic element of a well-thought out program designed for many years. In this particular case, attention is drawn to the clear linkage of the sections of the plan, which reflected the idea of a consistent increase in research.

The decisive importance is attached to the assembly in orbit, which allows a large amount of experimental work to be carried out at the available capacities until the heavy carrier is fully ready. The plan paid special attention to the safety of manned flights. The whole logic of building a plan was to achieve exactly this goal, up to sending a backup ship to the Moon, which the lunar expedition could take advantage of if necessary. The same goal was pursued by the option of launching the lunar crew into Earth orbit not with the help of a heavy carrier, which was not fully developed yet, but with the help of an 8A511 rocket (Soyuz launch vehicle, which is still in operation).

It is important to note that the one-time lunar expedition was only the initial stage. Options had been proposed for a detailed system designed for many years of exploration of the moon. The decree on the lunar expedition was made only on August 3, 1964. At the same time, the interrelations of the proposed Korolev plan were destroyed, which could not but affect the quality and timing of the implementation of future plans for space exploration.

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Page last modified: 22-03-2019 21:48:46 ZULU