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Svezda [Star] Lunar Base (1964-1974)

In 1962 the Soviet Union's space program include the ability to design a lunar base and regular communication between the Moon and Earth. The Svezda [Star] program included launching the main module of the lunar base to the moon in unmanned mode. After that, several automatic vehicles would be launched, one of which would deliver samples of lunar soil to Earth at the landing site of the main base module, and the second would be a moving lunar rover, which would examine the outer surface of the first base module. In the future, the modules of the lunar base could form an entire mobile train powered by electricity emitted by a nuclear reactor. For convenience, soil samples could be collected by manipulators without reaching the surface in space suits.

The second idea, Barmin, planned that the number of laboratory modules would be 9 pieces, and the crew would have the same number of astronauts. Modules (4.5 meters long each) would be delivered to the moon separately. Each of them had its own purpose. There was a laboratory, warehouse, residential and other modules.

Attention was paid to the psychological problem: there was no long flight experience at the orbital stations, and it was proposed to place imaginary windows in the lunar modules, which would show the landscapes of the countryside around Moscow, which periodically changed depending on the season. During the exercise on an exercise bike, astronauts would watch the film so that they thought they were riding on an ordinary Earth. Maybe today it seems a bit incomprehensible, but thirty years ago the psychological effect was considered as a very important factor.

The Zvezda program was not a completely independent project: astronauts were scheduled to deliver to the Moon and from the Moon using spacecraft LK developed for the program N1-L3. The 1971 draft was completed, and its main designer Barmin was to defend it. He met with Ustinov, on whom the fate of the project depended. After more than six hours of conversation, Ustinov agreed that the Star project should continue to evolve, but this depended on the work of the N1-L3 program.

The four launches of the N1 rocket ended with accidents, and, ultimately, the projects that were somehow associated with this launch, were closed completely. In addition, this is not the only reason for the closure of the “Svezda”: the cost of the project should have been very high, and the Soviet economy could simply not pull the program: at 1997 prices, the cost was estimated at $ 80 billion.

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Page last modified: 22-03-2019 21:48:49 ZULU