LK1-UR500K - Piloted circling of the Moon (1964)
On August 3 , 1964, the CPSU Central Committee decides on the need to continue work on the lunar program. Chelomey gets the development of the UR-500 rocket (today's Proton) and the LK-1 spacecraft. Due to the fact that a lot of work Chelomeyevsky KB was done informally long before that, work on LC-1 went quite far, and was envisaged in 1965-66. to manufacture another 12 of the same devices with the first launch in 1967. The ship had the same shape as the American Apollo, yielding to it in size - 2.8 m versus 3.9 m. The 17-ton apparatus was put into near-earth orbit, from where the propulsion system of the spacecraft would output the apparatus to the flight trajectory to the Moon.
On October 13, 1964, only 2 months after the commencement of work, Khrushchev was dismissed and Brezhnev came to power. Because of this, everything changes dramatically. Chelomei had the ear of Nikita Khrushchev because he had hired Khrushchev’s son. Chelomey lost its position (and Korolev strengthens them) and the project LK-1 began to close. But if it goes into the 7K-L1 program, then such projects as the RR UR-200, Rocketplan and Cosmoplan are closed for good.
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