As we flew to the moon




"Stringer", N18-19, 2003

Author: Alexey Nikolaev

* There is a lot of speculation about who among Soviet cosmonauts flew to the moon. Say, flew many, but all died. From the all-pervading sunlight. But in reality? *

In fact, between the Russian and Americans was a competition: who was the first to reach the moon. Americans in 1945 did everything possible to ensure that Russian arms from getting information about the German rocket technology. U.S. intelligence officials themselves were taken to the United States after the war out of the restricted area (underground missile Nordhausen) of all Nazi experts in the amount of three hundred souls led by a young Professor Werner von Braun and fanatical General Walter Dornberger and about a hundred of fully assembled rocket "V-2". Then, the U.S. command ordered immediately blow up an assembly plant.

This was one of the harbingers of the "cold war."

Once in the United States filled information and documentation from the Werner von Braun, who was, in fact, the founding father of American rocketry school, the Yankees pushed him into the shadows, occasionally reminding him of his past, and an SS personal friendship with Adolf Hitler.

Despite the fact that Americans have worked tirelessly to run the race of artificial satellites of the USSR, they lost. And the Russian Yuri Gagarin was the first to escape velocity orbited the Earth.

Moon race

After the shameful defeat and growth overseas leftist John F. Kennedy in May 1961 for the first time spoke about the program of manned flight to the moon and make it part of the "American Dream." Money for the lunar program Americans have identified several times more than the "Manhattan Project." Return of the lost prestige of the United States as a result of launching the first artificial satellite of the USSR and the first man in space was the main driving force behind this program. U.S. forced the EU in every way, regardless of the cost. According to preliminary estimates, the program was supposed to do in the 20-40 billion U.S. dollars. While the creation of an atomic bomb, the so-called "Manhattan Project" has been spent about two billion dollars.

The Americans called on all of its scientists. And between von Braun and Sergei Korolev began correspondence competition — "Moon race." Since Americans are constantly energetically promoting its lunar program, during a press conference on foreign journalists asked, "Dr. Brown, and your new missiles will not fall on London as the fall of the war V-2?!" Brown terribly offended and never met with unfamiliar reporters, although he was talkative.

Our answer to the Yankees

August 3, 1964, when the American lunar developments were in full swing, finally issued a decree of the Soviet government, to determine the important task of landing a man on the moon. What is the OKB-1 was created Flight Test Division N 90.

As head of the newly organized department of the King appointed the legendary test pilot Sergei Anokhin. Incidentally, he was one-eyed. Anokhin lost his eye during the test aircraft when his plane literally fell apart into small pieces.

In the spring of 1965 was organized by the Commission for the selection of "lunar" astronauts on the moon ships L-1 (manned flight around the moon), L-3 (landing on the lunar surface). In August 1967, was approved by all relevant agencies of the two leaders of the group test engineers for the lunar program: Sergei Anokhin, Vladimir Bugrov, Gennady Dolgopolov, Mr Nikita. This group began to explore the complex N1-LZ, physical and special training, supervised all phases of the development and testing of rocket-space complex and lunar vehicles.

The Soviet aerospace industry began to slowly roll out to the side of the moon its production and testing facilities. For flyby of the moon in the OKB-1 was created double ship 7K-L1 (11F91), a lunar orbiter and a single lunar lander.

According to the program UR500K-1L (flying around the moon) provided ten unmanned flight, in the jargon of the test engineers' bolvanochnyh. " A 11 th and 14 th — with the crews on board. Of an elite group of lunar astronauts formed several crews. In the "moon" detachment were also world famous cosmonauts Alexei Leonov and Pavel Popovich, Valery Bykovskii and little known in those days the astronauts Vitaly Sevastyanov, Nicholas Rukovishnikov, Oleg Makarov. The main crew and was not appointed.

During the next (March 1968), an unmanned lunar mission spacecraft under the code "Zond-4" Popovich Sevastiyanov, participating in a special ground-based experiment, lived in a special bunker in the isolated environs of the city and within a week were radio communications with Mission Control Center, using as a repeater flying to the moon "Zond-4", thus mimicking the order of the radio completely and all stages of future space flight to the night luminary.

Interception and radio, the American NASA experts decided that the Russian is on the way to the moon. The panic began in Houston! But then, having tracked the signal propagation area, the Yankees realized that the radio is still on Earth, and calmed down …

April 22, 1968 during the next start due to a fault triggered emergency rescue system, and the flight was canceled. People in the vehicle were not. Finally, September 15, 1968 there was the first unmanned flight around the moon.

Scurry around the moon

As recalled later deputy Sergei Korolsva academician Vasily Mishin, "Avalanche meetings and discussions related to the implementation of a manned lunar program, at various levels did not bring the proper results. Legislative turnaround time for these programs installed forcibly, without scientific and technical studies and provide funding, without allocation of capacities and resources. "

The program orbiters "Union", which began with the tragic flight of Vladimir Komarov, showed that the approach and timing of the Ministry and the military-industrial complex, with limited funding are not conducive to safe operation in real rates.

Sergei Pavlovich Korolev died at the wrong time. There was no one "ground" relationship with the party leadership, which wanted it quickly and immediately. Terms of flights relegated due to accidents on the tests, there was widespread abuse by Marshal Dmitri Ustinov, who led the Military-Industrial Commission of the Central Committee of the CPSU.

Patience finally ran out of the party leadership, and there was judgment of February 4, 1967 "On the progress of work on the creation of SD" 500-A1. "It was a practical and start creating a" H1-LZ ", that is the lunar rocket. And timing of the flight design tests was determined by the third quarter of 1967, and the implementation of a manned lunar mission scheduled for the third quarter of 1968.

This was to ensure the priority of our country to the United States to the mission, such an expedition.

All attempts to postpone the implementation of this expedition, and to increase funding capacity and resources of thwarted superiors in the face of the secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU Dmitri Ustinov, the chairman of the Military-Industrial Commission under the Council of Ministers of the USSR (MIC).

It was planned that will fly to the moon only two Soviet cosmonauts and only one of them will be able to walk on the surface brightness of the night.

Program "H1-LZ" Ustinov carried through the Military-Industrial Commission under the Council of Ministers of the USSR (chairman of the committee was LV Smirnov), which were accountable only 9 of defense industries, while in the works on the program "H1-LZ" attended by about 500 companies and 28 departments. Funding came through the State Planning Commission, Ministry of Finance and line ministries, and the responsibility for the final results carried Ministry of General Machine Building (IOM) and its "parent" OKB-1 (TSKBEM) who did not have any rights to carry out the role of "parent" organizations .

The first rocket-space complex was made for the two astronauts orbiting the Moon with the return to Earth with the escape velocity through the booster UR-500K, the booster rocket block "D" and the spacecraft "7K-L".

A rocket-space complex "H1-LZ" designed to deliver one astronaut on the moon, return it to the lunar orbiter (LOC) on an artificial satellite orbiting the Moon with another astronaut who remained in lunar orbit, and return them with the escape speed of the Earth in the descent module, which is part of the locale.

Help "Stringer"

The giant booster "H1", in contrast to the "Saturn-V", was the original layout and design-and-power schemes.

Missile units of "A", "B", "B" had a fuel bays with hanging ball oxidizer and fuel tanks, the design of which only perceived burden of boost pressure and hydrostatic column of the fuel components. Inertia congestion in places suspension tanks were seen carrying case.

Welding spherical tanks of fuel compartments, final assembly and testing units generally performed in a specially built at the launch site assembly and testing facility (MIK). Structural elements of tanks and compartments were transported to the launch site from manufacturers conventional rail rather than by special barge on a specially constructed channels, as envisaged in the American program "Saturn V-Apollo."

Rocket propulsion units "A", "B", "B" were multi-motor. Thus, the propulsion unit "A" consisted of 24 6 peripheral and central rocket engine with a rated thrust of each engine at the Earth 154 mc. On the block "B" were installed 8 LRE block "A" tall and nozzles with a nominal thrust of each engine in the void 179 ton, and on the block "B" — four engine with a thrust in vacuum 41 mc, the fluid having the same circuit as at engine block "A".

The dimension of a single missile rocket engine blocks "A" and "B" was chosen from the condition of minimum cost of their treatment at the existing production and experimental basis. In order to improve the reliability of multi-motor installations envisaged reservation single LRE.

Thus, the first step could make a normal flight with two pairs of opposite peripheral disabled single engine rocket block "A", the second stage — with one pair, and the third — with a single rocket engine is turned off. That was the margin of safety.

November 10, 1968 took place in relation to the successful launch of the next unmanned lunar craft "Zond-6" also orbit the moon and land on the territory of the USSR. Already at the final stage of the flight at an altitude of 2.5 kilometers unauthorized shooting occurred the main parachute and the lander crashed.

Due to the constantly pursuing the program UR500K-L1 failures and accidents start with the astronauts all the time delayed, and none of the leadership did not want to take responsibility in the event of the death of the astronauts. In general, the earlier years much ruined the Soviet myth of a safe space exploration. The death of the best squad in the first test-cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov on stage and landing a plane crash with Yuri Gagarin proved that the accident-free days are gone. The Soviet aerospace industry urgently needs new leading cadres who had to bring up. Stalin's leadership style when for personal failures severely punished, retreated into history.

Soviet Union lagged behind, but there is still a chance

In early December 1968, it became clear that the Americans actually be able to beat us in the first manned flight around the moon. Three lunar astronauts crews took the initiative and wrote a secret letter to the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee to allow to fly to the moon, in spite of the accident and failures. The main motivation of the astronauts was that finding a trained crew on board will increase the reliability of the lunar flight. Where refused automation, you can use a simple manual control or proven over the years a "light tap" sledgehammer on the failed hardware.

During the first ten days of December the Soviet lunar astronauts continued to train hard in Baikonur pending the resolution on the urgent launch of manned lunar spacecraft, but it never came. After a string of high-profile deaths and scandals, no one wanted to take on the full responsibility for this risky space flight. A cosmic authority, capable of arguing with the party leadership was no longer alive.

December 21, 1968 "Apollo 8" with three American astronauts on board launched to the Moon. December 24 spacecraft made 10 loops around the Moon, went on a trajectory back to Earth and splashed down safely on December 27 in the Pacific, thereby winning the first round of the lunar race superpowers.

A few days later the Soviet Union launched another unmanned lunar spacecraft, but it had to be undermined by the failure of engines on the stage of ascent.

Only 8 August 1969 and 20 October 1970 have been launched to the Moon "Zond-7" and "probe-8". When you start "Zond-8" has been realized a return of lunar vehicles on Earth with the escape velocity through the Northern Hemisphere and braking in the atmosphere with splashdown in a given area of friendly Indian Ocean. After this "farewell salute" program UR500K-L1 completely lost its meaning, and it was abandoned.

Last Chance

February 21, 1969 experienced extra-heavy N-1 rocket left the launch pad freshly built. On board the rocket was automatic lunar spacecraft 7K-L1S (product 11F92). The planned flight mnogosutochny broke 20 seconds of the first stage of the accident. Rocket landed a few miles from the launch pad …

Next desperate attempt to launch the rocket-space complex H-1 with the same lunar spacecraft (product 11F94) was carried out at night July 3, 1969. Running produced at night in order to comply with privacy tests.

At 0 hours 18 minutes, a few seconds after the start, a bright fireball exploded one of the engines of the first stage. Then a series of short blasts, and the rocket crashed to the launch pad. Baikonurskaya steppe came shaking, trembling air, the soldiers and officers who witnessed the monstrous purple-brown mushroom, peas fell down in shelters and pre-fitted trench, despite the military ranks and insignia. After the passage of the shock wave from the sky poured rain of hot metal. Secret fragments of the rocket structure, units scattered in a radius of 10 km around the launch pad. At a distance of 50 km in homes and buildings burst glass. All the steppe at dawn was littered with the corpses of dead animals and birds. But none of the staff spaceport and distinguished guests was hurt. Affected the experience of past failures at the launch site.

July 21, 1969 in the USA started "Apollo 11", which is July 24 for the first time in the history of mankind brought Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin on the lunar surface.

In May 1974, after removal from the post of head of TSKBEM Academician Vasily Pavlovich Mishin, all work on the lunar programs and the complex was closed. Officially, the Kremlin elders began to promote the economical development of outer space. Automatic space station brought lunar soil as a kind of "bonus" for all the suffering and adventure rovers have passed on the routes and now you can relax while having started quietly under the knife is ready missile H-1 and a series of national programs of long-term exploration of the Moon with the construction bases of permanent residence.

Academician Vasily Mishin:

"… It took many years, but still can not understand the root cause of the prohibition runs collected two rockets" N-1 "with the new engines."
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