Encyclopedia Astronautica
Chelomei



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Chelomei
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Chelomei at age 10
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Chelomei's mother
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Chelomei's father
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Chelomei at age 20
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Chelomei/Yeliseyev
Chelomei with Cosmonaut Yeliseyev
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Chelomei
Chelomei, Vladimir Nikolayevich (1914-1984) Soviet Chief Designer 1955-1984 of OKB-52. Leading designer of cruise missiles and ICBMs. Fought for lead role in space launchers and manned spacecraft. Led work on UR-100, UR-200 ICBM's, Proton LV, Raketoplan, Almaz, TKS manned spacecraft.

Chief Designer and General Designer 1955-1984 of OKB-52.. Led work on cruise missiles, ICBMs, and spacecraft.

Chelomei was born on 30 June 1914 in the small Ukrainian city of Sedlets into a family of teachers. When he was three months old the family moved to Paltava due to the start of the first World War. In Paltava Chelomei was nurtured and influenced by intellectual neighbours – most importantly Sofia Nikolayeva Danilevskaya, who was the daughter of Gogol and great grand-daughter of Pushkin. When Chelomei was 12 years old the family moved to Kiev. There he studied auto mechanics.

In 1932 Chelomei entered the Kiev Polytechnic, the same school Korolev had attended eight years earlier. Chelomei was a prodigy, a brilliant student. The instructors noted that where Korolev was hyper-active and in love with aircraft, Chelomei was quiet and analytical. At age 22 Chelomei published his first book, Vector Analysis. By the age of 24 he had published 14 papers. He completed his candidate dissertation in 1939. In 1940 he received one of 50 Stalin Scholarships issued annually. In 1941 he joined the Communist Party, completed his doctoral dissertation, and was named Chief of the Jet Engine Group at the P I Baranov Central Institute of Aviation Propulsion (TsIAM).

Chelomei independently invented the pulse jet engine in 1942. With support of Aviation Minister Volikov, Chelomei was allowed to form a small research group to develop the technology. As group leader he put the name ‘Professor Chelomei' on his office door. This created a minor scandal since he had not yet been awarded his doctorate. Chelomei's group managed to build an extremely noisy prototype pulse-jet but the performance was disappointing.

Chelomei was called to the Kremlin by Malenkov on 14 June 1944 to see the remains of a V-1 provided by Britain. Marshall of Aviation Novikov was charmed by the engineer and he was tasked with duplicating the V-1 for the Soviet Union. By the end of 1944 he had duplicated the V-1 pulse jet, and by spring of 1945 was conducting first tests of the 10-Kh missile. The pulse jet unit was demonstrated mounted to an La-11 fighter at the Tushino Air Show in 1947. Meanwhile development of the 10Kh continued, with prototypes launched from both ramps and Pe-8 carrier aircraft from at test centre at Dzhizkaz in Uzebekistan (well before Kapustin Yar). Unlike the V-2 work of Korolev and Glushko, this was all accomplished without German assistance. Chelomei was given his own design bureau on 17 September 1949 (incorporating part of Polikarpov's old bureau).

Chelomei's bureau was seized from him due to various political intrigues (Chief Minister Mikoyan wanted his brother's MiG bureau to handle Soviet cruise missiles, and Secret Police Chief Beria wanted his son to design the guidance). In 1952 Chelomei became a professor at the Baumann University (MVTU), where he specialised in machine dynamics, vibration theory, dynamic stability of elastics, and servomechanism theory. After the deaths of Stalin and Beria in 1953, Malenkov remembered the talented Chelomei. Chelomei had conceived a fantastic new scheme -- winged jet-propelled anti-ship missiles that could be launched from submarines or small vessels. This seemed to the new Soviet leadership to be a revolutionary means of countering American naval dominance. Malenkov arranged for Chelomei to take over a small mechanical factory in Reutov and set him to work developing a new generation of naval cruise missiles.

Beginning in the late 1950's, Chelomei began studying use of his encapsulated cruise missile technology for spacecraft. A whole family of unmanned spacecraft, dubbed Kosmoplans, would be built using modular elements. These would include highly manoeuvrable high performance storable liquid propellant engine modules; nuclear reactor modules for high power space applications; ion engine units for inter-orbital transfer and interplanetary flight; and re-entry vehicles permitting return of payloads from space with landing at conventional airfields.

Development of the P-5 cruise missile had not yet been completed before Chelomei sought a massive expansion of his design bureau's work into other areas. It was apparent that for strike against fixed targets the ballistic missile, for which no defence could be developed for decades, would win out over the cruise missile as a weapon system. Furthermore intercontinental ballistic missiles opened up the possibility of the exploration and colonisation of space. Chelomei was anxious to be involved in the much more exciting arena of space flight. When Korolev's R-7 experienced a long string of launch failures in the summer of 1957, Chelomei was quick to criticise Korolev and asked to be put in charge of the development. But the decisive event in Chelomei's career was a meeting with Khrushchev in early 1958 and his subsequent hiring of Nikita Khrushchev's son, Sergei, on March 8, 1958. This gave Chelomei sudden and immediate access to the highest possible patron in the hierarchy. Chelomei's innovative approaches for standardisation and mass production of cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and spacecraft were in complete accord with Khrushchev's plans to and reduce the size and expense of the Soviet military through the use of revolutionary new technology.

With Khrushchev's support Chelomei's bureau grew quickly through consolidation of other bureaux and factories dissolved in the Khrushchev defence downsizing. In 1959 Chelomei was given the elite title of General Designer of OKB-52. The Myasishchev, Lavochkin, and Tsybin aviation design bureaux were wound up and incorporated into Chelomei's. The plumb acquisition was the Khrunichev factory that had earlier worked on Myasishchev's heavy bombers and the Buran cruise missile, and had one of the highest levels of metallurgical and airframe expertise in the Soviet Union.

This quick ascent naturally created bitter opponents. Boris Chertok quotes a ‘secret joke' of the time:

Have you heard, they're closing the Bolshoi Theatre?

How's that?

It'll became a whorehouse for OKB Chelomei.

Under Chelomei's direction the P-5 and P-6 (SS-N-3 Shaddock) naval cruise missile was being developed. These missiles were made for long-term storage in environmentally-controlled capsules aboard Soviet warships. Chelomei saw that this technology could be applied to ballistic missiles and spacecraft as well.

Chelomei proposed use of this container approach for the UR-100 light ICBM, the Soviet answer to the US Minuteman. This most numerous of Russian ICBM's was a sealed unit, which could be stored fuelled for ten years before being fired within three minutes of launch command.

Beginning in the late 1950's, Chelomei began studying use of his encapsulated cruise missile technology for spacecraft. A whole family of unmanned spacecraft, dubbed Kosmoplans, would be built using modular elements. These would include highly manoeuvrable high performance storable liquid propellant engine modules; nuclear reactor modules for high power space applications; ion engine units for inter-orbital transfer and interplanetary flight; and re-entry vehicles permitting return of payloads from space with landing at conventional airfields.

These re-entry vehicles were of unique concept and consisted of a high-fineness oblique conical heat shield with petal-like manoeuvring flaps at the base. These were capable of very large cross-range manoeuvres (up to 3000 km) at hypersonic speed as well as controlled re-entry at very high velocities from planetary return trajectories. The external shell enclosed an adaptation of Chelomei's naval cruise missiles, a cylindrical fuselage with snap-out wings and a cruise turbojet. After re-entry, the conical shield would explosively separate at Mach 2. The internal craft would deploy its wings and turbojet air inlet, start its engine, and then cruise to a radio-guided precision landing at an airfield on Soviet territory.

This approach eliminated the very difficult hot structure problems encountered by other chief designers in their spaceplane designs of the same period. Since the hot heat shield would be jettisoned, the contents did not have to be designed to handle thermal equilibrium temperatures of 400 degrees or more. The same vehicle could also deliver a larger payload under a parachute, or a nuclear warhead.

Kosmoplans were to be launched by Chelomei's equally modular family of 'UR' universal rockets, capable of both ICBM and space launch missions. Chelomei proposed variants of Kosmoplans for studies of the earth's upper atmosphere, television communications, meteorology, military photo-reconnaissance, naval radar and signals reconnaissance, and interception and destruction of enemy satellites. Civilian Kosmoplans would engage in exploration of near earth space and the planets. The same modular principles but larger re-entry vehicles would be used for manned interceptor combat Raketoplans. While the UR-200 rocket would be used for launch of smaller earth orbital Kosmoplans, a cluster of UR-200's would create the much larger UR-500 launch vehicle. The UR-500 would be used for launch of manned, lunar landing, and interplanetary Kosmoplan / Raketoplan designs.

In 1959, as Chelomei laid out these plans, he knew a tremendous struggle would be required to wrest a piece of the space programme from Chief Designer Korolev. The opening shot was contained in a letter sent by Korolev to the Central Committee of the Communist Part in January 1960. Korolev proposed an aggressive program for Communist conquest of space - entirely by Korolev's OKB. He pledged to place before the Central Committee in the third quarter of 1960 comprehensive plans for development of the new projects. This letter was followed by a meeting with Khrushchev on the subject on 3 March 1960. Korolev believed it would be truly possible with backing from the very top to have a large rocket in the USSR in a very short span of time. Unfortunately at the meeting Korolev made a slip of the tongue he would always regret, admitting that his plan had not been agreed among all of the Chief Designers. This resulted in Khrushchev throwing the matter back for a consensus plan.

By 30 May 1960 Korolev was back with a plan that now included participation of his rivals, Chelomei and Yangel. The consolidated plan included the following elements allocated to Chelomei:

  • Theme K - Development of unpiloted Kosmoplans for flight to Mars and Venus with return to earth and landing at conventional airfields. These would use new exotic chemical systems, low thrust nuclear engines (nuclear-plasma, ion, atomic hydrogen). The preferred variant consisted of the Kosmoplan re-entry vehicle + equipment section + ion engines on booms + nuclear reactor. Sub-variants with a total mass of 10 to 12 tonnes and 25 tonnes would be developed in 1965-1966. Draft project to be completed in 1962. This authority extended to design of combat orbital Kosmoplans with nuclear warheads for manoeuvring re-entry after launch by GR-1 (UR-200) or GR-2 (UR-500) rockets. These would use the re-entry vehicle without the air-breathing lander + the liquid propulsion module.

  • Development of a 600 tonne gross lift-off mass rocket using new chemical propellants for sending spacecraft to nearby planets. Draft project to be completed in 1962. This would become the UR-500 Proton booster. But it is likely that the actual primary purpose of this rocket is also not mentioned in the declassified document. The Proton was originally designed for the GR-2 (Global Rocket 2) requirement. The GR-2 was to be a kind of enormous multiple-warhead FOBS (fractional orbit bombing system). The payload of the rocket was to be six independently manoeuvring nuclear armed vehicles. Each vehicle had a 1,500 kg 2.2 MT nuclear warhead. They would separate from the final stage, and make violent manoeuvres using independent guidance systems to put each warhead in a different low 160 km altitude orbit. At the end of a 10,000 to 12,000 km journey along their separate orbital paths, the warheads would appear on US radar screens at the last moment with minimal warning. The total spread of the warheads would be 1800 km from left to right; two such global rockets could devastate America's major cities from coast to coast in an unstoppable first strike. The Kosmoplan re-entry vehicle would use aerodynamic horizontal and vertical manoeuvring to penetrate enemy space defences and be practically invulnerable.

  • Theme R - Manned Raketoplan spacecraft for orbital manoeuvring flight and recovery at conventional airfields. Total mass to be 10 to 12 tonnes, total gliding range during re-entry 2,500 to 3,000 km. Unpiloted version to be developed in 1960 to 1961, followed by piloted version in 1963 to 1965. Satellite interceptor operational version to be tested in 1962 to 1964.

  • Theme US - Upravlenniye Sputnik - Naval reconnaissance satellite using P6 nuclear reactor. To be developed in 1962 to 1964. This variant use an active radar system to track American warships and would consist of the Kosmoplan nuclear reactor + equipment module + specialised radar equipment. This Kosmoplan variants went into service, but late to schedule.

  • Theme IS - Istrebitel Sputnik - Anti-satellites - the Ministry of Defence was to decide by July 1960 whether to develop an R-7 launched system for annihilation of enemy reconnaissance satellites. Chelomei was later authorised to proceed with this project. The Chelomei IS ASAT would use the Kosmoplan manoeuvring bus and be the first variant to fly. He planned for launch of the production model on the UR-200. But this was cancelled and production ASAT's flew in the late 1960's, launched by Yangel Tsiklon rockets.

Chelomei was authorised by Decree 715-296 of 23 June 1960 'On the Production of Various Launch Vehicles, Satellites, Spacecraft for the Military Space Forces in 1960-1967' to complete a draft project on unpiloted Kosmoplans. Chelomei managed a first flight test of a subscale unpiloted version of the Kosmoplan / Raketoplan re-entry vehicle on 21 March 1961.

The Kosmoplan's UR-200 (8K81) launch vehicle was approved for production on 16 March and 1 August 1961 by the Central Committee and Politburo. The UR-200 was designed not only to send a thermonuclear warhead over a range of 12,000 km, but also to orbit all of the Kosmoplan military variants: the IS ASAT; the US nuclear-powered naval intelligence satellite; and the Kosmoplan combat re-entry vehicle. The Kosmoplan and UR-200 draft projects were completed in July 1962. The rocket's technical characteristics would be similar to those of Korolev's R-9 and Yangel's R-16. Trial flights of the ICBM version ran from 4 November 1963 to 20 October 1964.

Approval to proceed with the UR-500 (8K82) was provided in the Central Committee decree of 24 April 1962. The draft project UR-500 was completed in 1963. The fundamental technological problems of the project had been solved by the end of 1964. In the early fall of that year, Khrushchev and the political leadership of the country visited Baikonur. Chelomei with great pride guided Khrushchev around a dummy UR-500 installed in its launch gantry at the new launch complex, presented the heavy transporters for the launch vehicle and showed a scale model of the launch silo planned for the combat version. Khrushchev's comment was 'what should we build - communism or silos for the UR-500?" It was clear that Khrushchev was not very supportive of the military version of the UR-500.

On October 13, 1964, Khrushchev was ousted from power by a retrograde clique headed by Brezhnev. Chelomei had made a critical error of slighting Ustinov, Chairman of the Military-Industrial Commission, when riding high with Khrushchev's backing. Under Brezhnev Ustinov was elevated to the position of Secretary to the Central Committee of the Communist Party for Defence and Space. Furthermore Ustinov idolised Stalin and despised Khrushchev for having torn down Stalin's memory. The new leadership was adverse to all projects Khrushchev had supported. These included those of Chelomei and his OKB-52. An expert commission under Keldysh was directed to examine all of Chelomei's projects and make recommendations as to which should be cancelled. Keldysh found that Yangel's R-36 universal rocket and fractional orbital bombing system was superior to Chelomei's UR-200 / Kosmoplan combat re-entry vehicle. The UR-200 and Kosmoplan were accordingly cancelled. The IS and US Kosmoplans were assigned to KB Arsenal and redesigned for launch by the R-36. The UR-500 development was continued, but only in the 8K82K space launch version for sending the sole surviving Raketoplan, the LK-1 manned circumlunar spacecraft, around the moon.

The LK-1 was in turn cancelled in late 1965 as Korolev finally regained control of all manned lunar projects. However Chelomei was not finished yet. His UR-100 was the backbone of the Soviet strategic deterrent. His naval cruise missiles were the only Soviet counterweight to the US Navy. Chelomei received some cover from Ustinov's direct wrath by having his bureau placed under Afanasyev's MOM (Ministry of General Machine Building). Although Afanasyev didn't show any preference to Chelomei over Korolev or Yangel, Chelomei was able to obtain support in the hierarchy from Deputy Minister of Defence Andrei Grechko. Fighting constant resistance, Chelomei was able to proceed with his Almaz military space station and TKS manned ferry. His alternate proposals for manned moon landings (LK-700), Mars missions (MK-700), reusable shuttle craft (LKS) were all rejected by the leadership (although often technically and objectively superior to the selected designs from other bureaux).

Soon after Phase 2 of the Almaz was approved in January 1976 Marshal Grechko suffered a heart attack. With this Chelomei lost his most active patron and was unable to withstand the slow strangulation of his projects by Ustinov and Glushko. Ustinov was finally able to cancel the entire remaining Almaz program on 19 December 1981. Manned flights of the TKS were cancelled, and work on the Almaz-T was halted. Ustinov officially wanted Chelomei's TsKBM to concentrate on ICBM development. Chelomei hid the three Almaz-T and OPS-4 space stations in a corner of his factory, labelling them as 'radioactive material'.

Chelomei nevertheless persevered. He was still in good health when he suffered a bizarre accident at his dacha in December 1984. While closing the garage door, his Mercedes slipped into gear and crushed him. At first it seemed nothing more serious than a badly broken leg. Chelomei was taken to the Moscow district hospital closest to his dacha. While in the hospital he heard that Ustinov was on his death bed. Even at this stage Chelomei dreamed of a renaissance in his design bureau and was making big plans for future space missions. Then, while on the telephone with his wife, he died suddenly of a massive thrombosis.

Chelomei was named a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences in 1958 and a full Academician in 1962. He was named a corresponding member of the International Astronautics Academy in 1974. Chelomei was a deputy to the 9th and 10th Soviets, received the Lenin prize in 1959, State Prizes of the USSR in 1967, 1974, and 1982, as well as four orders of Lenin, the order of the October Revolution, the Zhukovskiy Medal for outstanding contributions to aviation theory in 1974, the Lyapunov Medal for outstanding contribution to mathematics and mechanics. Twice Hero of Socialist Labour (1959, 1963).

Birth Place: Sedlets, Ukraine.
Born: 1914.06.30.
Died: 1984.12.08.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Chelomei Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Chelomei Design Bureau, Reutov, Russia. More...

Associated Programs
  • Lunar L1 The Soviet program to put a man on a circumlunar flight around the moon. More...
  • Proton Investigation of ultra-high-energy cosmic particles. More...
  • Soyuz The Soyuz spacecraft was designed in 1962 for rendezvous and docking operations in near earth orbit, leading to piloted circumlunar flight. Versions remained in production into the 21st Century as a space station ferry, resupply craft, and lifeboat. After the retirement of the American space shuttle in 2011, it became the only means for regular human access to space. More...

Bibliography
  • Yeteyev, Ivan, Operezhaya vremya, Ocherki, Moscow, 1999..

Chelomei Chronology


1954 June 9 - .
  • Chelomei put in charge of special design group 10. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Summary: Ministry of Aviation Industry (MAP) Decree 'On establishment of Special Design Group 10 at Plant No. 500 at Tushino under V. N. Chelomei' was issued..

1958 March 8 - .
  • Chelomei's bureau acquires GSNII-642. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Khrushchev. Spacecraft: Kosmoplan. Ministry of Aviation Industry (MAP) Decree 293-140 'On subordinating GSNII-642 to OKB-52' was issued. On the same day Chelomei hired Nikita Khrushchev's son, Sergei, to work as an engineer in his design bureau. This gave Chelomei sudden and immediate access to the highest possible patron in the hierarchy. He was rewarded with his own design bureau, OKB-52, in 1959. This would lead to Chelomei being a key figure in the Soviet space program, even after Khruschev's ouster in 1964.

1959 During the Year - .
  • Kosmoplans proposed by Chelomei. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Spacecraft: Kosmoplan. Chelomei began studying use of his encapsulated cruise missile technology for spacecraft. A whole family of unmanned spacecraft, dubbed Kosmoplans, would be built using modular elements. These would include highly manoeuvrable high performance storable liquid propellant engine modules; nuclear reactor modules for high power space applications; ion engine units for inter-orbital transfer and interplanetary flight; and re-entry vehicles permitting return of payloads from space with landing at conventional airfields.

1959 September - .
  • PKA Spaceplane Draft Project Completed - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Myasishchev; Tsybin. Spacecraft: PKA. The Tsybin bureau was closed down shortly after the draft project was completed. Tsybin and his staff transferred to the Myasishchev bureau in October 1959 (which had its own on-going VKA-23 winged spacecraft project). The Myasishchev bureau was then in turn closed and the staff transferred to Filial 1 of Chelomei’s OKB-52 bureau in 1960. Tsybin’s work on the PKA was passed to the Mikoyan bureau and formed the starting point for the design of the Spiral spaceplane.

April 1960 - . LV Family: UR-200. Launch Vehicle: UR-200.
  • Chelomei plan for Organic Space System. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrushchev; Chelomei; Dementiev; Myasishchev. Spacecraft: Raketoplan. Chelomei visits Khrushchev in the Crimea and presents his ambitious plan for an Organic Space System - a space infrastructure serviced by an integrated family of launch vehicles and spacecraft. The system would include orbiting stations, space factories, winged rockets, and nuclear weapons stored in space with plenty of decoys to defeat any enemy counter-measures. UR-200 rockets would fulfil all roles in servicing this array of weapons. Dementiev supported Chelomei’s proposals, but the chief designer would need a factory to support fabrication of the rockets and spacecraft. Myasishchev’s bureau and its associated Khrunichev factory were an obvious choice, since the decision had been taken not to put the M-50 bomber or Buran cruise missile into production and the factory would soon be idle.

1960 May 30 - .
  • Korolev space development plan - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Korolev; Yangel. Spacecraft: Kosmoplan. Summary: Korolev revised his earlier, disapproved plan with one that now included participation of his rivals, Chelomei and Yangel..

1960 June 23 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviet plan for mastery of space issued. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Korolev; Yangel. Spacecraft: TMK-E. Decree 715-296 'On the Production of Various Launch Vehicles, Satellites, Spacecraft for the Military Space Forces in 1960-1967' authorised design of a range of spacecraft and launch vehicles by Korolev, Yangel, and Chelomei. The decree included the N1 (development of launch vehicles of up to 2,000 tonnes liftoff mass and 80 tonne payload, using conventional chemical propellants) and nuclear reactors for space power and propulsion.

1960 October 3 - . LV Family: UR-200. Launch Vehicle: UR-200.
  • Chelomei acquires Myasishchev and Khrunichev OKBs. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Myasishchev. Spacecraft: Raketoplan. Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 1057-434 'On transfer of OKB-23 as Branch No. I of OKB-52 and on course of work on IS anti-satellite system' was issued. Chelomei acquired the OKB-23 of Vladimir Mikhailovich Myasishchev, (which had formerly designed heavy bombers), as well as the M K Khrunichev heavy aviation factory. Both of these organisations had a very high level of technical and manufacturing expertise, and assisted Chelomei in quickly moving ahead on his new space projects.

1960 November 1 - .
  • Chelomei R winged manned spacecraft project starts - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Myasishchev; Tsybin. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: Raketoplan; SAINT; SAINT II. Immediately after cancellation of similar projects at Myasishchev and Tsybin bureaus, Chelomei's new bureau is assigned to build equivalent of US Dynasoar / Saint II. Winged manned spacecraft for interception, inspection, and destruction of US satellites up to 290 km altitude. Two man crew, 24 hour mission duration, large aft drag brakes.

1961 March - . Launch Vehicle: RS.
  • RS project cancelled - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Korolev; Tsybin. Summary: Tsybin's design bureau had been taken over by Chelomei, and work on the RS was stopped in the spring of 1961, with three airframes nearly finished. Tsybin went to work for Korolev at OKB-1..

1961 May 13 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviet response to Apollo program - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Spacecraft: Kosmoplan; Raketoplan; Elektron-A; Elektron-B; LK-1. Soviet Decree 'On the Revision of Plans for Space Objects for Accomplishing Goals of Defence Designations--heavy boosters, course of work on Elektron, and suspension of work of work on the Kosmoplan and Raketoplan with continuation of new Raketoplan work' was issued. The decree set the end of 1965 as the date for the first launch of the N1. It also authorised Chelomei to stop work on Kosmoplan interplanetary probes and instead concentrate on a specific Raketoplan design - the LK-1 manned lunar flyby spacecraft.

1961 June 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Moon program go-ahead in response to U.S. start - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Korolev; Yangel. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz A; Soyuz B; Soyuz V; LK-1. Chelomei is informally asked by Khruschev to begin design of a booster and spacecraft for a manned circumlunar mission (UR-500 Proton and LK-1). There is no authorization for a lunar landing program, although Korolev, Yangel, and Chelomei all begin booster designs.

1961 August 15 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton.
  • Chelomei begins UR-500 Proton design studies. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Manufacturer: Chelomei. Program: GR-2. At first the launch vehicle was simply to consist of 4 two-stage UR-200 rockets lashed together, the first and second stages working in parallel in clusters. A third stage would be modified from the UR-200 second stage. However study of this configuration, which included manufacturing of a dynamic test article, indicated that the payload capacity could not meet the military’s requirements.

1961 November - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton.
  • Preliminary design work by Chelomei on UR-500 (Proton) rocket. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Glushko; Chelomei. OKB-52 began to collaborate with V P Glushko’s OKB-456 in developing an appropriate engine. Glushko had completed a storable liquid engine design of 150 tonnes for use in Korolev’s N1. However Korolev refused to accept this design, due to his refusal to use toxic propellants in his rockets and his belief that such propellants could never deliver the required specific impulse.

1962 During the Year - . LV Family: N1; Proton; R-56.
  • GR-2 (Global Rocket 2) requirement. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Korolev; Yangel. Summary: The GR-2 was to be a kind of enormous multiple-warhead FOBS (fractional orbit bombing system). Competitors included Korolev's N-11GR; Chelomei's UR-500; and Yangel's R-56.

1962 During the Year - . LV Family: UR-700. Launch Vehicle: UR-700.
  • Development of RD-270 engine begun - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Yangel. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: LK-700. The RD-270 engine was proposed for Chelomei's UR-700 and Yangel R-56 lunar landing launchers in competition to Korolev N1. The RD-270 was in the same class as the F-1 engine developed for America's Saturn V launch vehicle, but burned storable but toxic propellants.

1962 During the Year - . LV Family: UR-700. Launch Vehicle: UR-700.
  • UR-700 launch vehicle for manned lunar landing missions. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Spacecraft: LK-700. Chelomei's TsKBM began work on the UR-700. The conclusion was reached that a direct lunar landing would require a payload of 130 to 170 tonnes. Initial LK-700 spacecraft designs were derived from the 'Raketoplan' family of manned modular space vehicles. Korolev's N1-L3 design was selected in 1964 for the manned lunar landing, but the UR-700 would surface again when the N1 encountered delays.

During February 1962 - . LV Family: N1; Proton; R-16; R-56; R-9; UR-200.
  • Pitsunda Conference - Decision to start design of UR-500 and N1 lunar boosters - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrushchev; Yangel; Korolev; Ustinov; Chelomei; Grechko, Andrei; Kozlov; Mikoyan. The Soviet leadership attends a secret exhibition of Soviet rocket technology in a sporting hall at Pitsunda, on the Black Sea. The Chief Designers offer competing designs. It is decided that the R-16, R-9, UR-200, UR-500, and N1 will go forward. Yangel's R-56 is rejected. Additional Details: here....

1962 November 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Chelomei takes over Lavochkin and Myasishchev OKBs - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Khrushchev; Lavochkin; Myasishchev. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Summary: At Khrushchev's decision Chelomei takes over Lavochkin's OKB-301 and Myasishchev's OKB-23. Lavochkin had built objects 205, 207, 400 (SA-1,2,5); Chelomei UR-96 ABM-1..

1963 During the Year - .
  • Space Television Reconnaissance System (TGR) - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Spacecraft: TGR. Chelomei began project work in 1963 on a Space Television Reconnaissance System (TGR). The television apparatus was developed by VNII-380 GKRE (I A Rosselevich) and TsNII Kometa MRP (A I Savin). Savin had developed the original draft project, but Chelomei was given overall control. But the project had no sound scientific research basis at that point - it was not advanced enough for a draft project. Work was abandoned and no such system would be put into operation until the Yantar 4KS1 of the 1980's.

1963 January 18 - .
  • Soyuz expert commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Smirnov; Korolev; Chelomei. Flight: Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: Soyuz A; Soyuz B; Soyuz V; Raketoplan. Smirnov insisted on the following after reviewing Korolev's design: 1) there must be a space suit for every crew member; 2) the spacecraft must be able to use lift during re-entry to change its landing point; 3) the spacecraft must have ejection seats. Korolev and his assistants categorically rejected these demands. Smirnov was only insisting on the availability of suits, not that they be worn at all times; and only on small lifting surfaces to give the capsule more manoeuvrability during re-entry. But Korolev rejected even this. Later the commission went to Chelomei's bureau to see his Raketoplan manned spaceplane design. But this was not even laid out on paper yet, with the draft project not scheduled to be completed until the end of February. Chelomei has already been working on this for two years. In January 1961 he gave a presentation to the General Staff and made big promises in regard to this spacecraft - but nothing has been completed. The only spacecraft that will be realistically available in the next three to five years is Korolev's - anything else would only be purely experimental.

February 1963 - . LV Family: UR-100. Launch Vehicle: R-26.
  • Council of Fili - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrushchev; Yangel; Chelomei; Brezhnev; Kozlov. The Soviet leadership reviewed missile development since the Pitsunda meeting. Both the Yangel R-26 and Chelomei UR-100 were proposed as small ICBM’s to be put into mass production as a counter to the American Minuteman. The UR-100 was an ampulised missile with a guaranteed ten-year storage life. Yangel had not solved the problems of long-term storage of corrosive storable fuel yet. Therefore Khrushchev, supported by Kozlov and Brezhnev, selected the UR-100. A decree for mass production was issued on 30 May 1963.

1963 March 7 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511.
  • Korolev approves draft plan for 'Soyuz Complex' - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Korolev. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz A; Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz B; Soyuz V. Final design approval for Soyuz A spacecraft for earth orbit and circumlunar flight using orbital rendezvous, docking, and refuelling technques. Except for change of orbital module from cylindrical to spherical design, and changes to rendezvous radar tower arrangement, this design was essentially identical to the Soyuz 7K-OK that flew three years later. Additional Details: here....

1963 March 21 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1 1964.
  • Presidium of Inter-institution Soviet - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Keldysh; Chelomei; Glushko. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz A; Soyuz B; Soyuz V; Soyuz 7K-OK. The expert commission report on Soyuz is reviewed by the Chief Designers from 10:00 to 14:00. The primary objective of the Soyuz project is to develop the technology for docking in orbit. This will allow the spacecraft to make flights of many months duration and allow manned flyby of the moon. Using docking of 70 tonne components launched by the N1 booster will allow manned flight to the Moon, Venus, and Mars. Keldysh, Chelomei and Glushko all support the main objective of Soyuz, to obtain and perfect docking technology. But Chelomei and Glushko warn of the unknowns of the project. Korolev agrees with the assessment that not all the components of the system - the 7K, 9K, and 11K spacecraft - will fly by the end of 1964. But he does argue that the first 7K will fly in 1964, and the first manned 7K flight will come in 1965.

1963 November 1 - . 08:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Sputnik 11A59. LV Configuration: Sputnik 11A59 E15003-02A.
  • Polet 1; Polyot 1 - . Payload: I-2B s/n 1. Mass: 1,400 kg (3,000 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Agency: Korolev. Class: Military. Type: Anti-satellite system. Spacecraft: Polyot. Decay Date: 1982-10-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 683 . COSPAR: 1963-043A. Apogee: 1,420 km (880 mi). Perigee: 331 km (205 mi). Inclination: 58.9000 deg. Period: 102.40 min. ASAT interceptor control and propulsion test. Launched by Korolev R-7 because Chelomei's own UR-200 was not yet available. Purpose - elaboration of system providing for the extensive manoeuvring of space apparatuses. Flight was considered a great success. Micro-engine fired 350 times and main stabilizing engine fired 300 times. Orbit given is final orbit after manoeuvres.

1964 June 18 - .
  • USSR five-year military space plan issued. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Malinovskiy. Spacecraft: Raketoplan; Soyuz R; Zenit-2M; Zenit-4M; US-A; US-P; Spiral OS; MiG 105-11. Ministry of Defence Decree 'On military space programs for 1964-69, including the R spaceplane' was issued. The decree was issued by Defence Ministry Marshal Rodiono Yakovlevich Malinovksiy. Included in this plan were new versions of the automatic Zenit, Morya-1 (US series) spacecraft, the Spiral spaceplane, the Soyuz-R manned combat spacecraft, and others. Chelomei's Raketoplan spaceplane was cancelled.

1964 July 19 - . LV Family: N1; Proton; R-56; UR-700.
  • Korolev obtains preliminary approval for a single-launch, lunar orbit rendezvous, manned landing. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Glushko; Yangel; Korolev; Smirnov; Feoktistov; Bushuyev; Mishin. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK; L3-1963; LK-1. Work on the original N1-L3 had begun in 1963. This had been preceded by two years of working on a draft project for the LK lunar lander and its propulsion system. But there was no money for full scale development -- no code name from Gosplan against which to charge such work. It was annoying that Chelomei, Glushko, and Yangel were wasting resources on alternate designs at the same time. Additional Details: here....

1964 August 1 - . LV Family: N1; Proton.
  • Full scale development of Soviet manned lunar flyby and landing projects authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Chelomei. Program: Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz A-1; Soyuz A-2; Soyuz A-3; Soyuz A-4. Spacecraft: LK-1; Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK; Luna Ye-8; Soyuz A. Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 655-268 'On Work on the Exploration of the Moon and Mastery of Space--piloted LK-1 circumlunar and L3 lunar landing projects and the Ye-6M lunar lander' was issued. Chelomei was to develop the three-stage UR-500K booster and LK-1 spacecraft for the manned lunar flyby. Korolev was to develop the totally different N1 booster and L3 spacecraft complex for the manned lunar landing. First launch of the N1 was to be by the first quarter 1966, with manned lunar landings in 1967 to 1968. Reprioritization led to work being stopped on Korolev's Zvezda 6-man orbiting weapons platform by mid-1965, after a huge mockup had been built.

    Korolev felt that if he had the full support of the Communist Party, the military, and industry he could achieve this goal, and this decree ordered such support. The USSR would be first on the moon. But in truth the draft project behind the decree had not solved all of the technical problems, or provided a solution on how to achieve the required payload on either the booster or spacecraft side. New technology features required for success of the scheme included an advanced guidance system in the N1 third stage equipment bay, the enormous fuel tanks in the N1 first stage, and the Lox/LH2 fuel cells needed for the LOK lunar orbiter. But the real technical problem with the N1-L3 design was the total lack of any weight growth reserve. Even thought the systems had not even been developed yet, engineers were fighting over tens of grams in their weight allocations, let alone the kilograms normally at issue.

    Development of Korolev's Soyuz A-B-V, a competing circumlunar project, was evidently still authorised, although it duplicated Chelomei's LK-1.


1964 August 15 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K.
  • Chief Designers review of Voskhod at OKB-1 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrushchev, Sergei; Chelomei. Program: Voskhod. Flight: Voskhod 1. Spacecraft: Voskhod; LK-1. All concerned designers, bureaux, and institutes certify the reliability of the systems of the spacecraft and launch vehicle. The second phase of trials of the soft landing system have been successful. Of 10 drops, 9 landed with vertical velocity under 7.5 m/s, and of those, 6 landed with a speed of only 0.0 to 1.5 m/s. There are still concerns about how the system will function in soft soils or adverse weather conditions. Nevertheless the decision is taken to ship the spacecraft to the cosmodrome for final preparations between 18 and 25 August. It is likely that the manned flight cannot occur until the end of September. Later in the day Kamanin is visited by Sergei Nikitovich Khrushchev and other experts from Chelomei's design bureau. They brief Kamanin on plans for a manned circumnavigation of the moon using their spacecraft launched by their UR-500 booster by the end of 1967.

1964 September 24 - . LV Family: N1; R-56; R-9; Tsiklon; UR-100; UR-200; UR-700. Launch Vehicle: R-26.
  • Khrushchev visits Baikonur - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Khrushchev; Yangel; Chelomei; Brezhnev; Smirnov; Ustinov; Korolev; Glushko; Gagarin; Belyayev; Leonov. Flight: Voskhod 2. Spacecraft: Voskhod; Berkut; LK-700. This was his last visit, just weeks before his overthrow. The Soviet leadership were shown the UR-100 and observed launches of the competing UR-200 and R-36. Khrushchev agreed with the decision to put the R-36 into production instead of Chelomei’s UR-200. He felt he couldn’t turn down Yangel a third time after approving Korolev’s N1 instead of Yangel’s R-56 and Chelomei’s UR-100 instead of Yangel’s R-26. Khrushchev decided to cancel Korolev’s badly behind schedule R-9A, even though Smirnov and Ustinov insisted they wanted it in their arsenal (in May 1965, after Khrushchev’s overthrow, this decision was reversed and the R-9A went into production).

    Khrushchev also visited a secret space fair, with Korolev, Chelomei, Yangel, and Glushko presenting their rockets and spacecraft. Chelomei presented his UR-700 heavy lift design as an alternative to Korolev’s N1. This presentation was a surprise to Ustinov and Dementiev. Khrushchev ordered Chelomei to prepare a draft proposal for the design. Chelomei hoped that 12 to 18 months later, when the UR-700 draft project would be completed, the fallacy of Korolev’s N1 design would be apparent to all. Korolev’s N1 plans were also reviewed and approved at the meeting.

    Over the two days, Khruschev witnessed five launches of rockets by Korolev, Yangel, and Chelomei, all of them successful. Gagarin and Belyayev explained the Vykhod spacecraft to him, and Leonov donned a spacesuit and demonstrated how he would exit into open space form the inflatable airlock and return thereafter. All went very well.

    This was the last time Khrushchev saw the chief designers of the Soviet rocket industry. Despite his support for them not one of them visited him in his retirement.


1964 October 12 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K.
  • Almaz project starts - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Spacecraft: Almaz APOS; Soyuz R. The day before the overthrow of his patron, Chelomei obtained permission to begin development of a larger military space station, the Almaz. This 20 tonne station would take three cosmonauts to orbit in a single launch of his UR-500K Proton rocket. Therefore there were now two competing projects for the same mission - Almaz and Soyuz-R. First flight of the Almaz, with a one year operational period, was set for 1968.

1964 October 13 - . LV Family: Proton; UR-200.
  • Khrushchev ousted from power. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Khrushchev. Spacecraft: Kosmoplan; OGCh; IS-A; US-P; US-A; LK-1. Summary: Brezhnev faction assumes control of Politubro. Brezhnev was adverse to all projects Khrushchev had supported. These included those of Chelomei and his OKB-52..

1964 October 31 - . LV Family: UR-700. Launch Vehicle: UR-700.
  • UR-700 project cancelled - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Korolev. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: LK-700. Following the August decree that gave the circumlunar project to Chelomei and the lunar landing project to Korolev, further work on development of the UR-700 by Chelomei was cancelled. However development of the RD-270 engine was continued and Chelomei continued to do UR-700 design studies.

November 1964 - . LV Family: N1; R-56; UR-700.
  • Korolev's admits that N1 cannot attain payload needed for single-launch mission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Kozlov; Khrushchev; Ustinov; Brezhnev; Yangel; Chelomei; Babakin; Lavochkin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK-700. Korolev speaks privately to Chertok. Kozlov has told him it will be impossible to build an N1 with the 93 tonne payload capability until the fourth flight article. The L3 concept was still the same as in the August decree - 2 cosmonauts aboard the LOK orbiter, one aboard the LK lander. Korolev asks Chertok to take 800 kg out of the weight budget for the L3. Chertok informs him that they are already 500 kg over the August budget. This is still without all the unknowns of the automated lunar landing being solved. Additional Details: here....

1965 During the Year - . LV Family: R-56. Launch Vehicle: R-56.
  • Yangel proposes collaborative Soviet moon landing project using R-56 launch vehicle - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Korolev; Yangel. Yangel had decided that the bitter fight between Chelomei and Korolev over control of manned programs was damaging the Soviet space effort. In any case he could see that the size of the projects had reached such a scale that it was impossible for one design bureau to handle all of the required elements. He proposed a collaborative effort: Yangel would design and build the launch vehicle; Korolev the manned spacecraft; and Chelomei the unmanned spacecraft. However the leadership was loath to change course with funds already invested in development of boosters and spacecraft by Chelomei and Korolev.

1965 March 1 - .
  • Soyuz 7K-PPK cancelled. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Program: Almaz. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz PPK. Summary: Based on successful test flights of Chelomei's unmanned interceptor-sputnik prototypes (Polyot 1 and 2), the Soyuz 7K-PPK manned interceptor version is cancelled..

1965 March 2 - .
  • Babakin takes over Lavochkin OKB - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Korolev; Babakin. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Spacecraft: Luna E-6; Luna Ye-8. Former Lavochkin bureau, part of Chelomei, regained status of a separate design bureau with former Korolev deputy GN Babakin as its head. By the end of 1965 all materials on the E-6, Ye-8, and planetary probes were passed by Korolev to the Lavochkin Bureau, who took over responsibility for all future lunar and planetary unmanned probes.

1965 June 1 - .
  • Beginning of Project Spiral - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Korolev. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: MiG 105-11. With the cancellation of Chelomei's desultory R spaceplane development, the job is handed to 'the profis' - the fighter design bureaus of MiG and Sukhoi. Both would use an air breathing first stage (the XB-70 clone T-4 in Sukhoi's case, a huge new Tupolev hypersonic aircraft 'to be developed' in MiG's case). Second stage would be a conventional expendable rocket stage which would carry the relatively small Spiral spaceplane into orbit. Korolev had been doing some 'back door' work with MiG in competition to Chelomei's R project for some time (Began with 1962 Mikoyan study '50-50': Hypersonic first stage to Mach 5.5; rocket stage with one man), and immediately proposed tests from atop R-7 rockets as early as 1967. At the time all this was begun Dyna Soar was still an active US program.

1965 July 16 - . 11:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: UR-500. LV Configuration: UR-500 107207-01 (207).
  • Proton 1 - . Payload: N-4 s/n 1. Mass: 8,300 kg (18,200 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Agency: MOM. Program: Proton. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: N-4 . Decay Date: 1965-10-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 1466 . COSPAR: 1965-054A. Apogee: 578 km (359 mi). Perigee: 181 km (112 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 92.20 min. The first launch of the Proton launch vehicle was not without problems. A leak in the oxidiser pipeline resulted in nitrogen tetroxide spilling on electrical wires. The question was: proceed with the launch or abort? Chelomei decided to go ahead, and on 16 July 1965 the first UR-500 successfully launched the Proton 1 satellite. In the first hours after launch specialists from OKB-52 could only receive signals in the first hours that indicated the satellite was ‘alive’. However it later functioned normally and provided physics data on ultra-high-energy cosmic particles for 45 days.

    At the first launch the rocket was called ‘Gerkules’ (other sources say ‘Atlantis’), as indicated by the large symbol on the second stage skin. This name was however was not taken up.


1965 August 16 - .
  • Chelomei's lunar spacecraft attacked - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Chelomei. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft: LK-1. Korolev discusses Chelomei's manned lunar flyby spacecraft with Kamanin. The Party ordered Chelomei to have 12 manned circumlunar spacecraft completed during 1966 and the first quarter of 1967. Chelomei has worked on the he project for many years, but his bureau has not yet decided on a single firm design for the spacecraft, let alone start construction.

1965 August 24 - . LV Family: Tsiklon; UR-200.
  • Development of R-36-O and Tsyklon launch vehicles authorised - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Keldysh; Yangel. Spacecraft: IS-A; US-A; OGCh. Decree 'On Creation of an R-36 Based Carrier Rocket for Launching the IS and US KA--start of work on an R-36-based launch vehicle for the IS and US programs' was issued. After Khrushchev was ousted from power, Chelomei's projects were examined by an expert commission under M V Keldysh. It was found that Yangel’s R-36 rocket was superior to Chelomei’s UR-200. The UR-200 was cancelled; the IS and US satellites would be launched by the R-36 11K67. The Tsyklon 2 definitive operational version replaced the 11K67 launch vehicle from 1969.

1965 September 8 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D.
  • Development of four stage version of the Proton proposed. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Korolev. Summary: The design was proposed by Korolev as an alternate to Chelomei's LK-1 circumlunar mission. It combined the Proton 8K82K booster for the LK-1 with the N1 lunar Block D stage to boost a stripped-down Soyuz 7K-L1 spacecraft around the moon..

1965 October 25 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton.
  • L1 manned circumlunar mission taken from Chelomei, given to Korolev. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Korolev. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1; Soyuz 7K-OK; LK-1. Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On the Concentration of Forces of Industrial Design Organisations for the Creation of Rocket-Space Complex Means for Circling the Moon--work on the UR-500K-L1 program' was issued. As a result of a presentation to the Military Industrial Commission, Afanasyev backed Korolev in wresting control of the manned circumlunar project from Chelomei. The Chelomei LK-1 circumlunar spacecraft was cancelled. In its place, Korolev would use a derivative of the Soyuz 7K-OK, the 7K-L1, launched by Chelomei’s UR-500K, but with a Block D translunar injection stage from the N1. He envisioned launch of the unmanned 7K-L1 into low earth orbit, followed by launch and docking of a 7K-OK with the 7K-L1. The crew would then transfer to the L1, which would then be boosted toward the moon. This was the original reason for the development of the 7K-OK.

1966 January 24 - .
  • New space schedules - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Afanasyev, Sergei; Petrovskiy; Chelomei; Malinovskiy. Program: Voskhod; Soyuz; Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1; Soviet Lunar Landing. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1; Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK. The VVS General Staff reviews a range of documents, authored by Korolev before his death, and supported by ministers Afanasyev and Petrovskiy. The schedules for the projects for flying around and landing on the moon are to be delayed from 1966-1967 to 1968-1969. A range of other space programs will similarly be delayed by 18 to 24 months. An institute for tests of space technology will be established at Chelomei's facility at Reutov. The IMBP will be made the lead organization for space medicine. Responsibility for space technology development will be moved from MOM to 10 other ministries. 100 million roubles have been allocated for the establishment of new research institutes. Kamanin is appalled, but Malinovskiy favours getting rid of the responsibility for these projects. The arguments over these changes - which reduce the VVS role in spaceflight - will be the subject of much of Kamanin's diary over the following weeks.

1966 March 30 - .
  • Soyuz R Cancelled; Soyuz 7K-TK to be ferry to Almaz station - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Kozlov. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS; Soyuz 7K-TK; Soyuz R. Ministry of General Machine Building (MOM) Decree 145ss 'On approval of the 7K-TK as transport for the Almaz station' was issued. It was decided that the 11F71 Soyuz-R space station would be cancelled and the Almaz would be developed in its place. Almaz was assigned the index number previously allocated to the Soyuz-R station, and Kozlov was ordered to hand over to Chelomei all of the work completed in relation to the station. However Kozlov's Soyuz 7K-TK ferry was to continue in development to transport crew to the Almaz.

1966 July 27 - .
  • VPK Meeting - L1 delays - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Vershinin; Chelomei; Mishin; Voronin; Severin. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Marshal Vershinin attends the meeting, where it is revealed that all systems in development - Chelomei's, Mishin's, Voronin's, Severin's, and others - are seriously behind schedule. The first unmanned circumlunar test of the L1 was to be made by 15 April 1967, but it seems unlikely it will even be completed by the end of 1967.

1966 October 13 - .
  • Almaz status review. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tereshkova; Kuznetsov; Chelomei. Program: Almaz. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS. Tereshkova departs for a tour of Belgium. General Kuznetsov accompanies a group of cosmonauts to visit Chelomei's design bureau to review progress on the Almaz military space station. Each station will remain in orbit for two years, with the crews being changed out every two months. Kamanin believes the ability of a crew to operate in zero-G for two months is not proven; he will assume the crew will have to be changed every two weeks. This would mean that per year of operation, 25 crews and 25 boosters for their delivery to the station would be required. If each crew could fly 2-3 times, per year, then even in this worse case scenario, 10 crews would be enough to keep the station manned.

1966 November 16 - . LV Family: N1; UR-700.
  • Government go-ahead for N-1 use in lunar program - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Keldysh; Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK; LK-700. Mishin's draft plan for the Soviet lunar landing was approved by an expert commission headed by Keldysh. The first N-1 launch was set for March 1968. At same meeting, Chelomei made a last ditch attempt to get his revised UR-700/LK-700 direct landing approach approved in its place. Although Chelomei had lined up the support of Glushko, and Mishin was in a weak position after Korolev's death, Keldysh managed to ensure that the N1-L3 continued. However continued design work on the LK-700, the UR-700 booster, and development of the RD-270 engine were authorised.

1966 December 24 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K.
  • First session of State Commission for the L1 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tyulin; Mishin; Chelomei; Barmin. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 2; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1. Tyulin chairs the meeting. Mishin, Chelomei and Barmin brief the status of the spacecraft, booster, and launch site. There is much to be done in order to fly cosmonauts around the moon by 7 November 1967 - the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. The first manned flight around the moon is planned for 26 June 1967. To achieve this, four flights of the L1 without a crew have to be completed first. The UR-500K booster should be capable of launching the L1 on a direct flight around the Moon and back to the earth. But since the UR-500K has not yet flown, and its 19-tonne low earth payload has not bee verified, Mishin plans to follow the podsadka scenario. The UR-500K will place in low earth orbit an L1 without a crew, and then a Soyuz booster will place a manned Soyuz 7K-OK Soyuz in orbit. The Soyuz crew will rendezvous and dock with the L1, and the crew for the circumlunar mission will spacewalk through open space from the 7K-OK into the L1. The spacecraft will then separate. The 7K-OK returns to earth, while the L1 is boosted on a circumlunar trajectory. After 4 to 6 launches of the UR-500K to verify its reliability and payload margins, it should be possible to make the direct flight to the moon on subsequent versions. For the time being it is necessary to develop both versions in parallel.

1966 December 28 - . LV Family: UR-700. Launch Vehicle: UR-700.
  • Almaz and LK-700 development status - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Smirnov; Ustinov. Program: Almaz; Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK-1; LK-700; Raketoplan; Almaz OPS. Kamanin accompanies 17 generals and other officers of the VVS in a tour of Chelomei's OKB-52. Chelomei spends five hours personally acquainting the visitors with his bureau's space technology capabilities. It was the first in-depth meeting Kamanin and Vershinin have had with Chelomei, despite meeting with him occasionally since 1961. They have mainly interacted with Korolev and now Mishin. Additional Details: here....

1966 December 31 - .
  • Second session of the L1 State Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Chelomei; Barmin; Ryazanskiy; Spitsa; Zakharov. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 2; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Mishin, Chelomei and Barmin report that the spacecraft, booster, and launch facilities are ready. The first unmanned launch of the L1 is set for the end of January, with the arrival of the members of state commission at Tyuratam on 10-12 January.

    The commission then considers reports on improvements needed for command, control, and recovery of manned lunar spacecraft. General Spitsa and Chief Designer Ryazanskiy list needed improvements to tracking and communications stations. These will cost more than 100 million roubles, including 50 million to equipment tracking ships. Tracking stations at Yevpatoria and Ussuriysk will require extensive new equipment for control of lunar spacecraft. Officers from TsNII-30 report on enhancements required for search and recovery forces. Due to the worldwide requirement, this can no longer be handled by the VVS alone - naval, long-range aviation, and communications forces need to be involved. Returning lunar ships will be targeted for landing on Soviet territory, but there is a great probability in the event of guidance problems of a splashdown in the Indian Ocean or a landing in Iran, Pakistan, or India. The VVS only has very limited capability for sea search and rescue. On 21 December Marshal Zakharov split manned spacecraft recovery responsibility between the VVS and VMF. To enable search and recovery of spacecraft at sea or on land outside of Soviet territory will require 12,000 to 15,000 personnel and dozens of ships, aircraft, and helicopters. A new net of ground-based radio stations and direction finders will also be needed. This will cost hundreds of millions of roubles to implement. The cost must be borne - it is clearly unacceptable that a Soviet crew fly to the moon and back, only to perish on return to earth due to inadequate recovery forces. A special subcommittee under Marshal Rudenko is named to handle the matter. Kamanin reports on training plans for lunar spacecraft. Crew training will have to begin in January 1967 for crews to complete the five-month syllabus in time for the planned flight dates. L1 commanders must be pilots with prior spaceflight experience. The second cosmonaut need not have flown before. Training of L1 and 7K-LOK crews must be carried out in parallel and separately in order to meet schedules. Mishin, the Ministry of Public Health, and Kamanin should name the crews for thee flights within five days in order to make schedule.


1967 April 8 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D. LV Configuration: Proton-K/D 228-01. FAILURE: Block D ullage rocket failure; no restart.. Failed Stage: 4.
  • Cosmos 154 - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-L1P s/n 3P. Mass: 5,020 kg (11,060 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Mishin; Tsybin. Agency: RVSN. Program: Lunar L1; Soyuz. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Duration: 1.98 days. Decay Date: 1967-04-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 2745 . COSPAR: 1967-032A. Apogee: 203 km (126 mi). Perigee: 187 km (116 mi). Inclination: 51.5000 deg. Period: 88.30 min. Protoype Soyuz 7K-L1 manned circumlunar spacecraft. There are high winds for the L1 launch, 15-17 m/s. The official limit is 20 m/s, but Chelomei wants to scrub the launch if winds go over 15 m/s. Nevertheless the launch proceeds in 17-18 m/s winds and the L1 reached earth orbit. However the Block D translunar injection stage failed to fire (ullage rockets, which had to fire to settle propellants in tanks before main engine fired, were jettisoned prematurely). The failure is blamed on Mishin and has Tsybin seething in anger. Mishin is disorganised and has made many mistakes. Spacecraft burned up two days later when orbit decayed. Later in the day comes the news the RTS has to be replaced on one of the Soyuz 1/2 spacecraft. This will have a 3 to 4 day schedule impact, and push the launch back to 15-20 April. The crews arrive the same day for the upcoming Soyuz launch.

1967 June 21 - .
  • Almaz draft project approved. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Kozlov. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-TK; Almaz OPS. Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) Decree 'On approval of the Almaz draft project' was issued. Chelomei's draft project showed the 11F71 Almaz station to consist of an 11F75 orbital block and an 11F74 VA landing apparatus (derived from the Apollo-type capsule he had designed for his LK-1 circumlunar spacecraft). Launch of the re-entry capsule with the cosmonauts would eliminate the need for the Soyuz 7K-TK ferry under development by Kozlov.

1967 July 21 - . LV Family: UR-700. Launch Vehicle: UR-700.
  • Chelomei signs design documents for UR-700/LK-700 lunar expedition - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Spacecraft: LK-700. Summary: Chelomei's TsKBM began work on the UR-700 launch vehicle for manned lunar landing missions in 1962. Chelomei took a sound conservative design approach (i.e. no docking required, no cryogenics)..

1967 October 7 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K.
  • Soviet of Chief Designers - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Mishin; Glushko; Ustinov; Dementiev. Program: Lunar L1; Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1. In Moscow, Mishin heads a meeting of all the Chief Designers (including Chelomei, Mishin, and Glushko). Glushko says that the last UR-500K failure was due to errors made during manufacture of an engine in 1965 at Factory 19 at Perm. Ustinov notes that the failure has cost the state 100 million roubles and has delayed the program two to three months. He brutally attacks Dementiev, Minister of Aviation Industry, for the poor work of his factories on the space program. Another issue is continued delays in the Salyut computer for the L1. Ustinov orders an alternate technical solution to be developed in parallel with the digital computer development. The next Soyuz flight is set for the end of December, the next L1 attempt for 21-22 November.

1967 October 10 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Lunar Soviet - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei; Keldysh; Chelomei; Mishin; Kuznetsov. Program: Lunar L1; Lunar L3. Spacecraft: L5-1967. The meeting is headed by Afanasyev. The first N1 will have a payload of only 76 tonnes, versus the 95 tonnes required for the L3 lunar landing complex. In order to land two cosmonauts on the moon, as the Americans are planning, a 105 tonne low earth orbit payload would be needed. This would require new engines in the first and second stages. Kuznetsov says that his 153 tonne engine could be uprated to 170 tonnes without any basic changes. Lox/LH2 engines would be needed for the upper stages. Keldysh questions the safety of the current plan of landing only one cosmonaut on the moon. Mishin replies that putting two cosmonauts on the moon simply is not possible with the N1. Chelomei raises a question - How is it possible that the Americans have built he Saturn V, which can put 130 tonnes in low earth orbit, in order to land two men on the moon, and Mishin says he can do the same mission with 105 tonnes? Mishin claims that this is due to the lighter design and construction of the L3. The following decisions are made:
    • The first Soviet flight to he moon will use the current plan - one N1 launch, one cosmonaut on the moon.
    • Special measures must be taken to ensure the safety of that single cosmonaut
    • A new N1 model is to be developed to land the new L5 spacecraft (which will be able to handle 4 to 5 crew, 1.5 to 2.0 tonnes of scientific equipment, and spend three months on the lunar surface). This is to be ready two to three years after the first landing.
    • The Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Defence, and MOM are to develop a program of military and scientific experiments to be carried aboard the L3
    • The next meeting of the lunar soviet will be in November/December 1967

1967 November 22 - . 19:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/24. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D. LV Configuration: Proton-K/D 230-01. FAILURE: Second stage - 1 x RD-0210 failure, shutoff of stage 4 seconds after ignition. Launcher crashed downrange.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Soyuz 7K-L1 s/n 5L - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-L1 s/n 5L. Mass: 5,390 kg (11,880 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Glushko; Chelomei; Mishin; Leonov. Agency: RVSN. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Decay Date: 1967-11-21 . COSPAR: F671122A. The launch takes place at 00:07 local time (22:07 on 22 November Moscow time). Glushko, Chelomei, and Kamanin observe the launch from an observation point in -5 deg C weather. Three to four seconds after second stage ignition, the SAS pulls the spacecraft away from the booster. Telemetry shows that engine number 4 of stage 2 never ignited, and after 3.9 seconds the remaining three engines were shut dwon by the SBN (Booster Safety System) and the SAS abort tower fired. The capsule's radio beacon was detected and the spacecraft was found 80 km southwest of Dzhezkazgan, 285 km down range. The Proton problems are maddening. Over 100 rocket launches have used engines from this factory, with no previous failure. Of ten of the last launches under Mishin's direction (6 Soyuz and 4 L1) only two have went well - an 80% failure rate! Mishin is totally without luck. Kamanin and Leonov take an An-12 to see the L1 at its landing point. Leonov wants to see proof that the cosmonauts would be saved in any conditions. The capsule landed in -17 deg C and 12 m/s winds. The parachute pulled the capsule along the ground for 550 m, and the soft landing rockets fired somewhere above the 1.2 m design height. After safing of the APO self-destruct package, the capsule is lifted to an airfield by a Mi-4.

1967 November 30 - .
  • Almaz program review. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Pashkov; Afanasyev, Sergei; Chelomei; Gagarin; Mishin. Program: Almaz. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS. Kamanin attends an Almaz program review with Pashkov, Afanasyev, and Chelomei. The resolution of June 1967 required space trials to begin in 1968, and entry of the system into military service in 1969. But this schedule was flawed from the beginning. The project plan required design, qualification, and delivery of completely new complex systems from ten different ministries. The Ministry of Radio Equipment was to deliver 66 items, but the ministry refused, saying they could handle two at most. Similar responses were received from other ministries. The result is that six months into the program, the first flight schedule has already slid 24 months, to 1970. The VVS has been dealing with Chelomei for two years, and find him much better to work with than Mishin. Chelomei's deputies are highly cultured men, pleasant to work with (unlike Mishin and his circle). The VVS is to handle the following on the Almaz program:
    • Development of crew safety items, cockpit indicators on the function of the landing system, and controls for manual landing by the astronaut
    • Development of the HAZ complex for training of crew members
    • Review and approval of station systems for water generation, medical observation of the crew, and atmosphere indicators and controls
    • Development of a manned manoeuvring unit to allow the cosmonauts to manoeuvre up to 300 m from the station
    Gagarin is at the Chkalov Airfield, in preparation for his solo flight in a MiG-17. This will be his first solo aircraft flight in seven years. Kuznetsov tried to keep this day from coming.

1967 December 8 - .
  • TsKBEM confirms Mishin's decision to cancel Soyuz VI - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Bushuyev; Okhapkin; Feoktistov; Karas; Shcheulov; Gaidukov; Chelomei; Kerimov. Program: Almaz. Spacecraft: Soyuz VI; LK-1; Almaz OPS; Soyuz 7K-S; Soyuz OB-VI. Mishin is away on 'cure' for his drinking problem. A 'Podlipki Soviet' is held at TsKBEM. The issue is cancellation of Kozlov's 7K-VI military Soyuz. Bushuyev, Chertok, Okhapkin, Feoktistov are in favour of cancelling it. Opposed are Karas, Shcheulov, Kostonin, Gaidukov, and the various military representatives at the meeting. It was now six years since OKB-1 was required to put a military manned spacecraft into space - and, factually speaking, nothing has been done. Military experiments proposed for each manned flight by OKB-1 to date had been rejected on various grounds - no weight, no space aboard the spacecraft. Good progress has been made with Kozlov's VI and Chelomei's Almaz - now they've managed to kill the VI, and Mishin and Kerimov are constantly denigrating Almaz (saying it is too heavy, and unsuited for the purpose). The whole thing is a replay of the LK-1 situation. In 1963, a resolution was issued to send a Soviet man around the moon. Instead, after two years of development, Korolev managed to get Chelomei's LK-1 lunar spacecraft cancelled, and started all over with his own L1. Additional Details: here....

1968 January 23 - . LV Family: MR-UR-100; N1; RT-2; UR-100N.
1968 January 27 - .
  • Cosmonauts take case against Mishin to VVS high command. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gagarin; Titov; Popovich; Belyayev; Leonov; Chelomei; Mishin; Ustinov; Afanasyev, Sergei. Program: Lunar L1; Almaz. Spacecraft: Soyuz VI; Almaz OPS. Kamanin, Gagarin, Titov, Popovich, Belyayev, and Leonov meet with Marshal Yakabovskiy. They inform him that Mishin is blocking further development of the 7K-VI military manned spacecraft and also trying to kill Chelomei's Almaz military space station. They get nowhere. The Marshal says that while he doesn't understand much about space himself, Ustinov had assured him that Mishin and Afanasyev were taking all measures necessary to correct the necessary material...

1968 February 29 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D.
  • L1 commsision meeting. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. For this L1 launch Chelomei wants to film separation of the first and second stages of the Proton rocket at 126 seconds into the flight - altitude 41 km, distance downrange 47 km. To do this two An-12 and one Tu-124 with long focal-length cameras will orbit 35 to 40 km from base. The discussion turns to how to recover the L1 if it lands in the ice-bound Aral Sea. The circle of possible landing points has a radius of 500 km from a point west of Karaganda. For political reasons it is not possible to deploy recovery forces to areas of Iran and India that are within this circle.

1968 December 30 - . LV Family: N1; Proton.
  • Meeting of the VPK Military-Industrial Commission to discuss how to beat the Americans to the lunar landing - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Ustinov; Chelomei; Okhapkin; Keldysh; Pilyugin; Babakin. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1; Luna. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1; Luna Ye-8-5; LK-1. Ustinov called the meeting to order. Mishin was 'sick' again -- Okhapkin represented TsKBEM and gave a summary of the programme to that date:

    • The project had only been authorised on 3 August 1964. It consisted of two parts, circumlunar flights using Chelomei's UR-500K booster and LK-1 spacecraft, and a lunar landing using Korolev's N1 booster and L3 spacecraft.
    • On 25 October 1965 the programme was redirected. Military support was ordered and the decision was made to cancel Chelomei's LK-1 spacecraft and instead use the L1 version of Korolev's Soyuz for the circumlunar flights. This was ordered by the resolution 'On organisation of construction units for support of rocket-space systems for the lunar flyby'. That resolution ordered a manned L1 flight by the end of 1967 or early 1968.
    • The program actually took three years to implement rather than the two planned. Nine launches of he L1 had been made since March 1967, but it had not been possible to man-rate the UR-500K/L1 booster/spacecraft combination due to failures in both the launch vehicle and spacecraft. Flight trials of the N1 booster had not even begun yet.

    Keldysh proposed that further work on the L1 be abandoned, and Proton boosters instead be used to launch the Ye-8-5 lunar soil return robot spacecraft being developed by Babakin. Babakin had been accelerating this programme since the beginning of 1968 with the support of Keldysh, even though it would only return around 100 g of lunar soil, versus the tens of kilograms the Apollo manned flights would return. However it now offered an interesting possibility - he proposed obtaining lunar soil and returning it to earth before an American manned landing. The government's organs of mass communication would say that the Soviet Union's lunar program only consisted of robot probes, emphasising that his was much safer and that Russia would never risk it's citizen's lives for mere political sensation. Additional Details: here....


1969 January 27 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviet of Chief Designers considers N1 cancellation - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Keldysh; Chelomei; Serbin; Barmin; Tyulin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Mars 5NM; Aelita. Afanasyev and Keldysh chaired the unusual and extraordinary Soviet of the chief designers. Mishin opened with an emotional plea not to cancel the N1. He justified the delays and failures by saying that he had not been given sufficient budget to conduct necessary experimental and qualification tests of systems before flight. Additional Details: here....

1969 late February - . Launch Vehicle: UR-900.
  • UR-900 launch vehicle proposed - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. In the aftermath of the N1 failure, Chelomei was proposing the UR-900 for the Mars expedition. A garbled description of this launch vehicle appears in Chertok's memoirs. This would seem to be a version of the UR-700 using 15 RD-270 modules in the first and second stages in place as opposed to the nine modules of the UR-700. The third and fourth stages were derived from the UR-500. The booster could deliver 240 tonnes to low earth orbit. Additional Details: here....

1969 May 29 - . LV Family: MR-UR-100; N1; Proton; UR-100N; UR-700.
  • N1 State Commission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Barmin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Smirnov; Tyulin; Bushuyev; Pashkov; Okhapkin; Yangel; Chelomei; Nadiradze; Keldysh. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-L1A; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Aelita. Over two days a State Commission reviewed all of the conclusions of the N1 3L failure investigation and the readiness of N1 5L for flight. All of the fixes identified to remedy the 3L failure had been incorporated into 5L. It was felt that the behaviour of the systems in fire conditions were understood and appropriate measures had been taken. The wiring had been rerouted and insulated. Barmin wanted the system not to shut down any engines under any conditions during the first 15-20 seconds of flight, so that the booster would clear the pad and there would be no risk of the pad's destruction. But there was no time to develop such measures before the 5L launch; it could only be added in vehicle 6L. Additional Details: here....

1969 July 30 - . Launch Vehicle: UR-700M; UR-900.
  • Soviet manned Mars spacecraft study - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Spacecraft: MK-700; Aelita. As a result of the VPK meeting of 29 May, a decree was issued, instructing Chelomei to complete a draft project within the year for a Mars manned space mission, using as the booster his UR-700M (or UR-900) design, and his MK-700M spacecraft. It was not until August 1997 that Igor Gansvindt revealed that during the 1960's he had developed a system for navigation and guidance for a piloted landing on Mars and its return to earth. This work preceded Aleksei Tolstoy's Aelita project of 1975.

1969 August 1 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D.
  • The DOS Conspiracy begins - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Chelomei. Program: Lunar L3; Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Almaz OPS; MKBS. With the collapse of the work on the N1, the whole reason for Mishin's design bureau's existence simply vanished in the air. A new high-priority project was needed. Korolev had begun development of a Multi-Module Space Base (MKBS) before 1966. However MKBS was to be launched by the N1; as long as this was not available, there would be no MKBS. Almaz on the other hand did not require a new launch vehicle, although the UR-500 was in a period of intense 'baby sickness'. So while TsKBEM was in a period of analysis and instability, Chelomei's Reutov and Fili facilities were building space stations for the Ministry of Defence.

    On one of these August 1969 days, three of Chelomei's TsKBM engineers came to the office of Mishin's deputy, Chertok, with a plan to get a space station orbited before the American Skylab. They wanted a collaboration between the two competing design bureaux. Their plan was to take an Almaz spaceframe, install Soyuz systems, add a new docking tunnel with a hatch to reach the interior, and presto - a space station was finished. Tentative discussions with potential allies within Chelomei's design bureau found support there as well. The DOS 'long-duration orbiting station' was the result of this 'conspiracy'.


1969 September 23 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D.
  • Two Volga buses transport the cosmonauts and VVS specialists to Area 31. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Beregovoi; Chelomei. Program: Luna. Flight: Soyuz 6; Soyuz 7; Soyuz 8. Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8-5. To ensure the buses do not exceed 60 km/hour checkpoints are manned along the roads. The readiness review is conducted form 10:00 to 13:00. The crews, and spacecraft are ready. Mishin is away 'sick' again. General Pushkin and Beregovoi are at Area 81 to view the Ye-8-5 launch. Kamanin likes Chelomei's UR-500K rocket. He blames its series of failures on its engines and Block D upper stage, not on the fundamental booster design. If it had been more successful, the Russians would have beaten the Americans in a lunar flyby. The launch proceeds as planned at 15:00, but the Block D fails to restart in parking orbit, and is given the cover name 'Cosmos 300'.

1969 October 19 - .
  • DOS Conspiracy briefed to wide circle of space planners - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Ustinov; Feoktistov; Keldysh; Afanasyev, Sergei; Tyulin; Serbin; Bushuyev; Semenov; Chelomei. Program: Lunar L3; Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Almaz OPS; Salyut 1. In the euphoria after the return of the Soyuz 6/7/8 crews, the problem was how to get Ustinov to meet further with the DOS 'conspirators'. Mishin had prohibited any meetings by TsKBEM staff with the Communist Party Secretary unless Mishin was also present. Another obstacle was that Feoktistov was not a party member; how could his presence at a party meeting be explained to Mishin later?

    In any event these consideations were simply ignored. Feoktistov was present at a party meeting with Keldysh, Afanasyev, Tyulin, Serbin, and the Ministry of Defence's party cell: Strogonov, Kravtsev, and Popov. Keldysh was mainly worried how the project would affect the N1, but was reassured that the N1 had a dedicated work force, and the L3 lunar lander spacecraft engineers and workers that would work on DOS were currently idle and had no part of that work. It was finally decided to go ahead with the DOS no earlier than January, to allow time for Ministry Decrees, approval of a work plan by the VPK, preparation of a decree for signature by the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the Soviet Ministers. Work began on the project in December 1969 under the initial auspices of the Academy of Sciences. Additional Details: here....


1969 December 6 - .
  • The DOS Conspiracy in the open - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Afanasyev, Sergei; Pilyugin; Ryazanskiy; Kuznetsov, Viktor; Chelomei; Ustinov. Program: Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-S; Almaz OPS; Salyut 1; Soyuz 7KT-OK. Afanasyev met with the Chief Designers - Pilyugin, Ryazanskiy, V Kuznetsov, and Chelomei's Deputy, Eydis. Mishin was 'sick' and Chelomei had sent his deputy, as usual, to avoid having to meet Mishin. Afanasyev started with the demand that an Almaz flight take place within less than two years, before the end of the Eighth Five Year Plan. He asked Eydis to install an Igla passive docking system to permit docking with the station of the existing Soyuz 7K-OK as opposed to the planned 7K-S. If Chelomei's bureau could not meet this requirement, then the 'conspirator's' DOS project could be authorised in its place. Additional Details: here....

1969 December 26 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • DOS formally authorised - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Ustinov; Chelomei; Glushko; Kuznetsov. Program: Lunar L3; Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS; Salyut 1. Ustinov called the DOS 'conspirators' to Kuibyshev Street. Mishin was sent away to Kslovodsk and Chelomei and Glushko were not invited. No one wanted to listen to any more of Glushko's diatribes about Kuznetsov's engines.

    Ustinov supported presentation of the DOS concept to the Central Committee. Chelomei categorically opposed DOS and was trying to kill it through military channels. But the allure of an '18 month' station - one which would not only beat the American Skylab, but be in space in time for the 24th Party Congress - seemed too alluring. Mishin also rejected DOS, but deputies at both design bureaux supported the concept and were eager to proceed.

    DOS was therefore created only when the moon project failed. Chelomei was forced to work on DOS, and it severely impacted Almaz schedules. The Salyut name was later applied to both the DOS and Almaz stations, creating the impression in the outside world that they were built by one designer.


1970 January 19 - .
  • Soviet leadership interest in manned spaceflight has collapsed. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Belyayev; Brezhnev; Mishin; Chelomei; Popovich; Bykovsky. Program: Salyut; Almaz; Skylab. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS; Salyut 1; Soyuz 7K-S. Kamanin notes that interest of the leadership in manned spaceflight has collapsed with the end of the moon race. Brezhnev has declared that his primary interest is in earth orbital space stations. Both Mishin and Chelomei have stations in development, but the work is progressing slowly. There will be no launch of either of their projects until 1972 - which means the Soviets will be beaten by the US Skylab. Kamanin believes the Americans can never be beaten in space unless all space projects are guided firmly by a single Ministry of Defence and Civilian Space office. Meanwhile the Hong Kong flu epidemic is hitting many at the cosmodrome - Moroz, Popovich, and Bykovsky are all seriously ill.

1970 February 1 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K. LV Configuration: Proton 8K82K.
  • Space station programs rationalised. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Mishin. Program: Almaz. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS; Soyuz 7K-S; Soyuz OB-VI; Salyut 1. Brezhnev orders a cooperative crash program to build a civilian space station to beat Skylab into orbit. The civilian station (later named Salyut) will use the Almaz spaceframe fitted out with Soyuz functional equipment. Mishin's OIS military station was cancelled and Chelomei's Almaz would continue, but as second priority to the civilian station. The Soyuz 7K-S station ferry, the 7K-ST, would be revised to be a more conservative modification of the Soyuz 7K-OK. The OIS cosmonaut group was incorporated into the Almaz group.

1970 June 16 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K.
  • Development of TKS ferry for Almaz authorised. Soyuz 7K-TK cancelled - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Spacecraft: TKS; Soyuz 7K-TK. Decree 437-160 'On creation of the TKS and termination of the 7K-TK' was issued. In 1969 Chelomei proposed replacement of the 11F72 Soyuz 7K-TK with his own transport-supply spacecraft 11F72 (transportnovo korablya snabzheniya - TKS). This would consist of the same 11F74 VA landing capsule used on the Almaz station, together with a new 11F77 functional-cargo block (funktsionalno-gruzovovo blok, FGB). This would transport three crew and sufficient supplies for 90 day operation of the Almaz.

1970 October 28 - .
  • Chelomei's 'war' with Korolev and Mishin - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Mishin; Serbin; Smirnov; Afanasyev, Sergei. Program: Almaz; Salyut; Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS; Salyut 1; LK-1; Soyuz 7K-L1. Kamanin meets with Chelomei. Chelomei discusses his 'war' with Korolev and Mishin. Korolev interfered with, and then finally took the manned lunar flyby project from Chelomei. Now Mishin is doing the same thing with Almaz. Chelomei had already invested five years in development of Almaz, and was on the way to producing a good space station. Then Mishin pushes him out of the way and seizes his production line to build the DOS-7K. DOS#1 is actually Almaz#5, nothing more than a bad copy of Chelomei's station. Serbin and Smirnov do not trust Mishin, which is why they have only authorised him to build four DOS stations. Serbin, Smirnov, and Afanasyev have visited Chelomei, and told him to accelerate work on the Almaz, using three shifts 24 hours a day.

    Kamanin notes the second hijacking in Turkey of a Soviet airliner in the last two weeks.


1970 November 18 - .
  • Luna 17 lands on moon. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Program: Luna. Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8; Lunokhod. Summary: Luna 17 / Lunokhod have landed on the Sea of Storms on the moon. Chelomei is assisting Kamanin in securing funds for the water basin for zero-G training, further simulators, etc..

1971 January 9 - .
  • VVS Reviews TsKBM Facilities and Programs - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Ustinov; Mishin. Program: Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: Salyut 1; Almaz OPS. The VVS leadership visits Chelomei's facility at Reutov. Kamanin recalls first seeting the Almaz mock-up five years earlier - it was already fully defined then. But it was only in August 1970 that a resolution was issued setting a firm schedule: Chelomei was to start flight trails in the second half of 1971, and the station was to enter service in 1972. Mishin is proposing to cancel Almaz and build 10 DOS stations instead. Mishin currently supervises five design bureaux, 60,000 workers, and is working on Soyuz, 7K-S, L3, DOS-7K, and a very few other projects. Chelomei has only one design bureau and 8,000 workers. Yet he has produced well-designed, mass-produced cruise missiles for the Navy, over 1,000 ICBM's for the RVSN, and the high-quality UR-500 Proton launch vehicle. Almaz could have flown on time if Ustinov had allowed Chelomei just 10% of the resources he has let Mishin squander on DOS. Chelomei easily agrees with the VVS to a mutual schedule for Almaz crew training, crew composition, etc. The contrast with the argumentative Mishin couldn't be greater.

1971 January 20 - .
  • Mishin pushing 'Big Orbital Station'. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Chelomei; Kozlov. Program: Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS; MKBS. Mishin is attempting to set up a separate training centre for civilian cosmonauts at the Moscow Aviation Institute. Mishin and the civilian cosmonauts come to view the TsPK premises to get ideas. This is a new attack by Mishin, in Kamanin's eyes. Mishin has been ill for a long time, but it doesn't stop him from meddling in the details of work of his deputies. Now they are working on a Big Orbital Station (BOS) for 9-12 crew. This amounts to nothing more than a new move against Chelomei. Mishin is intent on monopolising manned spaceflight at any cost. He attempts to take over any other such projects allocated to Chelomei or Kozlov.

1971 February 1 - .
  • Salyut shipped to Baikonur - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Semenov; Chelomei; Bugayskiy. Program: Salyut. Spacecraft: Salyut 1. The first DOS station was shipped in to Baikonur in an incomplete state. Work continued to complete it day and night without break. The old MIK at Baikonur was used to prepare the Soyuz launch vehicle and 7K-TOK ferry spacecraft. The station was to be called Zarya, or 'Dawn', but the name was changed just before launch to prevent confusion with the secret Chinese manned spacecraft of the same name. Additional Details: here....

1971 February 27 - .
  • Mishin plans to get Almaz cancelled. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kutakhov; Karas; Mishin; Chelomei. Program: Almaz; Salyut. Spacecraft: Salyut 1; Almaz OPS; Spiral OS. Kamanin has a meeting scheduled with Chelomei, but this is cancelled and he is called to another meeting with Mishin -- all to advance Mishin's agenda. Mishin complains that he doesn't know what the Almaz project is about. He claims Chelomei has spent half a billion roubles so far, and has nothing to show for it. Mishin, on the other hand, has two DOS stations ready to fly, done at a cost of only 80 million roubles. But Kamanin knows very well who has really wasted hundreds of millions of roubles - Mishin. Mishin produces his plans for DOS#3 and DOS#4 follow-on stations. These are to be copies of Almaz, delivered in 18 months. Mishin says he is building ten 7K-S for the spacecraft, despite the fact that Karas at GUKOS is not interested in manned spaceflight. Afterwards Kamanin tells Kutakhov to warn Chelomei that he must support the VVS' 7K-S and Spiral projects, if he wants VVS support for Almaz.

1971 April 14 - .
  • Salyut 1 cleared for roll-out. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Beregovoi; Mishin; Chelomei; Grechko, Andrei. Program: Salyut. Flight: Soyuz 10; Soyuz 11; Soyuz 12 / DOS 1. Spacecraft: Salyut 1. Marshal Grechko has sent a telegram to Kamanin, informing him that the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre has received the Order of Lenin. The UR-500K booster is mated to space station DOS-7K#1. Chelomei is ill. Mishin takes the opportunity to insult him by replacing Chelomei with Mishin's man on the commission that will judge the UR-500's readiness for launch. Nevertheless, the commission clears the booster to be moved out to the pad on 15 April, with launch set for 19 April at 06:40. In the evening Beregovoi's 50th birthday is celebrated.

1971 April 15 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Salyut preparations - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Mishin; Chelomei. Program: Lunar L3; Salyut; Almaz. Spacecraft: Salyut 1; Almaz OPS; MKBS. The Salyut station was prepared in a huge two story bunker built for launch vehicle / payload processing. The contrast between the money lavished by the military on this facility for Chelomei's projects and the limited funds available for a proper N1 preparation and test facilities was enormous. Here funds were available without limit. The air was controlled by a self-contained environmental control system with its own independent electrical-diesel generators. The facility was a miracle. It was shocking that this was made available for Almaz, while the military told Mishin that he would have to prepare the immense MKBS station in the uncontrolled environment, subject to frequent power blackouts, of the N1 facility. At Chelomei's facility, everything was completely checked out on earth prior to launch.

1971 June 16 - .
  • Soyuz 11 Day 11 - fire aboard the station. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Mishin; Popovich; Sevastyanov; Khrunov; Volynov; Shatalov; Dobrovolsky; Patsayev; Volkov; Nikolayev; Bykovsky. Program: Salyut; Almaz. Flight: Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7KT-OK; Salyut 1; Almaz OPS; Soyuz OB-VI; Soyuz VI. Kamanin is to fly back to Yevpatoriya in the afternoon. Chelomei is often ill lately -- Mishin is using the opportunity to lobby Ustinov and Smirnov to kill Almaz, and increase the DOS-7K order from four to ten. Mishin killed Kozlov's Soyuz VI in a similar manner. Prior to his departure, the cosmonauts brief Kamanin on the results of the visits of Popovich and Sevastyanov to France, and Khrunov to the USA. Kamanin is having trouble with the leadership in allowing Volynov to be assigned to another crew.

    As Kamanin is on the way to the airport, a serious situation develops aboard the station. At 13:00 the cosmonauts report a strong burning smell, and smoke in the station. The crew evacuates the station and retreat to the Soyuz lifeboat. Forty minutes later, just as Kamanin is boarding the Tu-104, Shatalov reports that the mission will continue, but the situation aboard the station is not comfortable. The crew has turned off the primary oxygen regenerator and exchanged the filters of the oxygen supply and reserve regenerator. At 14:05 Kamanin finally boards the aircraft, which takes off and sets course for the Crimea. At 14:30 they are ordered to turn around and land at Chkalovksy Airfield outside Moscow. The whole thing turns out to be a banal mistake by one of the officers at an air traffic control station! They lose two hours in the process. No information is available when the Tu-104 finally lands at Saki, since Nikolayev and the other cosmonauts who attended the emergency meetings had taken off to return to Moscow three hours earlier. Kamanin finally arrives at Yevpatoriya at 23:00, in time for a comms session with Dobrovolsky and Patsayev (Volkov is sleeping). The Soyuz 11 crew reports that the training suits are very tiring. Dobrovolsky reports all is now normal otherwise. He requests permission to continue the flight. Bykovsky reports that the situation on the station is now stable. There is no more smoke or burning smell, but the crew has been overloaded in the last six hours. They have done a lot of work with no food or rest. The situation was so bad at one point that preparations had been made for undocking the Soyuz for an emergency return to earth.


1972 During the Year - . Launch Vehicle: UR-700M.
  • Soviet Mars expedition work ends - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Spacecraft: MK-700. Chelomei's preliminary draft project for the UR-700M launch vehicle and LK-700 spacecraft was reviewed by a government expert commission. Based on the decades worth of development and tens of billions or roubles required to realise the project, the state commission recommended that further work on manned Mars expeditions be deferred indefinitely.

1975 January 1 - . LV Family: UR-700. Launch Vehicle: UR-700. LV Configuration: UR-700M.
  • Chelomei presents plan for Mars mission - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Class: Mars. Type: Manned Mars flyby. Spacecraft: MK-700. As the only remaining contender for the Aelita design competition, Chelomei proposes a Mars flyby using an MK-700 spacecraft. A crew of two would be sent on a two year mission in a single launch of a UR-700M booster. The spacecraft would have a mass of 250 tonnes in low earth orbit and be equipped with an RD-410 nuclear engine.

1975 April 29 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: UR-500MK.
  • UR-500MK designed - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Glushko. In response to the Ministry of Defence's guidelines for third generation launch vehicles, the Ministry of General Machine Building issued instructions for Chelomei to study boosters meeting the military's requirements. These included Lox/Kerosene propellants in place of the toxic N2O4/UDMH favoured previously. Chelomei's competitor in the design, Glushko, was then head of NPO Energia which included Glushko's former OKB-456 engine design bureau. Therefore Chelomei was forced to propose using Kuznetsov Lox/Kerosene engines from the cancelled N1 moon program. The use of existing Proton tankage tooling for the stages and the Kuznetsov engines would allow a high-performance vehicle to be developed at minimum cost. However Chelomei was out of favour, Kuznetsov was discredited after the N1 fiasco, and Glushko was ascendant. The proposal stood no chance. Glushko's Zenit launch vehicle became the accepted solution.

1977 July - .
  • Soyuz 25A (cancelled) - . Crew: Berezovoi; Lisun. Backup Crew: Kozelsky; Preobrazhensky. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Glushko; Berezovoi; Lisun; Kozelsky; Preobrazhensky. Program: Almaz. Flight: Soyuz 25A. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-T. A Soyuz 25 mission to the Salyut 5 space station with the crew of Berzovoi and Lisun was to have followed Soyuz 24. However during the four months it took to prepare the Soyuz, Salyut 5 consumed higher than expected fuel in maintaining the station's orientation. The flight was cancelled and the spacecraft allocated for Soyuz 25 flew as Soyuz 30 to Glushko's civilian Salyut station.

1978 - During the year - .
  • Manned Almaz program terminated - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei; Glushko; Ustinov. Program: Almaz. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS-2; TKS. Almaz station portion of the project already severely cut back after Marshal Grechko's heart attack in early 1976. Chelomei lost his most active patron and was unable to withstand the slow strangulation of his projects by Ustinov and Glushko. Almaz finally completely scrapped in 1980, but Chelomei hid the completed space stations in a corner of his complex, labelling them as 'radioactive material'. Chelomei finally forced to retire in October 1983. TKS shuttle craft used to dock with Salyut stations but never in manned mode. Following Ustinov's death, Almaz stations finally flown as unmanned radarsats, but Chelomei did not live to see this.

1979 February - .
  • Almaz cancelled and consolidated with Mir - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Spacecraft: Mir; Almaz OPS-2; TKS. Following the decision to cancel Chelomei's manned Almaz military space station programme, a resolution consolidated the programs, with the Mir docking ports to be reinforced to accommodate 20 tonne space station modules based on Chelomei's TKS manned ferry spacecraft. NPO Energia was made responsible for the overall space station, but subcontracted the work to KB Salyut due to the press of in-house work on Energia, Salyut 7, Soyuz-T, and Progress. The subcontractor began work in the summer of 1979.

Late 1982 - .
During 1983 - .
1983 September - .
  • State commission reviews LKS spaceplane - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Spacecraft: LKS. A State Commission reviewed Chelomei's LKS spaceplane design on behalf of Minister of Defence V M Shabanov. Shabanov was completely opposed to the LKS, and had staged the commission for the express purpose of burying Chelomei's proposal once and for all. Further development of the LKS was stopped.

1984 December 8 - .
  • Death of Vladimir Nikolayevich Chelomei - . Nation: Russia; Ukraine. Related Persons: Chelomei. Summary: Soviet Chief Designer 1955-1984 of OKB-52. Leading designer of cruise missiles and ICBMs. Fought for lead role in space launchers and manned spacecraft. Led work on UR-100, UR-200 ICBM's, Proton LV, Raketoplan, Almaz, TKS manned spacecraft..

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