Encyclopedia Astronautica
L5-1963



l51963.jpg
L5 -1963
1963 L5 manned lunar rover. Drawing based on model at Tsniimash museum.
Russian manned lunar rover. Study 1963. The L-5 Heavy Lunar Self-Propelled Craft would be used for extended manned reconnaissance of the lunar surface.

It was described in a 23 September 1963 letter setting out the space exploration plan for 1965 to 1975. With a maximum speed of 20 km/hour, it would provide living accommodation for three cosmonauts and 3,500 kg of provisions. The crews themselves would be landed on the moon using the L-3 complex.

The L-5 consisted of:

  • The translunar injection stage, with a total mass of 64 metric tons
  • The lunar braking stage, which included a separate midcourse correction section cast off before the braking burn. The lunar braking stage had a total mass of just under 14 metric tons. The main braking burn would start 200 to 300 km above the surface.
  • The lunar soft landing/ascent stage, which had a mass of 1.3 metric tons landed on the moon. Presumably the stage would make a precision landing, homing on a beacon provided by an L-2 robot scout. The stage would use variable-thrust engines to make a soft landing at 2-4 m/s on the surface.
  • The L-5 rover, with a mass of 5.5 metric tons

Gross mass: 5,500 kg (12,100 lb).
Payload: 4,000 kg (8,800 lb).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Lunar Rovers Lunar rovers were studied in a dizzying variety of sizes and shapes by NASA in the 1960's - including crawlers, trains, hoppers, and even worms. Two rovers designed for manned use actually traveled the lunar surface in the 1970's - the American two-man Lunar Rover, and the Soviet Lunokhod, which traveled the moon in robotic mode but was originally designed as emergency cosmonaut transportation. More...
  • Soyuz The Russian Soyuz spacecraft has been the longest-lived, most adaptable, and most successful manned spacecraft design. In production for fifty years, more than 240 have been built and flown on a wide range of missions. The design will remain in use with the international space station well into the 21st century, providing the only manned access to the station after the retirement of the shuttle in 2011. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • N1 1969 Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The N1 launch vehicle, developed by Russia in the 1960's, was to be the Soviet Union's counterpart to the Saturn V. The largest of a family of launch vehicles that were to replace the ICBM-derived launchers then in use, the N series was to launch Soviet cosmonauts to the moon, Mars, and huge space stations into orbit. In comparison to Saturn, the project was started late, starved of funds and priority, and dogged by political and technical struggles between the chief designers Korolev, Glushko, and Chelomei. The end result was four launch failures and cancellation of the project five years after Apollo landed on the moon. Not only did a Soviet cosmonaut never land on the moon, but the Soviet Union even denied that the huge project ever existed. More...
  • N1 The N1 launch vehicle, developed by Russia in the 1960's, was to be the Soviet Union's counterpart to the Saturn V. The largest of a family of launch vehicles that were to replace the ICBM-derived launchers then in use, the N series was to launch Soviet cosmonauts to the moon, Mars, and huge space stations into orbit. In comparison to Saturn, the project was started late, starved of funds and priority, and dogged by political and technical struggles between the chief designers Korolev, Glushko, and Chelomei. The end result was four launch failures and cancellation of the project five years after Apollo landed on the moon. Not only did a Soviet cosmonaut never land on the moon, but the Soviet Union even denied that the huge project ever existed. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...

Bibliography
  • Vetrov, G S, S. P. Korolev i evo delo, Nauka, Moscow, 1998.

L5-1963 Chronology


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