Encyclopedia Astronautica
N-4



proton1.jpg
Proton 1 / N-4
Credit: © Mark Wade
n6.jpg
N-4 Spacecraft
Cutaway view of N-4 spacecraft. This heavy high-energy physics station was launched on the first four test launches of the Proton launch vehicle.
Credit: Chelomei School, Leninsk
Russian cosmic ray astronomy satellite. 4 launches, 1965.07.16 (Proton 1) to 1966.07.06 (Proton 3). Physics experiments. Space station "Proton 1". Investigation of ultra-high-energy cosmic particles.

Actual mass was 8,300 kg - but that announced at time of launch was 12,200 kg (designed payload capacity of three-stage version of original Proton launch vehicle that never flew).

Gross mass: 8,300 kg (18,200 lb).
Payload: 3,500 kg (7,700 lb).
Span: 4.10 m (13.40 ft).
First Launch: 1965.07.16.
Last Launch: 1966.07.06.
Number: 4 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Proton The Proton launch vehicle has been the medium-lift workhorse of the Soviet and Russian space programs for over forty years. Although constantly criticized within Russia for its use of toxic and ecologically-damaging storable liquid propellants, it has out-lasted all challengers, and no replacement is in sight. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Proton The Proton launch vehicle has been the medium-lift workhorse of the Soviet and Russian space programs for over forty years. Although constantly criticized within Russia for its use of toxic and ecologically-damaging storable liquid propellants, it has out-lasted all challengers, and no replacement is in sight. Development of the Proton began in 1962 as a two-stage vehicle that could be used to launch large military payloads or act as a ballistic missile with a 100 megaton nuclear warhead. The ICBM was cancelled in 1965, but development of a three-stage version for the crash program to send a Soviet man around the moon began in 1964. The hurried development caused severe reliability problems in early production. But these were eventually solved, and from the 1970's the Proton was used to launch all Russian space stations, medium- and geosynchronous orbit satellites, and lunar and planetary probes. More...
  • UR-500 Russian orbital launch vehicle. The original UR-500 two stage configuration was designed as a monster ICBM. It was flown four times from 1965, but never deployed as an operational missile. The design was succeeded by three and four stage versions for launching of large payloads into space. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Chelomei Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Chelomei Design Bureau, Reutov, Russia. More...
  • MOM Russian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Ministry of General Machine Building (Moskva, Russia), Moscow, Russia. More...

Associated Programs
  • Proton Investigation of ultra-high-energy cosmic particles. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Kaesmann, Ferdinand, et. al., "Proton - Development of A Russian Launch Vehicle", Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 1998, Volume 51, page 3.
  • Afanasyev, Igor, "35 let RN Proton", Novosti kosmonavtiki, 1998, Issue 5, page 40.
  • Vladimirov, A, "Tablitsa zapuskov RN 'Proton' i 'Proton K'", Novosti kosmonavtiki, 1998, Issue 10, page 25.
  • NASA Report, Proton-3 Spatial Super-Lab, Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...

N-4 Chronology


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 November 2 - . 12:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: UR-500. LV Configuration: UR-500 209.
  • Proton 2 - . Payload: N-4 s/n 2. Mass: 8,300 kg (18,200 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Proton. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: N-4 . Decay Date: 1966-02-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 1701 . COSPAR: 1965-087A. Apogee: 608 km (377 mi). Perigee: 189 km (117 mi). Inclination: 63.5000 deg. Period: 92.50 min. Summary: High energy physics laboratory. Investigation of ultra-high-energy cosmic particles. .

1966 March 24 - . 21:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: UR-500. LV Configuration: UR-500 211. FAILURE: Second stage malfunction.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • N-4 s/n 3 - . Payload: N-4. Mass: 8,300 kg (18,200 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Program: Proton. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: N-4. Decay Date: 1966-03-24 . COSPAR: F660324A.

1966 July 6 - . 12:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: UR-500. LV Configuration: UR-500 212.
  • Proton 3 - . Payload: N-4 s/n 4. Mass: 8,300 kg (18,200 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Proton. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: N-4 . Decay Date: 1966-09-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 2290 . COSPAR: 1966-060A. Apogee: 594 km (369 mi). Perigee: 185 km (114 mi). Inclination: 63.5000 deg. Period: 92.30 min. Summary: Space station 'Proton 3'. Investigation of ultra high energy cosmic particles .

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