Encyclopedia Astronautica
1966.09.02 - Lunar flight cosmonauts assignments.


In the period 1966 to 1968 there were five simultaneous Soviet manned space projects (Soyuz 7K-OK orbital; Soyuz 7K-L1 circumlunar; Soyuz VI military; L3 manned lunar landing; Almaz space station). Cosmonaut assignments were in constant flux, resulting in many claims in later years that 'I was being trained for the first moon flight'.

On 2 September 1966 a training group was formed for Soyuz 7K-OK orbital flights:

- Gagarin (Commander), Bykovsky, Khrunov, Gorbatko, Kolodin, Komarov, Nikolayev, Voronov

Shortly thereafter Gagarin was removed from the commander position, new cosmonauts were added, and the training cadre was reorganized into two groups:

- L1 (Circumlunar): Komarov (Commander), Bykovsky, Dobrovolsky, Kolodin, Zholobov, Volynov, Voronov
- L3 (Lunar landing): Leonov (Commander), Khrunov, Gagarin, Gorbatko, Nikolayev, Shatalov

It was then decided that it was too early for dedicated L3 training and single 7K-OK orbital and 7K-L1 group was formed on 7 December 1966:

- Beregovoi, Bykovsky, Khrunov, Komarov, Leonov, Nikolayev, Shatalov, Volynov, Grechko, Yeliseyev, Kubasov, Makarov, Volkov

A few weeks later Rukavishnikov and Sevastyanov (engineers from the Korolev bureau) were added.

After the crash of Soyuz 1 in April 1967 and the resulting death of Komarov, the military Soyuz 7K-VI group was dissolved. This resulted in a new L1 training group:

- Leonov, Beregovoi, Khrunov, Shatalov, Volynov, Yeliseyev, Kubasov, Volkov, Artyukhin, Klimuk, Voloshin, Voronov

The final L1 crews for manned circumlunar flights were:

- Leonov - Makarov
- Bykovsky - Rukavishnikov
- Popovich - Sevastyanov
- Nikolayev - Grechko
- Klimuk - Voronov
- Voloshin - Artyukhin

The L3 lunar landing program never got close enough to flight status for crew assignments to be made.

More... - Chronology...

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