Encyclopedia Astronautica
Molniya 8K78L


Russian orbital launch vehicle. The Molniya 8K78L was designed by Korolev's design bureau for launching a manned spacecraft on a flyby of the Moon and return to earth. To achieve this it would have used Lox/LH2 engines in the third and fourth stages. Preliminary design was completed on 8 July 1962, but such technology was years away in the Soviet Union and the project was not pursued further.

Payload: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb) to a translunar trajectory.

AKA: 8K78L.
Status: Study 1962.
Payload: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • R-7 The world's first ICBM became the most often used and most reliable launch vehicle in history. The original core+four strap-on booster missile had a small third stage added to produce the Vostok launch vehicle, with a payload of 5 metric tons. Addition of a larger third stage produced the Voskhod/Soyuz vehicle, with a payload over 6 metric tons. Using this with a fourth stage, the resulting Molniya booster placed communications satellites and early lunar and planetary probes in higher energy trajectories. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with an unmatched success rate of 97.5% for production models. Improved models providing commercial launch services for international customers entered service in the new millenium, and a new launch pad at Kourou was to be inaugurated in 2011. It appeared that the R-7 could easily still be in service 70 years after its first launch. More...

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

Molniya 8K78L Chronology


1962 July 8 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78L.
  • Molniya 8K78L preliminary design completed - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. The Molniya 8K78L was designed by Korolev's design bureau for launching a manned spacecraft on a flyby of the Moon and return to earth. To achieve this it would have used Lox/LH2 engines in the third and fourth stages. Such technology was years away in the Soviet Union and the project was not pursued further.

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