Encyclopedia Astronautica
R-7



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R-7
Credit: © Mark Wade
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R-7 Sputnik
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R-7 aft end
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Korolev/Kurchatov
Architects of the Soviet nuclear deterrent.
Credit: RKK Energia
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R-7 ICBM in assembly
R-7 ICBM in assembly hall
Credit: RKK Energia
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R-7 raised
R-7 raised to launch position
Credit: RKK Energia
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R-7
Credit: © Mark Wade
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R-7 test console
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Sputnik LV
Credit: © Mark Wade
Russian intercontinental ballistic missile. The world's first ICBM and first orbital launch vehicle. The 8K71 version was never actually put into military service, being succeeded by the R-7A 8K74.

Development of the R-7 began under research project N-3 "Development requirements for a liquid rocket with a range of 5,000 to 10,000 km and a warhead of 1 to 10 tonnes". The research project was authorised in a decree of 4 December 1950. The study was headed by Korolev's NII-88 but involved a wide range of other Soviet research institutes:

  • OKB-456 - Glushko - Engines
  • NII-885 - Ryazanskiy, Pilyugin - Guidance
  • NII-3 - Shebanin / GSKB Spetsmash - Launch facility
  • KB-11 - Nuclear warhead
  • NII-4 - Sokolov - Launch pad development
  • TSIAM - Svishchev
  • TsAGI - Dorognitsin, Struminskiy - aerodynamics
  • NII-6 - Sukhikh
  • NII-125 - Zhukov
  • NII-137 - Kostrov
  • NII-504 - Karpov
  • NII-10 - Kuznetsov - gyro platform
  • NII-49 - Charin
  • Mathematics Institute - Steklov and Keldysh

The research program tackled a range of difficult problems to achieve a rocket with the following new technologies:

  • Engines of 200 to 300 tonnes thrust, burning Lox/Kerosene propellant in place of the Lox/Alcohol used in rockets derived from German work, with a vacuum specific impulse of 325 seconds
  • Nuclear payload reduction to the 3 to 5 tonne range
  • Autonomous inertial and radio guidance systems
  • Heat shield and re-entry vehicle development to enable the warhead to survive re-entry into the atmosphere at 6 to 7 km/sec
  • Parametric studies to determine the optimum rocket configuration

Following completion of this basic research, work was focused in the successor project N-1, "Theoretical experimental research for a two stage ballistic rocket with a range of 7,000 to 8,000 km". Work on the N-1 was authorised by a decree of 13 February 1953. The objective was to create a draft project for a two stage ICBM with a range of 8,000 km, a fission warhead mass of 3,000 kg, and a gross lift-off mass of 170 tonnes.

Work was well underway when the requirements were suddenly altered on 3 October 1953. Tests at Semipalatinsk had demonstrated the possibility of building a thermonuclear warhead of vastly greater power. However the total warhead mass would have to be increased to 5,500 kg, with the net mass of only the nuclear device itself being 3,000 kg. The rocket designed to that point would have a range of only 5,500 km with such a warhead. A meeting was called of the Chief Designers in January 1954 to discuss how to handle the problem. Several weight saving measures were used. The single engines per module were replaced by small diameter engines of reduced length; the propellant tanks were laid out to minimise mass; a unique launch pad design was accepted that suspended the rocket above the flame pit and shielded it from cross winds, which allowed a lighter structure.

Another technical challenge were the small vernier rockets used to pitch the rocket. These had to have a high specific impulse, gimbal 45 degrees, and deliver a thrust of 2.5 tonnes. Glushko could not deliver an engine with these characteristics, so Melnikov of OKB-1 was assigned the task of designing the engines in-house. The engine that resulted met the requirements and was the technological basis for later rocket engines developed within OKB-1 (the Lox/Kerosene upper stage engines for the Molniya, N1, and Proton boosters).

By February 1954 the stage was reached where a final design was possible. A government declaration of 20 May 1954 authorised development of the two stage R-7 / 8K71 intercontinental ballistic missile. This was followed by a decree of 28 June 1954 'On plans N/R for space research'. Implementation came via a Ministry of Defence decree of 6 July 1954 calling on all industry organisations to work together and assigning the project the highest national priority. The draft project, using much material generated for the T-1 project, was completed in July 1954.

The vehicle in the draft project used the 'packet' layout with a hammerhead core stage surrounded by four shorter booster stages. At ignition, the four booster stages ignited. If full thrust was achieved, the core was then ignited and the booster rose on the thrust of all five stages. The rocket could boost the 5500 kg warhead to 7.9 km/s and 8,000 km range, with a maximum miss distance of plus or minus 10 km. The warhead was the German 'sharp point': a 16 degree cone, 7.27 m long, mounted atop a cylindrical interstage section. The rocket had a gross lift-off mass of 280 tonnes, and an empty mass of 27 tonnes. The first stage burned out at 2,170 m/s and the second stage at 6,385 m/s. Thrust at lift-off was 403.4 tonnes. The R-7 incorporated ingenious solutions in ground handling of the large rocket. The rocket would be assembled horizontally, rolled out to the pad, then raised to the vertical position and quickly fuelled.

The expert commission deemed the decree requirements to be fulfilled and recommended construction of the rocket with minor changes in the development plan. The government authorised the construction phase in a decree of 20 November 1954. Korolev froze the design on 11 March 1955 and drawing release and parts fabrication began.

Meanwhile work was underway to provide the infrastructure needed for the test programme. The Soviet Union was so vast that it was possible to test a missile with intercontinental range within its borders. A warhead impact area on the Kamchatka peninsula was selected, and in August 1955 at unit was formed at the village of Klyuchan in the Ust-Kamchatka region. Although eventually operated by the strategic rocket forces, his base was originally founded in 1913 to support the Kamchatka Fleet. To track incoming warheads, station NIP-6 was built at Ylizora in addition to NIP-7 at Klyuchan.

By 20 March 1956 a decree set forth the impending three stage development test plan:

  • Two lots of prototype rockets for stand tests and one lot for flight tests
  • Following completion of the prototype test series, incorporate necessary changes into next lot of rockets
  • Final lot of rockets representing production configuration flight tested to verify changes

It turned out that the biggest problem was development of the vernier rockets for the first stage. Glushko was uncooperative and special test stands had to be build to test the integrated propulsion system.

In the first half of 1956 work began in earnest at 36 factories with the objective of making the first test flight by the end of the year. The first article completed was a full scale mock-up consisting of the core and one booster stage. Two Block A and B stages were delivered for stand tests, but incomplete factory test equipment held up the start. At that point it seemed impossible that a flight would be made within the year.

By the second half of 1956 solutions had been found to the outstanding problems. Serial production of rockets had begun. The Progress Aviation Factory in Samara, V Ya Litvinov manager, had been selected to fabricate detailed parts but final assembly of the prototype rockets was carried out at Factory 88 in Kaliningrad. Over time the factory at Samara would be organised as the Third Filial of OKB-1 and take over first production, and then engineering, of future R-7 derivatives. In 1974 it became the TsKB, a separate entity.

R-7 systems were developed in the following research program:

  • The radio guidance system was flight tested on R-5R modifications of the R-5 IRBM. Launches on 31 May and 15 June 1956 proved the system.
  • The R-7's propellant utilisation system, velocity integrator, stabilisation system, Tral telemetry system, and Fakel control system were tested in two phases of 5 flights each of the M5RD modification of the R-5. Five Phase 1 flights took place from 16 February to 23 March 1956, followed by five Phase 2 flights from 20 July to 18 August 1956.
  • The unique Tyulpan launch concept - suspension of the rocket from its 'shoulders' over the flame pit - was tested at a huge mock-up, 19 m in diameter, at the LMZ Leningrad Metal Foundry Factory. The rig also allowed hydraulics test of a mock-up booster with water in the tanks (protected by an anti-corrosion agent). The increasingly elaborated mock-up allowed the interface between the suspension arms and the rocket to be worked out in detail. Simulated launches allowed the separation of the vehicles and the umbilicals to be worked out, as well as the zero-shock launch concept (there were no hold-down clamps - once thrust built up, the rocket rose, and the suspension arms rotate away on counter-weights). LMZ also used the mock-up to develop ground handling, horizontal assembly, and installation protocols for the launch vehicle. The methods worked out in that summer remained in continuous use until well into the 21st Century.
  • Rocket engine stand test were conducted at Filial 2 of NII-88 from July 1956 to March 1957. These included determining the best arrangement of engines and their components to minimise thermal and vibration effects. Also conducted were liquid oxygen / liquid nitrogen loading, control systems and vernier tests.
  • Five test stand firings using three complete booster stages, were conducted on 15 August, 1 September, 24 September, 11 October, and 3 December 1956
  • Three test stand firing using two core stages were conducted on 27 December 1956 and 10 and 26 January 1957.
  • Two test stand firing were conducted using the complete rocket with four booster stages and the core stage. Ground test article s/n 2S was fired on 20 February 1957 and flight article s/n 4SL was fired on 30 March 1957.
  • Ground test article s/n 5N was delivered to Baikonur in December 1956 for facilities verification tests, including ground handling, transport, assembly, erection, and propellant loading.
  • The first flight article M1-5 was delivered to Baikonur in March 1957. The launch commission met on 10 April and certain questions were raised regarding the flight readiness due to test stand and ground test adequacy. Once these were resolved M1-5 was cleared for flight, and the first launch took place on 15 May 1957.

Test flights of the first lot of 12 prototype missiles was completed on January 30, 1958. By that time the Soviet Union had used the R-7 to demonstrate the first full-range ICBM and orbit the first two artificial satellites of the earth. Two further lots of missiles were test flown through December 1959. These demonstrated a flight configuration capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. But the 8K71 version of the missile was never actually put into service.

Failures: 10. First Fail Date: 1957-05-15. Last Fail Date: 1959-06-09. Standard warhead: 5,370 kg (11,830 lb). Maximum range: 8,000 km (4,900 mi). Number Standard Warheads: 1. Warhead yield: 3,000 KT. CEP: 3.39 km (2.10 mi). Boost Propulsion: Liquid rocket, Lox/Kerosene. Cruise engine: RD-108. Initial Operational Capability: 1959.

Stage Data - R-7

  • Stage 0. 4 x R-7 8K71-0. Gross Mass: 43,100 kg (95,000 lb). Empty Mass: 3,500 kg (7,700 lb). Thrust (vac): 970.000 kN (218,060 lbf). Isp: 306 sec. Burn time: 120 sec. Isp(sl): 250 sec. Diameter: 2.68 m (8.79 ft). Span: 2.68 m (8.79 ft). Length: 19.00 m (62.00 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: RD-107-8D74. Status: Out of Production.
  • Stage 1. 1 x R-7 8K71-1. Gross Mass: 95,300 kg (210,100 lb). Empty Mass: 7,500 kg (16,500 lb). Thrust (vac): 912.000 kN (205,025 lbf). Isp: 308 sec. Burn time: 330 sec. Isp(sl): 241 sec. Diameter: 2.99 m (9.80 ft). Span: 2.99 m (9.80 ft). Length: 28.00 m (91.00 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: RD-108-8D75. Status: Out of Production.

AKA: SS-6 Mod 1; 8K71; Sapwood.
Status: Retired 1961.
Gross mass: 279,100 kg (615,300 lb).
Payload: 5,370 kg (11,830 lb).
Height: 33.50 m (109.90 ft).
Diameter: 2.95 m (9.67 ft).
Thrust: 3,904.00 kN (877,654 lbf).
Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).
First Launch: 1957.05.15.
Last Launch: 1961.02.27.
Number: 28 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Zenit Russian military surveillance satellite. Study 1956. Work began on the original Zenit spy satellite on 30 January 1956. After the success of Sputnik Sergei Korolev advocated that manned spaceflight should have first priority. More...
  • VKA Myasishchev 1957 Russian manned spaceplane. Study 1957. The VKA (aero-space vehicle) was a 1957 Myasishchev design - a diminutive single-crew star-shaped spaceplane that could be launched by Korolev's R-7 ICBM. More...
  • Sputnik 1 Russian technology satellite. One launch, 1957.10.04. Tikhonravov's 1.4 metric ton ISZ satellite was to have been launched by the new R-7 ICBM as the Soviet Union's first satellite, during the International Geophysical Year. More...
  • Sputnik 3 Russian earth magnetosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1958.04.27 (Sputnik failure) to 1958.05.15 (Sputnik 3). In July 1956 OKB-1 completed the draft project for the first earth satellite, designated ISZ (Artificial Earth Satellite). More...
  • VKA-23 Design 1 Russian manned spaceplane. Study 1960. Myasishchev single-pilot winged spacecraft of 1960, sized for launch to orbit by Korolev's Vostok booster. More...
  • VKA-23 Design 2 Russian manned spaceplane. Study 1957. Following the very critical review of the first M-48 spaceplane design by the expert commission, Myasishchev went back to the drawing board. More...

Associated Engines
  • RD-108-8D75 Glushko Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 912 kN. R-7 8K71-1, Vostok 8K72-1, Vostok 8K72K-1. OKB Glushko. Used on 8K71 R-7 Stage 1. Developed in 1954-1955. Propellants kerosene (RG-1) / Lox. Diameter is per chamber. Isp=308s. First flight 1957. More...
  • RD-107-8D74 Glushko Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 971 kN. R-7 8K71, Vostok 8K72, Vostok 8K72K strap-ons. Isp=306s. First flight 1957. Used four combustion chambers fed by single turbopump to circumvent combustion instability problems with larger chambers 1950's. More...
  • RD-107-8D74 Glushko Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 971 kN. R-7 8K71, Vostok 8K72, Vostok 8K72K strap-ons. Isp=306s. First flight 1957. Used four combustion chambers fed by single turbopump to circumvent combustion instability problems with larger chambers 1950's. More...
  • S1.35800 Korolev Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 30 kN. R-7 verniers. Out of Production. Thrust variable 2.5-3.1 tf More...

See also
  • missile Guided self-propelled military weapon (as opposed to rocket, an unguided self-propelled weapon). More...

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

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...

Associated Stages
  • R-7 8K71-0 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 43,100/3,500 kg. Thrust 970.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 306 seconds. More...
  • R-7 8K71-1 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 95,300/7,500 kg. Thrust 912.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 308 seconds. More...

R-7 Chronology


1951 October 4 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Russian satellite predicted. - . Nation: USA. Summary: M. K. Tikhonravov in New York Times said U.S.S.R. science made feasible space flight and creation of artificial earth satellite; reported U.S.S.R. rocket advance equaled or exceeded West..

1954 May 30 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Go-ahead for R-7 ICBM by designers council - . Nation: USSR. Summary: Council of Chief designers approval to proceed with development of R-7..

1954 June 28 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • R-7 development plans. - . Nation: USSR. Summary: Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 'On NIP Plan for Special Product--course of work on the R-7 ICBM' was issued..

1954 November 20 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • R-7 draft project approved. - . Nation: USSR. Summary: Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 'On approval of the R-7 draft project' was issued..

1955 January 12 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Tyuratam selected for ICBM test range. - . Nation: USSR. Council of Ministers selects Tyuratam for ICBM test site. The first 30 construction workers arrive at Tyuratam. The town founded at the rail staion is called Zarya (Dawn). The name will be changed to Leninsk in January 1958, but Zarya will remain the call sign of Soviet ground control.

1955 April - . Launch Site: Baikonur. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Housing/road constructions starts at Tyuratam - . Nation: USSR.

1955 June 19 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • First surveyors arrive at Tyuratam. - . Nation: USSR.

1955 August - . Launch Site: Baikonur. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • LC 1 launch pad excavation starts - . Nation: USSR.

1956 March 20 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • R-7 flight test authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Summary: Decree 'On means to ensure testing or the R-7' was issued..

1956 April 4 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • First concrete poured at pad A at Tyuratam - . Nation: USSR.

1956 June - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Zenit preliminary design complete - . Nation: USSR. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Zenit. Summary: Design was original concept of Zenit reconnaisance spacecraft. The effort would later be included in the Vostok program under the name of Zenit..

1956 July - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • OKB-1 completed draft project for the first earth satellite - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3. Tikhonravov's unit of OKB-1 completed the preliminary design of the ISZ satellite (launched as Sputnik 3). The Fourth Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defence had meanwhile completed a draft project for the KIK ground control system. Tikhonravov's 1.4 tonne ISZ satellite was to have been launched by the new R-7 ICBM as the Soviet Union's first satellite, but the R-7 was ready before the satellite, so it was preceded by Sputnik 1 and Sputnik 2. The ISZ was a miniature physics laboratory, but was launched with a known faulty recorder, limiting data to that received when the spacecraft was over Soviet tracking stations. As a result, the Van Allen radiation belts were discovered by the United States rather than Russia.

1956 August - . Launch Site: Baikonur. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • First ground equipment installed at Tyuratam - . Nation: USSR.

1956 August 31 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • State Commission formed to oversee R-7 flight test. - . Nation: USSR. Summary: Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On creation of the State Commission for the R-7' was issued..

1956 September 3 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Soviet space and ballistic missile tracking network established. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3. Decree 1241-632 '0n creation or the Command Measurement Complex' was issued. The decree marked the beginning of development of the KIK satellite tracking system. This network was put together using a combination of PVO (Air Defence) and ICBM tracking systems. Trajectory information was fed into the KIK Centre for orbital calculations. The Centre was staffed by 680 officers and 151 civilian scientists of the Soviet Army in four sections.

1956 September 30 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Sputnik 3 draft project approved. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3. Decree 'On approval of the draft project for Object D' was issued. The decree gave the go-ahead for Tikhonravov's 1.4 tonne ISZ physics satellite to be launched by the new R-7 ICBM during the International Geophysical Year . The ISZ, a miniature physics laboratory,.was to have been the first artificial satellite of the earth. In the event, it was preceded by Sputniks 1 and 2.

1957 January 11 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Flight test program for R-7 approved. - . Nation: USSR. Summary: Decree 'On approval of flight-testing program for the R-7 ICBM' was issued..

1957 February 15 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Decision to build Sputnik 1 due to delays in Sputnik 3 design. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Sputnik 1. Summary: Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 171-83ss 'On Measures to Carry Out During the International Geophysical Year.--Launch of simple satellites in mid-1957' was issued..

1957 March 4 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Checkout of first R-7 starts - . Nation: USSR.

1957 May 5 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • 1st R-7 rolled out to pad - . Nation: USSR.

1957 May 15 - . 16:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 No. 5L. FAILURE: Failure of Block D strap on, which tore away from the core 98 seconds after liftoff. The booster crashed 400 km from the pad. A fuel leak in the pump outlet led to a fire in the engine compartment from the time of liftoff.. Failed Stage: 0.
  • M1-5 (I-1) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Summary: R-7 test flight. (M1-5 (I-1)).

1957 June 11 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 8K71 M1-6.
  • R-7 launch attempt - . Nation: USSR. Summary: After third attempt in three days to launch R-7 8K71 M1-6, the rocket is pulled from the pad. It is found that a nitrogen scavenging valve was installed backwards..

1957 July 12 - . 12:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 No. 7. FAILURE: Failure of the control system due to a short circuit of the battery. Rapid roll developed, resulting in all four strap-on boosters flying away from the core at 33 seconds in the flight.. Failed Stage: G.
  • M1-7 (I-2) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi). Summary: R-7 test flight. (M1-7 (I-2)).

1957 August 21 - . 12:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 No. 8.
  • M1-9 (I-3) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). Summary: First successful ICBM flight. Problems with the curing of the nose cone material, known before launch, led to the dummy warhead disintegrating over the Kamchatka Peninsula..

1957 August 26 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • R-7 ICBM announced publicly. - . Nation: USSR. Summary: Soviet Union announces successful launch of a "super longdistance intercontinental multistage ballistic rocket ...a few days ago," according to Tass Soviet News Agency..

1957 September 7 - . 11:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 No. 9.
  • M1-10 (I-4) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). Summary: Second successful ICBM flight..

1958 January 29 - . 21:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 No. 11. FAILURE: The missile exploded a few seconds after liftoff.. Failed Stage: 0.
  • M1-12 (I-5) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). Summary: Last test of the original R-7 8K71 test series. Suborbital launch test..

1958 March 29 - . 14:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 No. 10.
  • M1-6A (I-6) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). Summary: R-7 test flight. (M1-6A (I-6)).

1958 April - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Plesetsk construction begins. - . Nation: USSR. Summary: Construction work begins on Angara (R-7) base at Plesetsk..

1958 April 4 - . 15:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 No. 12.
  • B1-11 (I-7) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). Summary: R-7 test flight. (B1-11 (I-7)).

1958 May 24 - . 10:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 No. 3. FAILURE: Failure.
  • B1-3 (II-1) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). Summary: R-7 test flight. (B1-3 (II-1)).

1958 July 10 - . 07:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7-71/III No. 6. FAILURE: Failure.
  • B1-14 (II-5)/Blok E test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

1958 December 24 - . 14:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 B3-16.
  • III-1 - . Nation: Kazakhstan. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1958 December 24 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. FAILURE: Failure.
  • III-1 test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1959 March 17 - . 01:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 No. 041081.
  • GCh No. 13 (III-2) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). Summary: First test flight serial production model..

1959 March 25 - . 05:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 No. IZ-18.
  • GCh No. 15 (III-3) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). Summary: R-7 development test flight. (GCh No. 15 (III-3)).

1959 March 30 - . 22:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 No. IZ-20. FAILURE: Failure.
  • GCh No. IZ-20 (III) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1959 May 9 - . 18:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 No. IZ-21. FAILURE: Failure.
  • GCh No. 17 (III) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Summary: R-7 development test flight. (GCh No. 17 (III)).

1959 May 30 - . 21:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 No. IZ-22. FAILURE: Failure.
  • GCh No. IZ-22 (III) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Summary: Landed far from aim point..

1959 June 9 - . 20:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. FAILURE: Failure.
  • GCh No. IZ-23 (III) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Summary: Landed far from aim point..

1959 July 18 - . 18:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 No. 24.
  • GCh No. IZ-24 (III) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). Summary: R-7 development test flight. (GCh No. IZ-24 (III)).

1959 July 30 - . 04:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 No. 041082.
  • GCh (III) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). Summary: First successful flight of series production model..

1959 August 13 - . 23:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • GCh No. IZ-25 (III) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi).

1959 September 18 - . 16:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 I1-1T.
  • Phase 3 test flight - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). Summary: R-7 development test flight..

1959 October 22 - . 17:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 267432.
  • Phase 3 test flight - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi).

1959 October 25 - . 17:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 267434.
  • Phase 3 test flight - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi).

1959 October 31 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • First R-7 missiles go on alert at Plesetsk. - . Nation: USSR.

1959 November 1 - . 21:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 No. 267431.
  • Phase 3 test flight - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). Summary: Flight over full missile design range..

1959 November 20 - . 21:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 I2-1T.
  • Phase 3 test flight - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). Summary: Flight over full missile design range..

1959 November 27 - . 01:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 267433.
  • GCh No. IZ-33 (III) test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). Summary: Sixteenth and last launch of the third production batch..

1960 January 20 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • R-7 accepted into military service. - . Nation: USSR. Summary: Decree 'On adoption of the R-7 ICBM into armaments' was issued..

1960 June 4 - . 15:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 L1-9.
  • UBP (Readiness) operational test launch - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). Summary: R-7 readiness verification test..

1961 February 27 - . 00:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. LV Configuration: R-7 L2-1.
  • Operational missile test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi).

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