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MKBS
Part of OS Family

MKBS

MKBS
MKBS - the immense earth orbit space complex planned in 1969-1974
Credit: © Mark Wade

Russian manned space station. Cancelled 1974. The culmination of ten years of designs for N1-launched space stations, the MKBS would be cancelled together with the N1.

AKA: 19K; MOK; Multi-module orbital base. Status: Cancelled 1974. Gross mass: 250,000 kg (550,000 lb). Height: 100.00 m (320.00 ft).

But the technical legacy would live on in new designs for Soyuz and Progress space station logistics spacecraft used with Salyut and Mir.

In the second half of 1972 and first half of 1973, simultaneous with other work, TsKBEM began technical development of a Multi-module Orbital Complex (MOK). The MOK was designed to solve a wide range of tasks: astronomical and astrophysical research, materials research, navigation, communications , remote sensing for study of forestry, farming, geology, fisheries, etc., and military applications.

MOK was not a single spacecraft but an integrated collection of earth-based and near-earth orbital systems consisting of:

  • Multi-module Cosmic Base Station (MKBS)
  • Autonomous spacecraft, operating from the MKBS
  • Transport systems, using at first expendable supply transport craft, to be replaced later by reusable systems
  • Launch vehicle systems
  • Launch sites
  • Autonomous test systems
  • Search and rescue complexes

The MKBS would control all of the linked orbital systems and provide base quarters for the crews, an orbital control center, a supply base, and servicing facilities for on-orbit systems. Independently functioning spacecraft would dock with MKBS for repair, upgrade, and refueling. The MKBS would co-ordinate all of the autonomous spacecrafts' activities and maneuvers, resulting in a unified transport system.

The MKBS consisted of two large core modules of 80 and 88 metric tons each, launched by the N1. These were powered by a 200 kW nuclear power plant derived from OKB-1's work on nuclear electric propulsion. Solar arrays totaling 140 square meters of area provided 14 kW of backup power. Two Proton-launched modules were connected to large arms which spun to provide artificial gravity for crew conditioning and experiments. Additional Soyuz and TKS-derived modules could be attached and detached to conduct special studies. Total mass of the station was to be up to 250 metric tons, with a basic core diameter of 6 m and a length of 100 m. The operational MKBS would be placed in a sun synchronous orbit of 400 to 450 km altitude at an inclination of 97.5 degrees. A basic crew of six, with a maximum of ten, would inhabit the station throughout its ten year life. Crews would serve two to three month tours, with overlapping crew member replacements four times a year. The station was to be equipped with a total of eight motor clusters consisting of orbital correction motors of 300 to 1,000 kgf, coarse orientation motors of 10 to 40 kgf, and ion engines for fine orientation and orbital altitude maintenance with a thrust of 100 to 300 grams.

The primary overall requirement was to define a MOK system which could perform a broad range of tasks while minimizing expenditures in the creation of the system and its subsequent use. These requirements were met by the following technical decisions:

  • It was desirable to minimize the quantity, cost, and crew size of orbital spacecraft while not making any single spacecraft too complex. This was solved by always considering that a particular part of a task might better be accomplished by another spacecraft, rather than having a single spacecraft accomplish everything.

  • Communications and earth surveillance requirements of the base MOK would best be met by a sun-synchronous orbit of 97.5 degrees inclination

  • The active life of the MOK would be for 7 to 10 years utilizing continual replenishment of the spacecraft and in-flight repairs

  • Consumption of fuel in moving from earth to orbit and from orbit to orbit would be reduced by having fuel dumps in a supporting orbit and using ion engines for spacecraft orientation

  • Landing capsules would at first be used for imagery recovery, but digital downlink would be developed quickly to eliminate this consumable item

  • A special modification of the existing Soyuz 7K with manipulators would be used for inter-orbital ferry and regular repair service of autonomous spacecraft while being based at the MKBS

  • The development cost would be minimized by use of existing or in-development systems:

    • Soyuz 7K-T spacecraft and Soyuz launch vehicle as the basic transport craft

    • Development of unpiloted modifications of Soyuz for use as MKBS visiting modules

    • Development of the basic modules from the existing Salyut space station 17K, launched by the Proton booster

    • Use of the N1 for launch of the MKBS core spacecraft

    • Use of the N1 with the Block Sr upper stage for delivery of special modules to geostationary orbit

    • Maximum use of existing and in-development facilities for support of MOK, such as launch complexes, command and control centers, etc.

    • Reduction of the cost of transportation to and within the system, by putting all future satellites as much as possible in the same orbital plane of 97.5 degrees, and by development of new economical reusable transport systems

It was planned that ultimately the MOK would be supported by a reusable launch vehicle, which was to be a modification of the N1 Block A. This would use a combination of air-breathing LACE (Liquid Air Cycle Engines) booster engines and liquid hydrogen/oxygen propellants sustainer engines on the core.

The development of the MOK would been undertaken in two phases: An experimental phase (near earth orbit around 51.5 degrees) and an operational phase (sun-synchronous orbit of 97.5 degrees). In May 1974 the N1 was cancelled, and with it, the MOK.

Technical development of the MOK was the first large-scale space technology study which used combined , earth resources studies, economic analysis to determine the best engineering solutions. Various technical results obtained in the process of this work were used for a long time after. In particular the development of the Progress replenishment spacecraft, Soyuz space station ferries, and special-purpose modules of the Mir spacecraft could be traced directly to the concepts and designs for the MOK. Leading participants in the project were I N Sadovskiy, V V Simakin, B E Chertok, V S Ovchinnikov,, M V Melnikov, A P Abramov, V D Vachnadze, V K Bezverbiy, A A Ryzhanov, I E Yurasov, V Z Ilin, G A Dolgopolov, N P Bersenev, K B Ivanov, V C Anfyrev, B G Sypryn , V P Zaitsev, E A Shtarkov, I V Gordeev, B V Korolev, V G Osipov, V N Lakeyev, V P Byrdakov, A A Kochkin.

It was interesting to note that American propulsion engineer Peter James described the MOK in considerable and accurate detail in his 1974 book Soviet Conquest from Space. The book was dismissed by many authorities because the systems described in it never appeared. Only in the last two years has it become apparent that the system described to Mr James was in development, but was cancelled at just about the same time his book appeared.

Family: Soviet Space Stations, Space station, Space station orbit. Country: Russia. Launch Vehicles: N1, N1F, N1 1969. Agency: Korolev bureau. More at: 6716. Bibliography: 367, 376, 474, 89.


Photo Gallery

MKBS Orbital StationMKBS Orbital Station
MKBS Multi-module Orbital Base Station
Credit: © Mark Wade


MKBS Orbital StationMKBS Orbital Station
MKBS Multi-module Orbital Base Station
Credit: © Mark Wade



1966 March 12 - .
  • Mishin lists the projects DI Kozlov was developing in Samara - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: Soyuz, MKBS, Soyuz VI, Soyuz 7K-S.

    1. Military research ship (e.g. 7K-VI)
    2. Transport ship to the station "Almaz" (e.g. 7K-S)
    3. MKBS multipurpose space base station (preliminary project) - specification requirements.
    4. "Procyon" - Draft Project - classified (interesting unidentified military project)
    5. Block "D" - (full responsibility) - including experimental work. (Mishin Diaries 1-219)


1967 October 4 - . LV Family: N1.
  • Mishin conducts a rather grim review of the cut backs to his OKB's budget for 1968. - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: Block D, Soyuz, Soyuz 7K-LOK, Soyuz 7K-OK, MKBS, LK.

    Consider the shortfall in his request compared with the challenge of beating the Americans to the moon!
    Review with Company Management on Occasion of Tenth Anniversary of Sputnik 1
    Plan for 1968.
    1. Funding:
    R&D - 7.5 million Rubles. (26 million requested).
    including YaRD nuclear rocket engine- 6 million., MKBS - 0.5 million., L-5 - 0.5 mln., Yantar - 0.5 million.
    Experimental design work - 266 million. (Requested 333 million).
    Funded 3 sets N1-L3 instead of 6 sets.
    For 7K-OK - 11, 12, 13, 14 (shortfall 20%).
    N1-L3 (3 sets - 207 million., Including 38 million experimental work. Stages A, B, V, G - 22.8 million. Payloads (LOK, LK, Block D, GO) - 9.5 million. Blocks E and I - free of charge. (under direct contract with Isayev).
    2. Plan - does not meet the 5-year plan. Not included at all:
    - Modernization of the N1-L3.
    - In R&D - Modernization of the RT-2M (in full).
    - EYaRD (nuclear electric propulsion)- instead of in R&D - to search for funding.


1969 January 10 - . LV Family: N1.
  • Mishin notes on 13.00 Meeting with SA Afanasyev. (In wake of Apollo 8 triumph). Yu.A.Mozzhorin: N1 is the basis for MKBS. Try "Almaz" on the N1. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Afanasyev, Sergei. Spacecraft: , MKBS, Almaz. (Mishin Diaries 2-184).

1969 January 24 - .
  • The true purpose of MKBS is first revealed: "MKBS - Under the guise of national economic objectives will be used to create a system of special space weapons". - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: , MKBS. (Mishin Diaries 2-159).

1969 January 26 - . LV Family: N1.
  • In the post-mortems on the N1 after the Apollo 8 mission, MKBS became a key justification for continuing with the N1. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Ryazanskiy, Shcheulov. Spacecraft: Soyuz, MKBS.

    MS Ryazanskiy: Our biggest problem - we think only 2 - 3 years ahead. Are we no longer prepared to create a TOS Heavy orbital station? After 7K-VI need to create a large space stations.
    VI Shcheulov: Creation of a powerful space station on the basis of N1 would offset, to to some extent, the effect of the United States winning the moon race. MKBS would achieve long-duration through rotation of crews. Modification is necessary in parallel with the existing launch vehicle. We must build two new launch facilities allowing simultaneous launches. (It is necessary to assign the task to develop those launch facilities.) Mishin Diaries 2-159)


1969 January 29 - .
  • Debate on post-Apollo 8 Soviet priorities. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Chertok, Feoktistov, Okhapkin, Bezverby, . Spacecraft: MKBS, TOS, TMK.

    SO Okhapkin: I do not agree with the first part of the speech of VP Mishin. We accepted obligations and have not fulfilled them. We deceived the Central Committee and the government with the second part of the performance agreement. These will have terrible consequences (no communication satellites or MKBS, etc.)
    KP Feoktistov: Orientation toward Mars - is correct. We will achieve Mars - and the moon, and the TOS heavy space station. The OKB should complete the ordered spacecraft, all the systems, and ordered launch vehicles... the TMK - for Mars, the Moon and the MKBS (cover for weapons systems development)
    Chertok: It is good that the program proposed by the Soviet of Chief Designers was approved unanimously. Big manned spacecraft to Mars (and from that to derive standard modules with automatic options for Earth manned flights.) MKBS - for defense purposes.
    VK Bezverby: Use EYaRD nuclear electric propulsion for deep space missions and MKBS (for defense purposes). (Mishin Diaries 2-162)


1969 February 9 - . LV Family: N1.
  • MV Keldysh is warning that new projects should use the existing N1 and trying to justify a program to upgrade it are premature. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Keldysh, . Spacecraft: , MKBS. MV Keldysh - MKBS (use the existing launch vehicles) and direct broadcast satellites could also use existing LV's. Proposals for modernization are premature. Mozzhorin, Narimanov - also against the modernized N1M (Mishin Diaries 2-197).

1969 February 10 - .
  • Mishin is considering MKBS weapons aspects and the use of the transport version of the 7K-VI with the station. - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: Soyuz, MKBS.

    Strictly analyze planning for design and development of space weapons systems (separation minima). In achieving mastery of outer space payloads over 100 t are needed, as MKBS should have an orbit above 10,000 km. (Necessary to study optimum orbit). Consider the design of the docking system of the 7K-VI, which provides a transition from one ship to another. (Mishin Diaries 2-194)


1969 February 16 - . LV Family: N1.
  • The two-launch scenario with the LKR was still the baseline for the moon landing. - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: Soyuz, MKBS, LK, LK, L3M.

    Mishin notes: "9. Refine Lunar Expedition using LK, LK-R and E-8". This is the last mention; by mid-1971 a new five-year plan has been approved. Under this the N1-L3 was dropped and OKB-1 was pursuing the N1 with the giant MOK military earth orbit space station and L3M two-launch lunar expedition using new lunar spacecraft (with a podsadka approach to deliver the crew to earth orbit by the new 7K-S!). (Mishin Diaries 2-301)


1969 July 30 - .
  • After the Apollo 11 moon landing, an ambiguous note by Mishin. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Keldysh, Ustinov, Afanasyev, Sergei, . Spacecraft: , MKBS. The Supreme Council: DF Ustinov MV Keldysh, SA Afanasiev, PV Dementiev PV, VD Kalmyks, ID Serbin, BA Stroganov, et al: TSKBEM should not be expending funds on MKBS (Unclear: perhaps "not" crossed out by the author) (Mishin Diaries 2-211).

1969 August 1 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D.
  • The DOS Conspiracy begins - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Chelomei, Mishin. Program: Lunar L3, Almaz, Salyut. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS, LK, MKBS, Soyuz 7K-LOK.

    With the collapse of the work on the N1, the whole reason for Mishin's design bureau's existence simply vanished in the air. A new high-priority project was needed. Korolev had begun development of a Multi-Module Space Base (MKBS) before 1966. However MKBS was to be launched by the N1; as long as this was not available, there would be no MKBS. Almaz on the other hand did not require a new launch vehicle, although the UR-500 was in a period of intense 'baby sickness'. So while TsKBEM was in a period of analysis and instability, Chelomei's Reutov and Fili facilities were building space stations for the Ministry of Defence.

    On one of these August 1969 days, three of Chelomei's TsKBM engineers came to the office of Mishin's deputy, Chertok, with a plan to get a space station orbited before the American Skylab. They wanted a collaboration between the two competing design bureaux. Their plan was to take an Almaz spaceframe, install Soyuz systems, add a new docking tunnel with a hatch to reach the interior, and presto - a space station was finished. Tentative discussions with potential allies within Chelomei's design bureau found support there as well. The DOS 'long-duration orbiting station' was the result of this 'conspiracy'.


1969 August 9 - . LV Family: N1.
  • Mishin pitched his first draft for the next five year plan, with an upgraded N1M to launch expeditions to the moon, Mars, and MKBS. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Keldysh, Ustinov, Chelomei, . Spacecraft: , MKBS.

    Again his plans to improve the N1 were not well received (Mishin Diaries 2-213): Meeting with the DF Ustinov (22.00) on the rocket and space Five Year Plan. N1-L3 - Core package for lunar exploration. Expedition to Mars \ necessary to accelerate MKBS / MV Keldysh - Against OB-VI and against N1M with EYaRD. There are three preliminary designs for an expedition to Mars (TsKBEM, Chelomei, Yangel)
    "Luch" - you need to develop (especially realistic anti-jamming measures). NA Pilyugin - against the N1M LV.


1970 February 16 - . LV Family: N1.
  • The next five year plan emphasized the use of the N1 for MKBS and robot soil return missions to Mars by the mid-1970's. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Chelomei, . Spacecraft: Soyuz, MKBS, Almaz, Salyut, LK.

    But an N1M and improved lunar spacecraft would be developed for establishment of a moon base late in the decade. This was all laid out in a review of the proposed five-year plan on 16 February 1970 (Mishin Diaries 2-302):
    25. Budget Review - 5 Year Plan (presumed in thousands of rubles)
    Experimental design work - 8734
    R&D - 680
    Projected over 5 yrs
    Experimental Base - 3314
    N1-L3 - 2665 (Capital investments)
    DOS - 170
    Almaz - 645
    Topaz - 750 (unknown code name).
    Apparatus for military use - 825 350
    National economy. others - 928 150
    Launch Vehicles - 255 116
    Launch complexes - 476 91
    Skh.A. - 830 293
    EYaRD - 380
    Launch work - 780 760
    N1-L3 71 72 73 74 75 +
    (11A52) 3 4 4 4 2 17
    11A52 for Mars-75 - - - - 2 2
    Grand total 19
    26. On the draft resolution for the MKBS.
    1. Use the same cooperation established in the design and manufacture of DOS.
    2. Expand the cooperation of developers in various departments (especially on power, life support systems, equipment for national economic and scientific purposes).
    2. Create the necessary experimental and industrial base (with the planned cooperation of developers).
    3. Select TsKBEM factory for serial instrument production with MOM.
    4. Determine the organization within MOM (former Nikitin) for the development of simulators and control panels.
    5. Organize mass production 7K-S at the plant in Omsk (or in the factory "Progress").
    6. Hydrogen blocks Sr and S - TSKBEM factory and plant "Progress".
    7. Instruct Affiliate TsKBM (T. Bugajski) development of MKA (shuttle) according to TsKBEM's requirements (an interesting allusion to development of the LKS space shuttle by Chelomei's organization).
    8. Determine the parent organization for the production of "Almaz" - organization of Chelomei (Reutov).
    9. Immediately begin design work on the technical positions for MKBS ... see paragraph 21 (to establish a single NTS Scientific and Technical Council)


1970 March 5 - .
  • VK Bezverby - It is necessary to make a proposal for the establishment of heavy MKBS. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Bezverby, . Spacecraft: , MKBS. (Mishin Diaries 2-263):.

1970 July 23 - .
  • Consultations with leadership on MKBS intensify: Meeting with SA Afanasyev on MKBS; Preliminary discussion of the main provisions for the development of the MKBS (in TsKBEM). - . Related Persons: Mishin, Afanasyev, Sergei, . Spacecraft: , MKBS. (Mishin Diaries 2-300).

1970 July 26 - .
  • Organize the work of designers (those needed and useful) for blocks Sr, S and MKBS. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Chertok, Bushuyev, Bushuyev, Feoktistov, Okhapkin. Spacecraft: , MKBS. Okhapkin, Bushuyev Chertok, Bezverby, Kolyako, Feoktistov, Timchenko, Legostaev - have to involved. (Mishin Diaries 2-300).

1970 September 24 - . LV Family: N1.
  • N1, MKBS future plans - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: , MKBS, L3M. Modernization of the N-1 (5 yrs). 1971 - Draft project - N1-L3M (N1S). 1972 - Draft project - MKBS. 1974 - Beginning of MKBS..

1970 September 25 - . LV Family: N1.
  • Definite news that the Mars expedition is off, but the MKBS ('the big girdle') is still under consideration by the military industrial commission. - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: , MKBS. The N1-launched Luch communications satellite is to come in 1973 (Mishin Diaries 2-287).

1970 October 20 - . LV Family: N1.
  • Mishin reviews the work and configurations of the Lox/LH2 (S and Sr) upper stages for the N1 necessary to achieve various programs. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Chelomei, . Spacecraft: , MKBS, MAVR, Almaz, Salyut, LK, L3M.

    Mishin reviews the work and configurations of the Lox/LH2 (S and Sr) upper stages for the N1 necessary to achieve various programs (Mishin Diaries 2-293). Here was see evidence for several previously hinted-at but poorly-documented projects: the Lunar Orbital Station (N1+Almaz), the MAVR manned Mars-Venus-Flyby Spacecraft: AM Isaev - about speeding work on the engine 11D56. AM Lyulka - about speeding work on the engine 11D57.
    1. S, Sr - LOS (lunar orbital station?) SNTV satellite for direct TV broadcasting, MAVT (MAVR?), DOS-II (later Mir).
    2. S + Sr - L3M, Mavr, MKBS
    3. S + S + Sp - L3M, MKBS, Mavr and others.
    4. NII - DOS (20t - indecipherable) - this apparently refers to later plans to dump Chelomei's Proton vehicle and go back to the original plan to use the NII (consisting of the second and third stages of the N1) for this earth orbit payload class.
    5. N1S => 110 t (the low earth payload for this version of the improved N1). (Mishin Diaries 2-293).


1970 October 30 - .
  • More MKBS military applications (possibly as a communications station with submerged submarines) are mentioned. - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: , MKBS. More MKBS military applications (possibly as a communications station with submerged submarines) are mentioned (Mishin Diaries 2-294): "Chembrovsky - On the application of long waves (1 km) to the MKBS". (Mishin Diaries 2-294).

1970 November 12 - .
  • Meeting DF Ustinov (Smirnov, Keldysh Afanasiev, Serbin, Stroganov, Kommissarov, Tsarev, Kerimov and others, on acceleration of N1 after 1973 for MKBS. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Keldysh, Ustinov, Afanasyev, Sergei, Smirnov. Spacecraft: , MKBS.

    Meeting at 12:00 - DF Ustinov (Smirnov, Keldysh Afanasiev, Serbin, Stroganov, Kommissarov, Tsarev, Kerimov and others.) ... 2) MKBS - Accelerate after 1973. It is necessary to accelerate the draft resolution on the MKBS and associated activities - EYaRD, reusable transport spacecraft. (Mishin Diaries 2-299)


1970 November 26 - .
  • A meeting with LV Smirnov and MV Keldysh (Mishin Diaries 2-296) goes through a shopping list of the vast work needed to be done on MKBS - . Related Persons: Mishin, Keldysh, Smirnov. Spacecraft: , MKBS.

    On accelerating the work on MKBS:
    - Power
    - Life support systems
    - Equipment for scientific research
    - Equipment for the benefit of the national economy
    - Funding
    - Building design and experimental base
    - Development of production capacity
    - Expansion of cooperation.


1971 January 16 - .
  • A note (Mishin Diaries 2-320) indicates that a primary purpose of the DOS Salyut station was to demonstrate long-stay crew endurance for the rotating crews of the MKBS. - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: , MKBS, Salyut. 10:00 - IMBP (Vorobyev, Gazenko Nefedov) About 30-day flight to the DOS number 1. Increasing the duration spaceflight on these DOS missions. Work on the MKBS. (Mishin Diaries 2-320).

1971 January 20 - .
  • Mishin pushing 'Big Orbital Station'. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Chelomei, Kozlov, Mishin. Program: Almaz, Salyut. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS, MKBS.

    Mishin is attempting to set up a separate training centre for civilian cosmonauts at the Moscow Aviation Institute. Mishin and the civilian cosmonauts come to view the TsPK premises to get ideas. This is a new attack by Mishin, in Kamanin's eyes. Mishin has been ill for a long time, but it doesn't stop him from meddling in the details of work of his deputies. Now they are working on a Big Orbital Station (BOS) for 9-12 crew. This amounts to nothing more than a new move against Chelomei. Mishin is intent on monopolising manned spaceflight at any cost. He attempts to take over any other such projects allocated to Chelomei or Kozlov.


1971 January 26 - .
  • ECS technology review. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Gazenko, Keldysh, Severin, Voronin. Program: Salyut. Spacecraft: Aelita satellite, MKBS, Salyut 1.

    Keldysh heads a review of spacecraft environmental control system development. The work of the IMBP is not well organised. They have been developing systems for eight years with no concrete results. G I Voronin is responsible for oxygen regenerator and thermal regulation systems; G I Severin, for space suits; O G Gazenko for biosensors, medicines, and space food. Two problems need to be solved: to understand and counter the effects of zero gravity on the human organism; and to develop a reliable environmental control system with a guaranteed life of two to three years. Keldysh declares that in the next five to ten years the Soviet Union will not fly space stations with artificial gravity. Therefore, due to the inevitable deterioration of the human body in zero gravity, crews will have to be rotated every 30 to 60 days. Development must continue with an eye to supporting eventual lunar bases and manned expeditions to Mars.


1971 March 23 - .
  • Mishin is already dealing in delays with getting the MIK facilities in Baikonur converted to MKBS work. - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: , MKBS. There is no clarity on hydrogen handling and lightning protection systems; Need supply of equipment; There's nothing on the long-term work (test stands, MIK expansion, MKBS accommodation, and EYaRD)..

1971 April 15 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Salyut preparations - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Chelomei, Mishin. Program: Lunar L3, Salyut, Almaz. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS, MKBS, Salyut 1.

    The Salyut station was prepared in a huge two story bunker built for launch vehicle / payload processing. The contrast between the money lavished by the military on this facility for Chelomei's projects and the limited funds available for a proper N1 preparation and test facilities was enormous. Here funds were available without limit. The air was controlled by a self-contained environmental control system with its own independent electrical-diesel generators. The facility was a miracle. It was shocking that this was made available for Almaz, while the military told Mishin that he would have to prepare the immense MKBS station in the uncontrolled environment, subject to frequent power blackouts, of the N1 facility. At Chelomei's facility, everything was completely checked out on earth prior to launch.


1971 May 7 - . LV Family: N1.
  • The planning on MKBS has progressed to the point where there will be an MKBS-1 with a DOS core (AKA DOS-A, later Mir); while MKBS-2 will use the MOK N1-launched core. - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: Soyuz, MKBS, Mir. At the Soviet of the State Chief Designers (17K)- About DOS number 3 and number 4 and DOS-A (MKBS-1)"..

1971 May 17 - .
  • MOK, MKBS, nuclear power supply reviewed. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Okhapkin, Bezverby, Melnikov. Spacecraft: , MKBS, Mir.

    Bezerby VK and Melnikov MV - Materials on the experimental base for EYaRD. Okhapkin SO - About the acceleration of work on blocks R and Sr. Call Karpov AG - On specifications for MKBS-1. The development of the MOK should be conducted in full swing, but testing of individual systems should be conducted on the MKBS-1 (DOS). The main question - how long can a man live in space, and what can he do better than automatic systems? (Mishin Diaries 2-330)


1971 May 18 - .
  • Bushuyev KD and Bezverbo VK: Justify the need for the MKBS-1 based in DOS. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Bushuyev, Bezverby, . Spacecraft: , MKBS, Mir.

1971 June 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1-6L launch commission - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Isayev, Mishin, Pilyugin. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 11. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS, LK, MKBS, Salyut 1, Soyuz 7K-LOK.

    The review of launch preparations veers off into a discussion of what the booster was now for. Pilyugin questioned the seriousness of intent of the TsKBEM staff. The digital control system priorities within the bureau were with DOS and Almaz -- why wasn't the N1-L3 the priority? Mishin had never been told that the N1-L3 development was lagging. It had no priority with the leadership. Top priority at TsKBEM was Nadiradze's solid propellant ICBM's, followed by the DOS Salyut station, and now Soyuz-Apollo preparations. Meanwhile it was finally recognised that a single-launch scenario was simply impossible, and two N1 launches would be needed to accomplish the lunar landing. But there was no political will to tell the Politburo the bad news -- that two N1's would be needed to be launched to accomplish the landing. The final conclusion was that the bureau needed a new direction, a project with national priority, like the DOS station. Strategic rocket work could be ruled out, as there were already too many players in that field. Additional Details: here....


1971 July 23 - . LV Family: N1.
  • Further meetings with Mishin's section leaders on 15 and 23 July leading up to a meeting of the N1-L3 Expert Commission with SA Afanasiev on 25 July where the N1-L3 is finally killed.. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Afanasyev, Sergei, . Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK, MKBS, Mars 5NM, LK.

    It is agreed that it could never have landed a cosmonaut on the moon:
    1. Agree that the N1-L3 could not land a cosmonaut.
    2. LOK, LK - cancelled.
    3. N-1 to be used for MKBS, Mars 75, 77, etc.
    4. Lunar Expedition - proceed. (but the solution is not clear. Machines may be better.)
    5. Costs for N1-L3 to 1 January 1971: 2.9 billion rubles. Required to complete - 3.0 billion.
    6. Unreliability must be solved through reliability testing.
    7. Extend the use of N1 (LKI, Mars-75, Mars-77, MKBS).
    8. What you need to alter under based on this testing.
    9. Proceed with development of hydrogen stages, but you need to use the existing stages for now. (Mishin Diaries 2-336) l


1971 August 2 - . LV Family: N1.
  • In a follow-up call to Afanasiev, Mishin notes: "On conclusion of the expert committee on the N1-L3 (and Comrade Tsarev VPK): 7KS - MKBS-1 - MKBS-2 - Continue; Enlarge the crew to six people for short - . Related Persons: Mishin, Afanasyev, Sergei, . Spacecraft: Soyuz, MKBS, Mir, Soyuz 7K-S.

1971 August 10 - .
  • The MKBS is seen in the context of its military application and a unified program with DOS and Almaz. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Ustinov. Spacecraft: , MKBS, Almaz, Mir. "Meeting of the Central Committee Comrade DF Ustinov (The main directions of development of space weapons for 1971-80 biennium). ... DOS - Almaz - MKBS-I - MKBS-II: Philosophy: Continuity"..

1971 August 12 - .
  • Staff meetings to emphasize a modular approach to MKBS.. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Bezverby, . Spacecraft: , MKBS.

    Meeting with Bezverby VK on MKBS (philosophy of design). Yurasova IE - philosophy of building block control systems for MKBS. MKBS = Integrated module consisting of blocks. Modules = integrated function blocks. Function blocks: General Purpose, Specialized, Service. General purpose units: (control systems, power, habitation, etc.).


1971 September 21 - . LV Family: N1.
  • The issues of the crew shuttle to be used with MKBS (evidently choices are the existing Soyuz, 7KS, Chelomei's spaceplane, or the new high L/D spacecraft) - . Related Persons: Mishin, Chelomei, Bezverby, . Spacecraft: Soyuz, MKBS, Soyuz 7K-S, Mir, LKS. Bezverby VK MKBS-1 on N-1 and variants of crew transport spacecraft (Mishin Diaries 2-362).

1971 September 26 - . LV Family: N1.
  • About MKBS-1 product number 10, 11 - N-1. (Which LV will deliver crew - 7K-T) - Consider options". - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: Soyuz, MKBS.

1971 September 29 - .
  • MKBS details are being analyzed. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Chertok, Afanasyev, Sergei, Bezverby, . Spacecraft: , MKBS.

    Chertok, Bezverby VK - Discussed the docking systems for heavy modules (MKBS). The draft decree for the station, however, is stuck in reviews by the leadership: "Called Afanasyev- Status of the draft decree on MKBS (lies with Rabinovich). The draft decree on development of greater power (the letter is with Slavsky EP). (Mishin Diaries 2-346)


1971 October 1 - .
  • Podsadka is considered again: "Think about podsadka approach to providing crew using 7K-S. - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: Soyuz, MKBS. "Think about podsadka approach to providing crew using 7K-S...MOK (MKBS, transport systems, specialized satellites)". (Mishin Diaries 2-347).

1971 October 10 - . LV Family: N1.
  • A detailed list of project phases for the integrated MKBS-Lunar program are laid out. - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: Soyuz, MKBS, Mir, Soyuz 7K-S, L3M.

    Complex number 1
    1. Improving N-1 (Increase thrust, increase reliability and survivability, operational testing).
    2. Improving upper stages G, D (performance, reliability and survivability, operational testing).
    3. Development of DM with operational testing.
    4. Development of standardized units of Stage S (Sr, Sr-L3M et al.).
    5. Development of block N.
    Complex number 2
    1. DOS 7KT - series production.
    2. MKBS-I
    3. 7KS
    4. L3M - (SA, LPU, PAO)
    5. SA reentry vehicle reusable. (Mishin Diaries 2-348)


1971 November 11 - . LV Family: N1.
  • A technical meeting considers "the work plan for L3M and the use of the N-1 LV for other tasks of space exploration (MKBS, stationary satellite, Mars-75). - . Related Persons: Mishin, Afanasyev, Sergei, . Spacecraft: , MKBS, Mars 5NM, L3M.

    " There is a meeting with SA Afanasiev the next day on the draft decision of the VPK on MOK ("MKBS, not MOK", corrects Tyulin!). And on the following day the extent of the work ahead is laid out:
    Organize a group for the study of systems specifications for MOK.
    a) For the transport system Earth - Orbit - Earth.
    b) For the interorbital tug - stationary orbit and others.
    c) For the control systems for MKBS and future systems.
    g) For the new reentry vehicle with L/D = 0.6.
    d) For the coolant systems.
    e) For the SEP (need in stages).
    g) For the micrometeorite protection.
    h) For the radiation protection.
    i) For the pressurization systems, etc.


1971 November 15 - .
  • Detailed work on test stands for block Sr and MKBS is begun on 15 November. - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: , MKBS.

1972 January 1 - .
  • TsKBEM reorganised - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Bushuyev, Dorofeyev, Mishin, Semenov, Shabarov. Program: Lunar L3, Soyuz, Almaz. Spacecraft: LK, Mars 5NM, MKBS, Soyuz 7K-LOK, Soyuz 7K-OK, Soyuz 7K-S, Soyuz 7K-T, Soyuz 7K-TM.

    TsKBEM was given a completely new structure as a result of the findings of the expert commissions on the disasters for the previous year, Mishin remained as the Chief Designer for the organisation, but each programme now had its own chief designer:

    • N1: Boris Dorofeyev
    • 8K98P solid propellant ICBM: Igor Sadovskiy
    • N1 payloads: Vladimir Brorov [check]
    • Soyuz 7K-TM, or Soyuz M, for Soyuz-Apollo: Konstantin Bushuyev
    • Soyuz 7K-T: Yuri Semenov
    • Soyuz 7K-S or Soyuz VI: Yevgeni Shabarov
    Additional Details: here....

1972 February 23 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1F.
  • MOK technical proposal authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: OS. Spacecraft: MKBS. Decree 'On work on the technical proposal for the creation of the MOK' was issued..

1972 June - .
  • Multi-module Orbital Complex (MOK) designed - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: OS. Spacecraft: MKBS.

    In the second half of 1972 and first half of 1973 TsKBEM began technical development of a Multi-module Orbital Complex (MOK). MOK was not a single spacecraft but an integrated collection of earth-based and near-earth orbital systems consisting of the Multi-module Cosmic Base Station (MKBS); autonomous spacecraft, operating from the MKBS; and logistics systems (expendable and reusable launch vehicles, interorbital tugs, earth launch sites, etc). MOK was dependent on the N1 launch vehicle, and was abandoned when this was cancelled in 1974.


1972 June 16 - .
  • Mishin notes problems with 7KS at Omsk and the rationale for continued testing of Kontak. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Chertok. Spacecraft: Soyuz, Soyuz 7K-OK, Soyuz Kontakt, MKBS, Soyuz 7K-S.

    "1. Klyucharev VM: Omsk plant (Director Kolupaev) - Delayed production of 7KS living compartments. ZEM - develop work and schedules to recover schedule for completion of 7KS modules. 2. Chertok: 7K-OK number 18 - rework using the proulsion system from number 36. Work on "Kontakt" to continue, as it can be used in the MKBS'.


1972 June 16 - .
  • The reason for continuing with development of the L3 Kontakt docking system even after the L3 was cancelled was that it was to be used in MKBS. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Chertok. Spacecraft: Soyuz, Soyuz 7K-OK, Soyuz Kontakt, MKBS. The note reads: Chertok - 7K-OK number 18 - rework using the propulsion system from number 36. Work on "Kontakt" to continue, as it can be used in the MKBS)..

1972 June 30 - .
  • The new operational test philosophy and weaponry for MKBS is elaborated in a note by Mishin. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Melnikov. Spacecraft: , MKBS.

    "Review the possibility of testing and testing of avionics for the spacecraft on the MKBS in real space conditions instead of working in ground conditions with stands and costly ground installations that simulate space flight conditions.
    Review MV Melnikov's materials on the use of electronic and neutron beams for special purposes". (Mishin Diaries 3-65):


1972 August 2 - . LV Family: N1.
  • The leadership is not returning Mishin's calls and he considers alternate approaches to accelerate the space program. - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: Soyuz, MKBS, Mir, Soyuz 7K-S.

    For study:
    1. Increase the payload for the launch vehicle for the 7KST by modernizing Block I by using the 11D58M engine.
    2. OB-7KST - New arrangement with the container in front (and for scientific and military research equipment).
    3. Work out our technical policy for DOS 7KT in a given situation.
    - Spacecraft numbers 34, 33, 35 - maybe defer some of them to DOS-3.
    - As was provided for in this case in ZEM plan for 1972
    4. Utmost acceleration of 7KS.
    5. N1-L3 in this situation - a general solution. All for a successful operation. (But we need to agree with MOM.)
    6. Accelerate work on MOK - MKBS 1st step. (Mishin Diaries 2-370)


1972 September 20 - .
  • New propulsion approaches are considered: "Controllable microelectric engines for spacecraft, DOS and MKBS (Ovchinnikov VS)". - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: , MKBS, Salyut.

1973 January 9 - . LV Family: N1.
  • Mishin marshals his arguments to continue with the N-1. - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: , MKBS, Salyut. "On the advice of the Soviet of Chief Designers once again emphasize the importance of N-1 (primarily for the Lunar Expedition and directions indecipherable). As long as getting to the moon cannot be accomplished, emphasize the MOK (MKBS) and DOS..

1973 July 13 - .
  • Mishin lays out the design philosophy and rationale for MKBS. - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: , MKBS.

    Technical Positions for MOK development.
    1. MOK - the minimum number of the most standardized rocket and space systems, to solve all problems in the foreseeable future in near-Earth space in the interests of science, the economy and defense.
    2.) Space-based MOK systems - the most cost-effective solution to the problem of getting a significant increase in the service life of the missile and space vehicles.
    a) ZB -> TS (UMTS) -> MKBS
    b) MKBS -> MSA -> SSS
    3. The modular structure of MOK's standardized elements, components, systems and assemblies.
    Standardized systems:
    - Propulsion systems (DO, DPO, SKD, main engines).
    - Life-support systems.
    - Power supply systems.
    - Control and orientation systems.
    - Navigation systems (automatic and manned spacecraft).
    The elements of these systems must be maintainable and interchangeable.
    4. All satellites modules should be automatically controlled spacecraft providing for the possibility of repair of all their vital elements with special manned spacecraft for on-orbit service, or repair modules from the MKBS delivered orbit-to-orbit by MKBS special spacecraft.
    5.) There should be a phased approach to create MOK with maximum use in the initial phase of existing rocket and space vehicles. (Mishin Diaries 3-97)


1973 October 5 - . LV Family: N1, Proton, R-7.
  • Mishin presents to the Academic Soviet the high-level justification and purpose of MKBS. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Ustinov, Melnikov. Spacecraft: Soyuz, MKBS, Soyuz 7K-S.

    Principal basis for the development of the MOK
    1. Providing solutions in targeted areas of defense, science and the economy as they may change over 10-20 years. Enabling rapid replacement of legacy systems, devices and components by more sophisticated systems without changing the logic of construction of the MOK as a whole and its constituent satellite systems and basic modules.
    2. Solution targets a minimum number of satellite modules using common equipment and apparatus.
    3. Complex solution of defense, economic and scientific problems using MKBS - the main base of the MOK, for logistics and maintenance of a long-term operation and cost-effective transport system.
    4. The modular structure of the MOK. Wide standardization, harmonization of systems, devices, compartments, aggregates. All elements of these systems, devices, units must be maintainable and interchangeable.
    5. Ensuring long-term service life (5-10 years) of the MOK through periodic visits CM astronauts for routine maintenance, based on the MKBS.
    6. MOK should provide the most cost-effective creation of rocket-space tools for addressing the full range of targets, most cost-effective organization of logistics, maintenance and management of the complex in comparison with existing systems. The development of the IOC should be considered as the direction of development of rocket and space technology to solve national problems with the least material costs.
    7. Stages of creation MOK as the development and creation of the necessary special systems.
    And receives the following criticisms:
    1. All elements of MKBS (especially spacecraft based on the 7KS) must have the new layout of systems and equipment, providing repair and replacement.
    2. GP Melnikov - MKBS is necessary, but give priority to modules SM-1 and SM-2 (these are specialized military free-flyers).
    3. You need to rethink the section on handling scientific information.
    4. Do we need to upgrade or add all these launch sites (R-7, UR-500 and N-1) for MOK (especially the UR500K launch complex)? VP Barmin offers not to upgrade the old UR-500 launch complexes, and spend those funds on new complexes (in fact these two additional UR-500 complexes would be the only ones built after the N1 / MKBS cancellation).
    5. You need a special decision of the Central Committee of the CPSU and special funding for construction.
    6. Which launch vehicles to implement the MOK.
    ND Ustinov suggests use of the UR-500 with a fluorine-ammonia upper stage to launch the SNTV direct television broadcasting system (Mishin Diaries 3-104)


1973 December 8 - .
  • Mishin's situation is reaching a crisis. - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: , MKBS, L3M.

    Mishin's notes show preparation for a fight for survival:
    9.00 - Departure for meeting at number 33 (with GK Kerimov, Tishkin).
    Take:
    1. The first 2-3 volumes of MOK and other materials.
    2. Abstracts of the NTS on MOK.
    3. Specifications for the MKBS-1.
    4. Materials 7M.
    5. Materials L3M.
    6. The composition of the payloads number 8 to number 13, inclusive.
    7. Materials from Petrov VI (Preliminary budget plan for 1975-1990) (Mishin Diaries 3-150)


1973 December 11 - . LV Family: N1, Proton, N11.
  • Mishin lays out his planned program in desperate notes. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Afanasyev, Sergei, Bezverby, . Spacecraft: , MKBS.

    Review materials sent from Moscow.
    1. Long-term program TSKBEM (projected) (See. Ref. 4/4748 dated 10 October 1973 from MOM).
    MKBS-1 on UR-500K (this would later be Mir)-
    Number 1 - 1977
    Number 2 - 1978 - 79
    MKBS on N-1 - Number 1 - 1983
    Number 2 - 1988
    N-11 (this refers to the use of the N-11 to replace the UR-500K for boosting modules to MKBS-1/Mir)
    1 - 1978
    2 - 1979
    MKTS on the basis of the first-stage N1 - 1985 with the augmented engine - 1988-90 (this is a reference to the aerospike / air-augmented N1 with the spaceplane second stage, as revealed to USAF agent Peter X in that year!)
    Performance in accordance with the "additional materials to the plan for experimental work in 1976-1990. See ref. 10414 dated 6.XII.1973.
    2. TSKBEM work plan for 1974.
    - Clarify:
    a) The number for transport spacecraft to object "A", S.A. (Afanasiev?)
    b) The number of DM (ZEM cannot produce the quantity.)
    - No specification from TSNIIMMASH for the heavy launch vehicle (not to mention its scientific and technical justification).
    3. Thematic plan for experimental work for TsKBEM in 1974.
    4. NIR
    All these materials require serious revision. (Focused, real and concrete, etc.) -Need to reduce the subject areas, the scope of work and remove excessive detail.
    Call Bezverby VK - For papers on MOK.
    Received in response via telegram a runaround (old papers are in the materials of the Academic Council). And I need - new papers. (I do not have - or have not yet found - my copies of these papers)


1974 January 2 - . LV Family: N1, R-7, N11, Molniya 8K78L.
  • On the first two days of 1974, Mishin catalogues the issues and notes his supporters. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Ustinov, Afanasyev, Sergei, Almaz, Bezverby, . Spacecraft: Soyuz, MKBS, Mir, Soyuz 7K-S, LK.

    To do:
    1. Now, when considering our long-term program and the use of near-earth space (including the Moon) for different purposes, it is necessary to clearly define the sequence of its implementation.
    Especially decide - where to start? (Especially in the present situation).
    - It is necessary as soon as possible to show the rationality inherent in the program guidelines.
    Namely a space-based MOK.
    - Optimal location for OAA systems: based on MKBS (DOS) - or visited the MPM for routine maintenance or brought near-MKBS for the same purpose.
    - Reusable transport ship based on the 7M, and then a reusable transport system based on the work on the N-1 (but with a new engine system in stage 1).
    02.I.1973
    - Space problems solved by the OAA.
    - A great resource. (even after these events)
    Where to start?
    ? (7KS)
    1. DOS 5 (6?) + 7KT + 7KTT + 7KS-OR
    7KS-OR (evidently a reconnaissance version of the 7KS) - view as the embodiment of the most efficient use of the developed equipment (Zenit-Yantar)
    Negotiations with DI Kozlov (What does he want?)
    2. All that in the first only on the basis of the 7M, to create the MTK and MPM (talks with EV Shabarov)
    What will branch NII-4 handle?
    1. Operative follow-up exploration.
    2. Armed struggle in outer space.
    (03.I.1974)
    3. The defeat of the moving targets.
    4. Electronic countermeasures
    5. Use of stationary orbit.
    6. Use of of sun-synchronous orbits.
    Means:
    Filial of NII-4 GUKOS support (but only at the lower levels): 1. R-7M; 2. N-1?; 3. N-11
    Support in the MO MO for the N-1 - signed by Alekseev and Tolubko.
    Navy is indifferent to MOK (they do not understand the prospects)
    It is necessary to establish a relationship with the customer. He is interested in this (Attract DI Kozlov!)
    (4.I.1974)
    - Write a detailed letter on MOK to Afanasyev (copied to the Central Committee) (With a draft work order)
    - Draft a memo to the Central Committee for DF Ustinov. (Long-term planning)
    - Achieve color television for the Soyuz-M (NN Detinov - CC)
    - TsKBEM review of the level of work on special equipment in related organizations.
    - Write a memo about the possibilities of "A" in the operational intelligence. (VK Bezverby together with TsNIIMASH).
    - Deal with the radio channel on the "Yantar". Orders: VK Bezverby
    - The draft memo on the need of long-term integrated planning by the state. TSKBEM work on MOK - 1st to attempt its development. (Mishin Diaries 3-167)


1974 February 28 - . LV Family: N1, R-7, N11, Molniya 8K78L.
  • Mishin conducts more brainstorming on all issues. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Afanasyev, Sergei, . Spacecraft: , MKBS, Almaz, Mir.

    21. Form a unit in TsKBEM for special equipment (e.g. classified military) (for some complexes).
    22. Develop ideas on the feasibility of developing and creating two-stage rocket for launch into low earth orbit. (Comparison with 3-stage rocket, the advantages and disadvantages).
    23. Conduct a study on the feasibility of establishing MKTS based on two-stage rocket.
    24. Conduct research on performance 2-stage rocket for launch of payloads to earth orbit using different fuel components (Including solid propellant).
    25. Elaborate design for a surveillance module based on MKBS-1 derived from the N-110.
    26. Review a 2-stage N-1 for MKBS-II, a 3-stage for moving heavy SM modules to geostationary orbit and lunar orbits.
    Questions for SA Afanasyev
    1. His attitude to R-7M. Who is going to build it?
    2. His attitude towards the N-11. 2-stage for moving spacecraft to sun-synchronous orbit).
    3. On the sequence of launches of DOS and "Almaz".
    4. On the development work on MOK.
    About MOK - based on our promising developments. Basis MOK - space-based, and it should be checked already on the DOS-5 having two connecting nodes.
    5. On the shuttle on the basis of R-7M. (Mishin Diaries 3-176)


1974 April 1 - . LV Family: N1, R-7, N11, Molniya 8K78L.
  • Mishin records his final list of planned spacecraft. - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: , MKBS.

    MOK-1 stages.
    Booster R-7M - Payload to sun-synchronous ~ 12 tons. It will deliver the following to the MKBS:
    1) MTKK Space Shuttle - manned version for delivery and return of the crew of astronauts on the MKBS.
    2) MTKK Space Shuttle - cargo version.
    3) SM Special Module - a non-returnable, autonomous and dockable with the MKBS (all-weather reconnaissance)
    4) MSK - the inter-satellite ship - automatic and manned. Launch vehicle - N-11 Payload = 18 tons (23 tons)
    MKBS-1 in sun-synchronous orbit.
    (Mishin Diaries 3-184)


1974 May 1 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 cancellation imminent - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Keldysh, Mishin, Ustinov. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: L3M-1972, LK, Mars 5NM, MKBS, Soyuz 7K-LOK.

    Ustinov achieved a leadership consensus to kill the N1 by the beginning of May 1974. He achieved the agreement of the other Ministers on the Military-Industrial Commission, and finally Keldysh. Projects that were ongoing that were linked with the N1 included: the lunar base, MKBS space station, Mars robotic soil return spacecraft and manned expedition, a space radio telescope with a 100 m antenna, and multiple channel communications satellites. All of these died with the cancellation. If 8L had been successful, then after 1 or 2 further test launches, the N1-L3M could begin flying. That meant that the Soviet Union was within 3 to 4 years of establishing long-term lunar expeditions and a moon base. The Americans would have been leapfrogged. Instead, the leadership decided to develop a completely new heavy-lift launch vehicle, which never became operational before the Soviet Union collapsed.



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