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Near miss flight to the moon
Material posted: Publication date: 06-02-2018
Not all models of manned spacecraft to reach a full flight crew. This could be and finish, but the further fate of the ship can arise in different ways. Buran, the Soviet answer to the space Shuttle has made just one test flight. And in the eyes of many he is already one of this flight surpassed the Shuttle, making unmanned the fact that the Shuttle was always doing pilots. In the end, his fame he can compete with some of the ships, which successfully flew people. Some of the other ships almost forgotten and seldom mentioned outside specialized sites. One of these ships could greatly affect the results of the lunar race, but instead fell victim to Soviet secrecy.

At the beginning of the lunar race in the Soviet Union there was no uniform vision of the flight plan. For missions to the moon were designed for three different rocket oxygen-kerosene super-heavy N-1 and two missiles on the toxic pair UDMH-at, heavy R-56 super-heavy UR-700. So was the parallel development of three spacecraft, related to each other orbital 7K-OK (later received the name of Union) and the lunar 7K-LOK and hastily converted from a ship East bench of Sunrise, the development of which was started for the next record. Attempt to concentrate on one rocket, N-1, all problems not solved, because of the increasing demands for capacity from 75 to 90 tons, and because of the conflict of Sergey Korolyov, Valentin Glushko, the most experienced designer of rocket engines of the Soviet Union caused a strong disagreement concerning the use of toxic fuel.

Since work on the main lunar rocket N-1 delayed, in October 1965 it was decided at fast using existing rockets to send a ship (called model 7K-L1) in an orbit around the moon that would provide at least an interim victory in the moon race. Three-stage rocket based on the R-7 was not able to send a manned spacecraft to the moon, therefore, as the booster was chosen recently established, has already been successfully flying the proton, despite the reluctance of the Queen to send the people in flight on a tank of toxic fuel. But even this heavy rocket to send to the moon is only about 5.5 tonnes, which demanded serious treatment taken as a basis, most still in the ship Union.

The most notable difference 7K-L1 was the refusal of household compartment, restricting the living space of the descent apparatus. The heat shield was strengthened to ensure a safe entry with escape velocity. Has been removed the backup parachute system and reserve correction braking propulsion system added to the system stellar navigation, and a highly directional antenna connection. Was first used on-Board digital computing machine (Ar-11). The return of the ship meant the original scheme dohnalkova entry when you first enter the machine was slowed down to sub-orbital speed, flew out of the atmosphere, and then entered it again, for planting. This allowed the ship into the atmosphere from the southern hemisphere to land on Soviet territory.

The flights began in the spring of 1967. There were produced 15 ships, two of which were simplified prototypes intended for testing on-Board systems and test the upper stage (block D) booster. According to the original plan, manned flight was to take place in the summer of that same year, after three successfully performed unmanned tests.

First flight of the prototype was successful, the machine was launched into orbit, and then was sent to the moon. Although according to another report, the ship just had the escape speed, not flying in the direction of the moon. After dialing the escape velocity further operation was not planned. The second prototype was also successfully launched on reference orbit, but the engine of the booster unit is not re-engaged, and the ship to the moon did not fly. After running two prototypes began flight full versions of the ship, unmanned launches which formally had to continue the line of interplanetary probes, the Probe sent to Venus (Probe-1), Mars (Probe-2) and the moon (ZOND-3), although technically they had nothing in common.

The Assembly Of The Probe

ZOND-4 had fly in a highly elliptical orbit, circled the clearing point of elevation 330000км. According to others he was scheduled to fly around the moon, but it was disrupted due to a failure of the guidance system. The first two attempts to send a Probe 4 failed due to failure on the first and second stages of the launch vehicle. The third attempt to bring the vehicle to the desired orbit was a success. In flight revealed problems with the system orientation, the sensor is permanently lost reference star, the first trajectory correction could not take place. With the failure of subsequent adjustments, the ship would not be able to return to Earth. The system orientation has been established, was the correction of the trajectory, providing a normal entrance to the atmosphere, but when returning failed hill descent control, the ship has broken in ballistic descent is not calculated in the district was undermined by the self-destruct system over Africa.

Probe 5 was also launched on the third attempt. At first launch, after a reset the head fairing there was a short in the control system. The second attempt failed during the preparation to start, the bursting of the tank oxidizer upper stage led to the fall of the ship with missiles. Third attempt to send the Probe was successful, but again the problems started with the system of stellar orientation. Correction of the trajectory was almost broken, had to use the less-accurate solar-terrestrial orientation. The second correction is working without a stellar orientation is impossible, which in turn made it impossible for takedown. Luckily, the Probe managed to perform a ballistic descent and splash down in the Indian Ocean. Were there ships managed to spot the lander during the flight and a few hours brought it to the Board. On the ship to the moon went several biological samples, including two turtles, which became the first living creatures, who had been near the moon and returning to Earth.

The ZOND-6 was launched successfully from the first time, flying to the moon was perfect, but then the problems started. First developed rod of highly directional antennas, together with the main sensor system stellar orientation. The return of the ship has been in question, however, orientation has been held with the aid of a second star sensor, which never successfully worked. During the return of the ship's troubles continued. First, nearly froze to death in the hydrogen peroxide used by the engine orientation, that almost led to the impossibility of making controlled descent, and then there was a partial depressurization of the ship. The pressure has fallen to half of the nominal value (380 mm Hg). Before entering into the atmosphere after separation of the descent module depressurization was complete. Not designed to work in a vacuum, the instrument is refused, the result is not the parachute system worked and the lander crashed.

Shortly before the launch of the ZOND-6, NASA announced that in December 1968, first manned flight on a rocket Saturn 5, the Apollo 8, will be made on the orbit of the moon. This decision was caused by the approach of the program the Probe to succeed, because NASA didn't want to admit that the first man around the moon was the Soviet cosmonaut. Although the idea of sending another ship to fly with the crew before the flight of Americans were announced, but the ship was still insufficiently worked out, and prepare to run before Apollo could not. Despite the Politburo sent a joint letter to the astronauts of the lunar detachment, ready to fly to the moon even not waste ship, manned flight was cancelled. However, unmanned launches continued.

When you first run the Probe-7 rocket was not able to bring the apparatus into orbit. The next two launches was used as a carrier rocket H-1 and also failed. The fourth launch, perfect after the return of Apollo 11, was completely successful. The camera circled the moon, received color photographs of the Earth and the moon, and performed a controlled descent into the territory of the USSR. In addition to turtles, on the ship to the moon flew dummy FM-2, designed for radiological research, thanks to which the Soviet experts were convinced that flying to the moon out of moments of the solar flare poses no radiation threat to the crew.

Despite the success of ZOND-7 and appeared the possibility of making a manned flight, the Soviet leadership decided that after landing on the lunar surface that are similar to fly-politically inexpedient. The decision was made to send the last of the unmanned vehicle and close the program. The probe 8 also has made the successful flight, which has been tested by alternative planting scheme — entry into the atmosphere from the Northern hemisphere and odnodiskovyh down with splashdown in the Indian ocean. This planting scheme was simpler and more reliable main circuit, but excluded the possibility of landing on Soviet territory. Although according to others, such a scheme was caused by a failure of the guidance system, the descent was a ballistic.

Not only Apollo were filming "Earth rise»

Although the possibility of a manned flight remained, was still preserved, one made the ship, but the program was finally closed, a few years later, after two more accidents H-1 was closed the entire Soviet manned moon program. Because of the reluctance of the Soviet leadership to play the role of catch-up, the Soviet Union refused even partial success in flying to the moon. Instead, it was chosen the policy of denying the participation in the moon race. The lunar program was classified, the program Apollo was opposed to unmanned vehicles and the manned space program focused on orbital stations. In the end, the only people who have been on low-earth orbit while NASA astronauts remain. It is possible if the Probe-9 still flying with the people, the resumption of manned flights to the moon is now perceived to be easier and not frightened of excessive ambition.

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Tags: space , USSR

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