N1 (rocket)

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This article is about the Soviet rocket. For the Japanese rocket, see N-I (rocket)
Function Manned lunar carrier rocket
Manufacturer OKB-1
Country of origin USSR
Height 105 meters (344 ft)
Diameter 17.0 meters (55.8 ft)[1]
Mass 2,750,000 kilograms (6,060,000 lb)
Stages 5
Payload to
95,000 kg (209,000 lb)[2]
Payload to
23,500 kg (51,800 lb)
Launch history
Status Canceled
Launch sites LC-110, Baikonur
Total launches 4
Successes 0
Failures 4
First flight 21 February 1969
Last flight 23 November 1972
First Stage - Block A
Diameter 17.0 m (55.8 ft)
Engines 30 NK-15
Thrust 45,310 kN (10,190,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 3.24 kN·s/kg (330 s)
Burn time 125 s
Fuel RP-1/LOX
Second Stage - Block B
Engines 8 NK-15V
Thrust 14,040 kN (3,160,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 3.39 kN·s/kg (346 s)
Burn time 120 s
Fuel RP-1/LOX
Third Stage - Block V
Engines 4 NK-21
Thrust 1,610 kilonewtons (360,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 3.46 kN·s/kg (353 s)
Burn time 370 seconds
Fuel RP-1/LOX
Fourth Stage (N1/L3) - Block G (Earth departure)
Engines 1 NK-19
Thrust 446.00 kN (100,260 lbf)
Specific impulse 3.46 kN·s/kg (353 s)
Burn time 443 s
Fuel RP-1/LOX

The N1 was a heavy lift rocket intended to deliver payloads beyond low Earth orbit, acting as the Soviet counterpart to the NASA Saturn V rocket.[3][4] This heavy lift booster had the capability of lifting very heavy loads into orbit, designed with manned extra-orbital travel in mind. Development work started on the N1 in 1959.[4] Its first stage is the most powerful rocket stage ever built.[5]

The N1-L3 version was developed to compete with the United States Apollo-Saturn V to land a man on the Moon, using the same lunar orbit rendezvous method. The basic N1 launch vehicle had three stages, which was to carry the L3 lunar payload into low Earth orbit with two cosmonauts. The L3 contained an Earth departure stage; another stage used for mid-course corrections, lunar orbit insertion, and powered descent initiation; a single-pilot LK Lander spacecraft; and a two-pilot Soyuz 7K-LOK lunar orbital spacecraft for return to Earth. The Apollo spacecraft was able to carry three astronauts (landing two on the Moon), and did not require the extra two rocket stages.

N1-L3 was underfunded and undertested, and started development in October 1965, almost four years after the Saturn V. The project was badly derailed by the death of its chief designer Sergei Korolev in 1966. Each of the four attempts to launch an N1 failed; during the second launch attempt the N1 rocket crashed back onto its launch pad shortly after liftoff and exploded, resulting in one of the largest artificial non-nuclear explosions in human history. The N1 program was suspended in 1974, and in 1976 was officially canceled. Along with the rest of the Soviet manned Moon programs, the N1 was kept secret almost until the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991; information about the N1 was first published in 1989.


Early work[edit]

Development began under the direction of Sergei Korolev at his OKB-1 Design Bureau. The original design proposed a 50-metric-ton (110,000 lb) payload[6] intended as a launcher for military space stations and a manned Mars flyby using a nuclear engine upper stage. The N1 was the largest of three proposed designs; the N2 was somewhat smaller and intended to compete with Vladimir Chelomei's proposed UR-200, and the much smaller N3, which would replace Korolev's "workhorse" R-7 rocket. At this point the N-series was strictly a "paper project".

In December 1959, a meeting was called with all of the chief designers, who presented their latest designs to the military. Korolev presented the N-series along with a much more modest series of upgrades to the R-7. Vladimir Chelomei, Korolev's rival, presented his "Universal Rocket" series, which used a common lower stage in various clustered configurations to meet a wide variety of payload requirements. Mikhail Yangel, perhaps the most successful of the three but with little political power, presented the small R-26 intended to replace the R-16, the much larger R-36 ICBM, as well as the SK-100, a space launcher based on a huge cluster of R-16's. In the end the military planners selected Chelomei's UR-100 as the new "light" ICBM, and Yangel's R-36 for the "heavy" role. They saw no need for any of the larger dedicated launchers, but also gave Korolev funding to develop the Molniya (8K78) adaptation of the R-7.

In March 1961, during a meeting at Baikonur, designers discussed the N1 design, along with a competing Glushko design, the R-20. In June, Korolev was given a small amount of funding for N1 development between 1961 and 1963. In May 1961 a government report, On Reconsideration of the Plans for Space Vehicles in the Direction of Defense Purposes, set the first test launch of the N1 rocket for 1965.

Moon missions[edit]

When the US announced in May 1961 the goal of landing a man on the Moon, Korolev proposed a lunar mission based on a new spacecraft, eventually known as Soyuz, that was designed for Earth orbit rendezvous. Several launches would be used to build up a complete moon package, one for the Soyuz, another for the lunar lander, and additional launches with cislunar engines and fuel. This approach makes the least demands on the launch vehicle, as the payload mass is reduced for any one launch. This is at the expense of requiring a rapid launch rate to ensure that the modules are built up before running out of consumables while waiting on-orbit. Even using this profile the lunar boosters and fuel were too large for any existing Soviet launcher. Korolev thus proposed development of the N1 with a 50 t (110,000 lb) payload – much smaller than the N1 design that would eventually be delivered.

To power the new design, Valentin Glushko, who then held a near-monopoly on rocket engine design in the Soviet Union, proposed a new engine, the RD-270, running on unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) and nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4). This formula is hypergolic (i.e., its components ignite on contact, reducing the complexity of the combustion system), and was widely used in Glushko's existing engine designs used on various ICBMs. The propellant pair UDMH/N2O4 has a lower potential specific impulse than kerosene/liquid oxygen, but because the RD-270 used the much more efficient full flow staged combustion cycle, as opposed to the simple gas-generator cycle used on the American F-1 rocket engine, the specific impulse of the RD-270 was higher than the F-1.

Korolev also felt that the toxic nature of the fuels and their exhaust presented a safety risk for manned space flight. Glushko pointed out that the US Titan rockets used to launch Gemini spacecraft used identical propellants. The Americans also had a 5-year head start with F-1 engine development, and were still facing combustion stability problems; Glushko held it was unrealistic and unfair to expect him to stake his reputation on miraculously delivering a similar engine virtually overnight with practically no money, primitive computer technology and an inferior kerosene fuel prone to coking (leaving contaminating deposits of unburned carbon) at high temperatures, as opposed to the rocket-grade kerosene used in the Saturn V.

There were strong personal resentments between the two, Korolev holding Glushko responsible for his near-death at Kolyma Gulag and the failure of his first marriage as a result, and Glushko considering Korolev to be irresponsibly cavalier and autocratic in his attitudes towards things outside his competence. Glushko refused outright to work on LOX/kerosene engines, and with Korolev in general. He instead teamed up with other rocket designers to build the very successful Proton rocket, Zenit rocket and Energia rocket.

Later, Glushko did build a LOX/Kerosene engine even more powerful and advanced than the F-1, known as the RD-170. Its development took over ten years, despite it being 20 years after the American F-1, due to the relative backwardness of the USSR's industrial base as foreseen by Glushko. This probably vindicated his decision not to support the development of such an engine for the N1 rocket.

The difference of opinions led to a falling out between Korolev and Glushko. In 1962, a committee that was appointed to break the logjam agreed with Korolev. Since Glushko refused to work on such a design, Korolev eventually gave up and decided to enlist the help of Nikolai Kuznetsov, the OKB-276 jet engine designer.

Kuznetsov, who had limited experience in rocket design, responded with a fairly small engine known as the NK-15, which would be delivered in several versions tuned to different altitudes. To achieve the required amount of thrust, it was proposed that a large number of NK-15s would be used in a clustered configuration around the outer rim of the lower-stage booster. The "inside" of the ring of engines would be open, with air piped into the hole via inlets near the top of the booster stage. The air would be mixed with the exhaust in order to provide thrust augmentation, as well as additional combustion with the deliberately fuel-rich exhaust. The ring-like arrangement of so many rocket engine nozzles on the N1's first stage could have been an attempt at creating a crude version of a toroidal aerospike engine system; more conventional aerospike engines were also studied.

Meanwhile, Chelomei's OKB-52 proposed an alternate mission with much lower risk. Instead of a manned landing, Chelomei proposed a series of circumlunar missions which he felt would be able to beat the US. He also proposed a new booster for the mission, clustering three of his existing UR-200 designs (known as the SS-10 in the west) to produce a single larger booster, the UR-500. These plans were dropped when Glushko offered Chelomei the RD-270, which allowed the construction of a much simpler "monoblock" design, also known as the UR-500. He also proposed adapting an existing spacecraft design for the circumlunar mission, the single-cosmonaut LK-1. Chelomei felt that improvements in early UR-500/LK-1 missions would allow the spacecraft to be adapted for two cosmonauts.

The Soviet military, specifically the Strategic Missile Forces, was reluctant to support what was essentially a politically motivated project with little military utility, but both Korolev and Chelomei pushed for a lunar mission. For some time, between 1961 and 1964, Chelomei's less aggressive proposal was accepted, and development of his UR-500 and the LK-1 were given a high priority.

Space race[edit]

Main article: Space Race
N1 imaged by US KH-8 Gambit reconnaissance satellite, 19 September 1968

Since the US Project Gemini reversed the Soviet lead in human space exploration by 1966, Korolev was able to persuade Leonid Brezhnev to let him pursue his plans to make a lunar landing before the US.[citation needed] This required much larger boosters.

Korolev proposed a larger N1, combined with a new lunar package known as the L3. The L3 combined the lunar engines, an adapted Soyuz spacecraft (the LOK) and the new LK lunar lander in a single package. Chelomei responded with a clustered UR-500-derived vehicle, topped with the L1 spacecraft already under development, and a lander of their own design. Korolev's proposal was selected as the winner in August 1964, while Chelomei was told to continue with his circumlunar UR-500/L1 work.

When Khrushchev was overthrown later in 1964, infighting between the two teams started anew. In October 1965, the Soviet government ordered a compromise; the circumlunar mission would be launched on Chelomei's UR-500 using Korolev's Soyuz spacecraft in place of their own Zond design, aiming for a launch in 1967, the 50th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Korolev, meanwhile, would continue with his original N1-L3 proposal. Korolev had clearly won the argument, but work on the L1 continued anyway, as well as the Zond.

Korolev died in 1966 due to complications after minor surgery, and the work was taken over by his deputy, Vasily Mishin. Mishin did not have Korolev's political astuteness or power, a problem that led to the eventual downfall of the N1, and of the lunar mission as a whole.


The N1 was a very large rocket, standing 105 meters (344 ft) tall with its L3 payload. The N1-L3 consisted of five stages in total: the first three (N1) for insertion into a low Earth parking orbit, and another two (L3) for translunar injection and lunar orbit insertion. Fully loaded and fueled, the N1-L3 weighed 2,750 tonnes (6,060,000 lb). The lower three stages were shaped to produce a single frustum 17 meters (56 feet) wide at the base,[7] while the L3 section was mostly cylindrical, carried inside a shroud 3.5 meters (11 feet) (estimated) wide.[8] The conical shaping of the lower stages was due to the arrangement of the tanks within, a smaller spherical kerosene tank on top of the larger liquid oxygen tank below.

The first stage, Block A, was powered by 30 NK-15 engines arranged in two rings, the main ring of 24 at the outer edge of the booster and the core propulsion system consisting of the inner 6 engines at about half diameter. The engines were the first ever staged combustion cycle engines. The control system was primarily based on differential throttling of the engines of the outer ring for pitch and yaw. The core propulsion system was not used for control.[9] The Block A also included four grid fins, which were later used on Soviet air-to-air missile designs. In total, the Block A produced 45,310 kilonewtons (10,190,000 lbf)[10][11][12] of thrust. This exceeded the 33,700 kilonewtons (7,600,000 lbf) thrust of the Saturn V.[13] The Saturn V used higher-specific impulse liquid hydrogen fuel in the second and third stages, which eliminated one of the stages needed to get to translunar injection, thus saving weight.

The second stage, Block B, was powered by 8 NK-15V engines arranged in a single ring. The only major difference between the NK-15 and -15V was the engine bell and various tunings for air-start and high-altitude performance. The upper stage, Block V (В/V being the third letter in the Russian alphabet), mounted four smaller NK-21 engines in a square.

During the N1's lifetime, a series of improved engines was introduced to replace those used in the original design. The first stage used an adaptation of the NK-15 known as the NK-33, the second stage a similar modification known as the NK-43, and finally the third stage used the NK-31. The resulting modified N1 was known as the N1F, but did not fly before the project's cancellation.

Comparison with Saturn V[edit]

Main article: Saturn V
A comparison of the U.S. Saturn V rocket (left) with the Soviet N1/L3.

At 105 meters (344 ft), the N1-L3 was slightly shorter and more slender overall, than the American Apollo-Saturn V (111 meters (363 ft)), but wider at the base (17 meters (56 ft) vs. 10 meters (33 ft)). The N1 also produced more thrust in each of its three stages than the Saturn V. It also produced more total impulse in its first four stages than the Saturn V did in its three (see table below).

The N1 was intended to place the ~95-metric-ton (209,000-pound) L3 payload into low Earth orbit,[14] whereas the Saturn V placed the roughly 45-metric-ton (100,000-pound) Apollo spacecraft, plus 74.4 metric tons (164,100 pounds) of fuel for translunar injection, into Earth parking orbit. L3 translunar injection of a 23.5-metric-ton (52,000-pound) payload was to be provided by the fourth stage. The N1-L3 would have been able to convert only 9.3% of its three-stage total impulse into Earth orbit payload momentum (compared to 12.14% for the Saturn V), and only 3.1% of its four-stage total impulse into translunar payload momentum, compared to 6.2% for the Saturn V.

The N1-L3 used only kerosene-based rocket fuel in all three of its stages, while the Saturn V used liquid hydrogen to fuel its second and third stages, which yielded an overall performance advantage due to the higher specific impulse. The N1 also wasted available propellant volume by using spherical propellant tanks under its conical-shaped external skin, while the Saturn V used most of its available cyllindrical skin volume to house capsule-shaped hydrogen and oxygen tanks, with common bulkheads between the tanks in the second and third stages.

The Saturn V also had a superior reliability record: it never lost a payload in two development and eleven operational launches, while four N1 development launch attempts all resulted in failure, with two payload losses.

Apollo-Saturn V N1-L3
Diameter, maximum 33 feet (10 m) 17 meters (56 ft)
Height w/ payload 363 feet (111 m) 105 meters (344 ft)
Gross weight 6,478,000 pounds (2,938,000 kg) 2,750,000 kilograms (6,060,000 lb)[10]
First stage S-IC Block A
Thrust, SL 7,500,000 pounds-force (33,000 kN) 45,310 kilonewtons (10,190,000 lbf)[10][11]
Burn time, s 168 125
Second stage S-II Block B
Thrust, vac 1,155,800 pounds-force (5,141 kN) 14,040 kilonewtons (3,160,000 lbf)
Burn time, s 384 120
Orbital insertion stage S-IVB (burn 1) Block V
Thrust, vac 202,600 pounds-force (901 kN) 1,610 kilonewtons (360,000 lbf)
Burn time, s 147 370
Total impulse[15] 1,733,600,000 pounds-force (7,711,000 kN)·s 7,944,000 kilonewtons (1.786×109 lbf)·s
Orbital payload 264,900 pounds (120,200 kg)[16] 95,000 kilograms (209,000 lb)
Injection velocity 25,568 feet per second (7,793 m/s) 7,793 meters per second (25,570 ft/s)
Payload momentum 210,500,000 slug-ft/s (936,300,000 kg·m/s) 740,300,000 kg·m/s (166,440,000 slug-ft/s)
Propulsive efficiency 12.14% 9.32%
Earth departure stage S-IVB (burn 2) Block G
Thrust, vac 201,100 pounds-force (895 kN) 446 kilonewtons (100,000 lbf)
Burn time, s 347 443
Total impulse[15] 1,803,400,000 pounds-force (8,022,000 kN)·s 8,141,000 kilonewtons (1.830×109 lbf)·s
Translunar payload 100,740 pounds (45,690 kg) 23,500 kilograms (51,800 lb)
Injection velocity 35,545 feet per second (10,834 m/s) 10,834 meters per second (35,540 ft/s)
Payload momentum 111,290,000 slug-ft/s (495,000,000 kg·m/s) 254,600,000 kg·m/s (57,240,000 slug-ft/s)
Propulsive efficiency 6.17% 3.13%

Source for Saturn V: Apollo 11 mission, in Orloff, Richard W (2001). Apollo By The Numbers: A Statistical Reference. NASA. Also available in PDF format. Retrieved on 2008-02-19. Published by Government Reprints Press, 2001, ISBN 1-931641-00-5.

Development problems[edit]

Complex plumbing was needed to feed fuel and oxidizer into the clustered arrangement of rocket engines. This proved to be extremely fragile, and was a major factor in the design's launch failures. Furthermore, the N1's Baikonur launch complex could not be reached by heavy barge. To allow transport by rail, all the stages had to be broken down and re-assembled. The engines for Block A were only test fired individually and the entire cluster of 30 engines was never static test fired as a unit. Sergei Khrushchev stated that only two out of every batch of six engines were tested.[17] As a result, the complex and destructive vibrational modes (which ripped apart propellant lines and turbines) as well as exhaust plume and fluid dynamic problems (causing vehicle roll, vacuum cavitation, and other problems) in Block A were not discovered and worked out before flight.[18] Blocks B and V were static test fired as complete units.

Because of its technical difficulties and lack of funding for full-up testing, the N1 never successfully completed a test flight. All four unmanned launches out of 12 planned tests ended in failure, each before first-stage separation. The longest flight lasted 107 seconds, just before first-stage separation. Two test launches occurred in 1969, one in 1971, and the final one in 1972.

Mishin continued with the N1F project after the cancellation of plans for a manned Moon landing, in the hope that the booster would be used to build a moonbase. The program was terminated in 1974 when Mishin was replaced by Glushko. Two N1Fs were being readied for launch at the time, but these plans were canceled.

The program was followed by the "Vulkan" concept for a huge launch vehicle (with Syntin/LOX, later replaced by LH2/LOX as fuel on the 2nd and 3rd stages), and then in 1976, by the commencement of the Energia/Buran program.[19][20]

N1 vehicles[edit]

  • N1 1M1 - Static test model, two first stages painted gray, third stage gray-white and L3 white.
  • N1 1L and 2L - test vehicles
  • N1 3L - first launch attempt, engine fire, exploded at 12 km
  • N1 4L - never launched, parts used for other launchers
  • N1 5L - partially painted gray; early launch failure destroyed pad
  • N1 6L - launched from the second pad 110, deficient roll control, destroyed at 1 km
  • N1 7L - all white, last launch attempt; engine cutoff at 40 kilometres (22 nmi)
  • N1 8L, 9L and 10L


The two flight-ready N1Fs were scrapped and their remains could still be found around Baikonur years later used as shelters and storage sheds. The boosters were deliberately broken up in an effort to cover up the USSR's failed moon attempts, which was publicly stated to be a paper project in order to fool the US into thinking there was a race going on. This cover story lasted until glasnost, when the remaining hardware was seen publicly on display.

The advanced engines for the N1F escaped destruction. Although the rocket as a whole was unreliable, the NK-33 and NK-43 engines are considered rugged and reliable when used as a standalone unit. About 150 engines survived, and in the mid-1990s, Russia sold 36 engines to Aerojet General for $1.1 million each. This company also acquired a license for the production of new engines.

Supplied through Aerojet, three of the engines were incorporated into Japanese rockets J-1 and J-2. The US company Kistler Aerospace worked on incorporating these engines into a new rocket design, with which Kistler sought to eventually offer commercial launch services, before declaring bankruptcy. Aerojet also modified the NK-33 to incorporate thrust vector control capability for Orbital Science's Antares launch vehicle. Antares used two of the modified NK-33's, which Aerojet renamed the AJ-26, for first stage propulsion. The first four launches of the Antares were successful, but on the fifth launch the rocket exploded shortly after launch. Preliminary failure analysis by Orbital pointed to a possible turbopump failure in one NK-33/AJ-26. Given Aerojet's previous problems with the NK-33/AJ-26 engine during the modification and test program (two engine failures in static test firings, one of which caused major damage to the test stand) and the later in-flight failure, Orbital decided that the NK-33/AJ-26 was simply not reliable enough for future use and switched to a different engine.

In Russia, N1 engines were not used again until 2004, when the remaining 70 or so engines were incorporated into a new rocket design, the Soyuz 3.[21][22] As of 2005, the project has been frozen due to the lack of funding. Instead, the NK-33 was incorporated into the first-stage of a light variant of the Soyuz rocket, which was first launched on 28 December 2013.[23]

Launch history[edit]

  • February 21, 1969 – Vehicle serial number 3L – Zond L1S-1 (Soyuz 7K-L1S (Zond-M) modification of Soyuz 7K-L1 "Zond" spacecraft) for Moon flyby – Due to unexpected high-frequency oscillations in the gas generator, one of the pipes broke apart and a fire started. This fire reached the engine control system which at 68.7 s of flight sent the command to shut down the engines.[24] The rocket exploded at 12,200 m altitude, 69 seconds after liftoff. The emergency rescue launch escape system was activated and did its job properly, saving the mockup of the spacecraft. All subsequent flights had freon fire extinguishers installed next to every engine.[25]
  • July 3, 1969 – Vehicle serial number 5L – Zond L1S-2 for Moon orbit and flyby and intended photography of possible manned landing sites – 5 to 9 seconds after liftoff at 150–200 meters above the pad, a loose bolt was ingested into an oxygen pump, which exploded.[26] After detecting the inoperative fuel pump, the automatic engine control shut off 29 of 30 engines, which caused the rocket to fall. The rocket exploded 23 seconds after shutting off the engines, destroying the rocket and launch tower.[27] The destroyed complex was photographed by American satellites, disclosing that the Soviet Union was building a Moon rocket.[25] The rescue system saved the spacecraft again. After this flight, fuel filters were installed in later models.[25] It also took 18 months to rebuild the launch pad and delayed launches. This is one of the largest artificial non-nuclear explosions in human history.
  • June 26, 1971 – Vehicle serial number 6L – dummy Soyuz 7K-LOK (Soyuz 7K-L1E No.1) and dummy LK module-spacecraft  – Soon after lift-off, due to unexpected eddys and counter-currents at the base of Block A (the first stage), the N1 experienced an uncontrolled roll beyond the capability of the control system to compensate. At 39 seconds the inertial navigation system of the booster went into gimbal lock and at 48 seconds the large amount of torque started the destruction of Block B (the second stage) and it was destroyed 51 seconds after liftoff.[28] This N1 had dummy upper stages without the rescue system. The next, last vehicle would have a much more powerful stabilization system with dedicated engines (in the previous versions stabilization was done by directing exhaust from the main engines). The engine control system would also be reworked, increasing the number of sensors from 700 to 13,000.[25]
  • November 23, 1972 – Vehicle serial number 7L – regular Soyuz 7K-LOK (Soyuz 7K-LOK No.1) and dummy LK module-spacecraft for Moon flyby  – The start and lift-off went well. At 90 seconds a programmed shutdown of the core propulsion system (the six center engines) occurred to prevent over-stressing of the structure. Because of large non-stationary loads caused by a hydraulic shock wave when the six engines were shut down abruptly, lines for feeding fuel and oxidizer to the core propulsion system burst and a fire started. The vehicle continued its flight and exploded at the intervals between 107 and 110 seconds. The emergency rescue system triggered soon after that. An investigation revealed that the abrupt shutdown of the engines led to fluctuations in the fluid columns of the feeder pipes which ruptured and spilled fuel and oxidizer onto the shutdown, but still hot, engines.[29]
  • Fifth launch of modified N1 serial number 8L was prepared for August 1974 with regular 7K-LOK Soyuz 7K-LOK and regular LK module-spacecraft of L3 lunar expedition complex for Moon flyby and landing by full unmanned mission of future manned scenario but the N1-L3 program was canceled in May 1974.

Confusion on L3 designation[edit]

There is a great deal of confusion among Russian online sources as to whether N1-L3 (Russian: Н1-Л3) or N1-LZ (Russian: Н1-ЛЗ) was intended, because of the similarity of the Cyrillic letter Ze for "Z" and the number "3". Sometimes both forms are used within the same Russian website (or even the same article).[24][30] English sources refer only to N1-L3. It is clear from the writing of a leading project designer that the correct designation is L3, representing the third stage of Soviet lunar exploration. Stage 1 would be an unmanned circumlunar flight; stage two would be a manned circumlunar flight, and stage 3 would be the manned landing.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rockets:Launchers N1
  2. ^ Zak, Anatoly. "Soviet N1 moon booster". russianspaceweb.com. Anatoly Zak. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "N1". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2011-09-07. 
  4. ^ a b "The N1 Moon Rocket - a brief History". Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  5. ^ http://www.raceforspace.co.uk/page1/page11/files/C8B04FC7-RfS_06_PRINT_lr%2026.pdf
  6. ^ Lindroos, Marcus. The Soviet Manned Lunar Program MIT. Accessed: 4 October 2011.
  7. ^ Zak, Anatoly. "N1 moon rocket". RussianSpaceWeb.com. Anatoly Zak. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Portree, David S.F. (March 1995), "Part 1: Soyuz", Mir Hardware Heritage, NASA Reference Publicaton 1357, Houston TX: NASA 
  9. ^ Chertok, Boris E. (2011). Rockets and people.. Washington, DC: NASA. p. 199. ISBN 978-0-16-089559-3. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c Harford, James (1997). Korolev : how one man masterminded the Soviet drive to beat America to the moon. New York ; Chichester: Wiley. p. 199. ISBN 9780471327219. 
  11. ^ a b Jr, Robert C. Seamans, (2007). Project Apollo : the tough decisions. Washington D.C.: NASA. p. 120. ISBN 0160749549. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  12. ^ Wade, Mark (1997–2008). "N1". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  13. ^ Wade, Mark (1997–2008). "Saturn V". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  14. ^ Harford, James (1997). Korolev : how one man masterminded the Soviet drive to beat America to the moon. New York ; Chichester: Wiley. p. 271. ISBN 9780471327219. 
  15. ^ a b Neglects first stage thrust increase with altitude
  16. ^ Includes mass of Earth departure fuel
  17. ^ Harford, James (1997). Korolev : how one man masterminded the Soviet drive to beat America to the moon. New York ; Chichester: Wiley. p. 304. ISBN 9780471327219. 
  18. ^ "Complex N1-L3 - Tests". S.P. Korlev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia - History. 2000 - 2013 Official website of S.P. Korolev RSC "Energia". Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  19. ^ Petrovitch, Vassili. "Vulkan Description". Buran-Energia.com. 2006-2015 by Vassili Petrovitch. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  20. ^ Wade, Mark. "Vulkan". Astronautix.com. Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  21. ^ Harvey, Brian (2007). The rebirth of the Russian space program 50 years after Sputnik, new frontiers (1st ed. ed.). New York: Springer. p. 201. ISBN 0387713565. 
  22. ^ Zak, Anatoly. "The history of the Soyuz-3 launch vehicle.". russianspaceweb.com. Russian Space Web. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  23. ^ "Soyuz 2-1v". Spaceflight 101. Retrieved December 28, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b Raketno-kosmicheskii kompleks N1-L3,book: Гудилин В.Е., Слабкий Л.И. (Слабкий Л.И.)(Gudilin V., Slabkiy L.)"Ракетно-космические системы (История. Развитие. Перспективы)",М.,1996
  25. ^ a b c d "Die russische Mondrakete N-1 (in German)". 
  26. ^ Williams, David (6 January 2005), Tentatively Identified Missions and Launch Failures, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, retrieved 17 May 2013 
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