Russian Space Systems has declassified for Izvestia a document on the flight plan of a Soviet manned spacecraft to the moon. It describes in detail not only the rocket scheme, but also the control system that was supposed to land the ship, as well as return it to Earth with three cosmonauts. The experts studied the information provided and explained why the chances of bringing this project to life were small.
Corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics Andrei Ionin proposed to carefully consider the engine – the most high-tech element of the rocket, in fact, determining its characteristics.
“The American Saturn-5 rocket was delivering 140 tons of payload – and that was the limit,” Andrei Ionin noted. – They said that the lander, landing on the moon, was so thin that it could almost be pierced with a finger. The Soviet H-1 rocket for the Moon carried only 100 tons. Even now, given the current state of the art, a super-heavy rocket capable of carrying 100 tons is not enough for a flight to the moon. “
In addition, the expert doubted that specialists in those days could have ensured the landing in an automatic mode, as Soviet engineers had planned.
The current lunar program looks much more balanced and realistic.
“Russia made a decision not to follow that path, that is, not to create one super-heavy launch vehicle for a flight to the Moon. The point is not only that it is expensive, the point is that apart from the lunar project, these carriers are not needed for anything. But, say, the heavy carrier Proton has been in use for several decades. In general, the current idea of sending a crew to the Moon using a bundle of spacecraft assembled in orbit looks like a better solution, ”noted Nathan Eismont, leading researcher at the IKI RAS.
Read more in the exclusive material from Izvestia:
The secret of the companion: the details of the lunar program of the USSR declassified