For this installment of the Spaceport vehicles from the Soviet lunar program will be the feature. Much of the Soviet lunar program was crouched in secrecy until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Thanks in part to the advent of the Internet information this secretive program has slowly been revealed! Below are a couple of interesting articles on the history of the Soviet lunar program.
|A photo of N1-L3 being erected at the Baikonur Launch Complex. (credit: nick-stevens.com)|
Working with the kit's photo-etched parts does require some previous experience. The challenge was to make sure the P.E. lattice-work was properly bent to ensure good fit between the stages. I did drill out center posts to ensure stability between the stages. It is too easy for the upper stages to fall without some sort of anchor!
There were four launch attempts of the N1 between 1969 and 1972 with a 5th planned attempt in 1974. Each N1 featured a unique color scheme (see below). I chose the earlier gray/white pattern. There is some question as to whether the N1 was gray or a Soviet armor green. I have seen photos that could swing either way depending on the lighting conditions.
|The 4 flight-ready N1's. Note the differing color schemes. (credit: nick-stevens.com)|
|RealSpace's 1/144 Scale Soviet N1-L3|
|Close up of the N1 block 'A'|
|The aft end of the block 'A' featuring the 30 NK-15 engines-a true "Nova-class" rocket!|
|Another look at blocks 'A', 'B', 'V', and part of the L3 stage.|
|The RealSpace kit is made up of the 4 main blocks|
|Close-up of the L3 block.|
|The 'B' block aft end with its 8 NK-15V engines. The difference between the engines on the block 'A' and 'B' were the NK-15V's were tuned for air start.|
|The Block 'V' stage contained 4 NK-21 engines|
|An Airfix 1/144 scale Saturn 5 along side the RealSpace N1|
* * * *
Лунный прогулочных судов
1/24 Scale Soviet LK Moonlander
|An alternate reality of a Soviet lunar lander on the Moon|
For more interesting articles on this fascinating subject see:Inside the Soviet Moon Program !
If you study the Soviet method for a manned lunar landing it becomes quite clear that the effort would have been gusty and could have killed a cosmonaut. Once the L3 stack was in lunar orbit a single cosmonaut would have EVA transferred to the lander. The lander itself was comprised of 3 modules: The ascent module, the landing "carriage", and a "crasher" stage that was intended to be ejected prior to landing.
|The L3 complex facsimile at 1/96 scale in 3 primary stages: The lunar Soyuz, the LK lander, and the Ye block crasher stage.|
|A diagram of the LK lander. (credit: ninfinger.org)|
Sadly only one model kit has been produced Fantastic Plastic's 1/48 Soviet Lunar Lander. In considering a scratch-build of a LK lander I looked at the possibility of using the classic Revell 1/24 kit of the Vostok.
|The classic 1/24 scale Vostok by Revell|
Below is the end result of my project.
|Detail close-up of the +Y view|
|A look at the docking mechanism|
That's it for this installment of the Ohio Valley Spaceport! Пока в следующий раз!